With the Cold War still a distant prospect and the US and the Soviet Union fighting the same enemy, the Lend-Lease Act guaranteed that a continuous stream of American war material made its way to the Soviets.
The Lend-Lease policy was a program under which the United States supplied the Soviet Union and other Allied nations with food, oil, and material between 1941 and August 1945.
This was the case of the C-47 of this story — manufactured by Douglas in the United States (serial number 42-32892) and handed over to the Soviet Union in Fairbanks, Alaska, on March 12, 1943.
This was one of more than 7,000 aircraft that transited through the ALSIB, the Alaska-Siberia air road, during the war. A supply route that stretched thousands of miles, from the continental United States across Northern Canada to Alaska and, from there, across the Bering Strait all the way to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
In 1946, without having seen front line action, the aircraft was transferred to civilian duties, flying from Krasnoyarsk to several remote outposts in northern Siberia.
On April 23, 1947, the Douglas C-47 was flying between Kozhevnikova Bay on the Arctic coast and Krasnoyarsk, via the town of Dudinka, with 26 passengers, three of them children.
The left engine malfunctioned in-flight and stopped. The plane carried on with the remaining engine, but after 4 hours in the air, it overheated and stopped too. The pilot had no other option but to perform an emergency landing in the middle of the wilderness.
The Douglas C-47 force-landed in the tundra near Volochanka due to engine failure; all 37 onboard survived, but nine disappeared while searching for help. They had no radio connection. There were no signs of a rescue mission and they were lost: they could only guess at their location. The pilot’s body was found in a bog 120 km (75 mi) southwest of the crash site in 1953. The remaining eight have never been found. The 25 survivors were rescued three weeks later by a Li-2.
In 2016, the aircraft was salvaged and transported by water to Krasnoyarsk for restoration and eventual display in the Museum of the Exploration of the Russian North.
Expert on Urban Planning and Abandoned Places
|Mr. Gregory Hooqe is a highly experienced expert on Urban Planning and Sustainable Development. Mr. Gregory Hooqe has been focusing on Urban Development since 2000 and has written extensively on the subject.|
He was awarded the 2009 Korea Foundation Professional Award for his research on Korean Smart Cities, as well as the 2016 Korea Development Institute, Global Ambassador Award for SD and Innovation. Mr. Gregory Hooqe served for LG Technology Center and has been teaching and consulting at Shaanxi Railway Institute and KDI.