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View Full Version : Lt. Baranovsky found, after 60 years



Chuck_Older
10-23-2005, 12:22 PM
Last year, a P-39Q was recovered from within the Artic Circle in lake Mart-Yvar near Murmansk

Bell P-39Q-15-BE 442911 was located under 16 feet of water, having disappeared with its pilot on a transfer flight in November 1944


Lt Baranovsky, the pilot, issued a warning that he was turning out of formation, and his wingman followed. Both Baranovsky and his wingman were ordered to return and form up again; Baranovsky did not or could not comply, although his wingman did

Apparently a search, presumably from the air, did not find a forced landing site, because Baranovsky forced landed on a shallow lake with a thin crust of ice

Most unfortunately, when the aircraft was pulled ashore last year, both doors were found to be shut and locked; the pilot has entombed within. Apparently Baranovsky was knocked unconscious by the crash landing and drowned, or else succumbed to another more immediate death. Battle damage on the aircraft was not apparent; one leading edge was knocked free of the aircraft but otherwise it was still intact

Baranovsky's remains were interred with full Military Honors at the Glory Valley Memorial, northwest of Murmansk. On his remains, in the cockpit were found his Glory Order III Degree and Military Red Banner Order medals. The twenty-two year old pilot was a skilled veteran and his demise and the events leading to it are a mystery. He was conscious enough to call out on the R/T, and he apparently unbuckled his harness before he crash landed, in preparation to escape the sinking plane. Perhaps he stuck his head on the instrument panel and was knocked out, subsequently drowning? Most likely. The mystery is deeper because he probably could have force landed at his destination- Luostari- which was only 18 miles away


In any case, this Soviet hero has been located after 60 years and finally laid to rest

dieg777
10-23-2005, 12:30 PM
The thing that constantly strikes me when reading reports on the War is how young most combatents were.

May he rest in peace now

S

potver
10-23-2005, 02:51 PM
I think this was his plane.http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/potver/Afbeelding0001003.jpg

Udidtoo
10-23-2005, 02:58 PM
S' to the airman.

Man look at the state of that plane.Sure doesn't look like it been in the water that long.

Chuck_Older
10-23-2005, 03:02 PM
Yes, White 23. Looks like VVS deleted the first serial "4" on the tail. Amazing how the cold water preserved the plane.

Poor pilot is probably inside it in that photo

I wonder if those are ex-Soviet Army UAZ command trucks? Probably. Looks like the camped out there to make the recovery. Man does that picture make me feel cold and wet. Can't be warm up there in summertime

I read that they found extra ammo and 11.5 ounce ration cans with pork, lard, onions and spices in the wing ammo trays, and that the logbook was in the plane as well- intact except for a few destroyed pages. A real historical find, and closure for somebody's family most likely

GH_Klingstroem
10-23-2005, 03:08 PM
check you can still see the american marking under that russian star! Must just have arrived from america! maybe with a convoy... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

danjama
10-23-2005, 03:56 PM
I dont want to sound disrespectful but that P39 looks beautiful in an eerie way of course! May the pilot however finally rest easy. Thanks for the post.

J_Weaver
10-23-2005, 04:53 PM
WOW, that is an amazing find. I assume that it was a mechanical problem that forces him down? The plane doesn't look shot up and Chuck says they didn't find any battle damage.

R.I.P Lt. Baranovsky

Chuck_Older
10-23-2005, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
check you can still see the american marking under that russian star! Must just have arrived from america! maybe with a convoy... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

It was flown across the US, across Canada, across the Bering Strait, and across Siberia

It had been in combat long enough to require modification due to fatigue in the rear fuselage. Two extra layers of duralumin sheet was used over the factory skin near the star, and a fue****e longeron reinforceing member was installed

It arrived in Siberia on Feb 3rd 1944, saw service duty in early June '44 with 773 IAP, and was lost on November 19th 1944

In June 44 it flew 34+ hours and made 30 landings, which probably translates into ober 2 dozen missions in June alone, and in July 44 it made 34 landings and flew just over 34 hours. Not a lot of hours for a P-51D on escort duty, maybe, but a look at the landings just for those two months tells me that the plane saw heavy and regular duty. In September and October the plane flew another 28 missions of some sort. It is surmised that the plane was repaired and modified in August of '44, with about 5 hours of flight time (The log book is largely intact and we can be pretty sure about how much use the plane had)

The red star was applied over a gray/white basecoat and was not re-applied after the extra skins were applied. Epoxy based paints were in use at this time, and it's possible that White 23 simply has very resilient paint on it. Remember the Buffalo recoverd from this general area about 5 years ago? You could still make out the Finnish markings very clearly- right down to kill marks on the rudder. That plane and this P-39 were enemies and possibly flew against each other in action.


~edit

I just re-read some info about it and the Squadron leader was a man named Zaitsev, who did not, apparently, make a search for the pilot or plane, and was in trouble for it. That part was confusing me earlier. That trouble could have meant infantry duty for all I know, Zaitsev's
fate is un-mentioned


Complete article is in the latest Warbirds International magazine.

Enforcer572005
10-23-2005, 06:50 PM
i believe the article also said the aircraft was gonna be restored to flying condition and sold, probably in england.

read that on the run in the local barnes and nobles yesterday...gotta buy that issue just for that piece.

wayno7777
10-23-2005, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by Enforcer572005:
i believe the article also said the aircraft was gonna be restored to flying condition and sold, probably in england.

read that on the run in the local barnes and nobles yesterday...gotta buy that issue just for that piece.

Thx Chuck and same here, Enforcer....

p1ngu666
10-23-2005, 10:05 PM
probably knocked out, or worse, couldnt open the doors, which is is pretty hard because of the force the water applies, think u haveto wait for it to equalize http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

fordfan25
10-23-2005, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by dieg777:
The thing that constantly strikes me when reading reports on the War is how young most combatents were.

May he rest in peace now

S

old men start wars. young men fight them http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif .

Pirschjaeger
10-24-2005, 02:38 AM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:
probably knocked out, or worse, couldnt open the doors, which is is pretty hard because of the force the water applies, think u haveto wait for it to equalize http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Both doors were found shut and locked. It's possible he was panicing and didn't realize the doors were locked.

Fritz

Pirschjaeger
10-24-2005, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by danjama:
I dont want to sound disrespectful but that P39 looks beautiful in an eerie way of course! May the pilot however finally rest easy. Thanks for the post.

I agree with you Danjama. That photo is the first time I ever thought the P-39 was a nice looking plane. Strange http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Fritz