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3 This Plane Spent Sixty-Eight Years on the Bottom of the Lake Now Goes Back to the Skies

This Plane Spent Sixty-Eight Years on the Bottom of the Lake Now Goes Back to the Skies

Posted on August 7, 2017 by tim


This year Moscow air show had one cool exhibit flying. This was an IL-2 World War 2 plane that is over seventy years old now already! Sixty-eight years it spent on the bottom of the lake, approximately twenty meter deep. And it seems unbelievable after that many years it could make it again to the skies.

Actually IL-2 was most produced combat airplane in the world! It was made from 1941 till 1945 and in 36,183 planes were built! First prototype took the flight October 2nd, 1939.

This particular airplane was serving in Soviet Northern Air Force of Navy division. It’s home base was near Murmansk city. This particular plane was throwing “jumping” bombs to the sea. Those bombs ricochet from the water surface and hit ships. It targeted that German ships doing re-supplying voyages from one port to another without going to the open seas.

On November 25th, 1943 sixteen IL-2 planes together with some Pe-2 bombers and guarded by fighter planes went on two missions. They went to bomb two airfields – Hebugten and Luostari. But because of the bad weather during the first mission they couldn’t hit the target and one plane got lost.

Then weather became better and they went to hit targets again. For the sublieutenant Vladimir Gummenni this was only third flight. For his air gunner this was only second flight. This is theirs plane we are seeing now seventy years later in Moscow skies. Nazi Germans knew they were coming so they got over Messerschmitt Bf.109 fighter planes into the skies to repel Soviet attack. A great air battle has begun. No less than ten Nazi fighters didn’t even have a chance to get in the skies and were destroyed on the ground according to the report.  Five more Messerschmitt Bf.109 were downed by Soviet IL-2 planes. Eight more Nazi planes were destroyed by guarding Soviet fighter planes. However Soviets also got losses: six IL-2 planes were lost and five fighter planes. The pilot of this plane downed two Messerschmitt Bf.109 planes, despite little experience of air battles. His air gunner downed one more. Probably they were risking too much.

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3 Responses to “This Plane Spent Sixty-Eight Years on the Bottom of the Lake Now Goes Back to the Skies”

  1. John Robertson says:

    Great story.

  2. Horse Soldier says:

    God bless the IL-2. The very best ground attack aircraft of the Great Patriotic war!

  3. Bill says:

    Excellent recovery story. Some years ago in Russia there was a downed JU87 found in a “bog”. The pilot had apparently bailed out. The soporiphied body of the gunner was amazingly intact. Pictures of some of the gear and small arms they had stowed in the plane showed excelelnt condition including a twisted up MP40.
    Recalla P39 airacobra dug out of a similar watery grave where the soviet pilots body was soporiphied as well and his pistol , medals and uniform were saved for a local museum. There was even tins of lend lease food products still in the rear fuselage.

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