In 1994, a North-West search group from St. Petersburg under the guidance of Ilia Durinskiy found the place of the the “Kittyhawk’s” crash in the swamp between Kolpino and Otradnoe towns. The remains of the pilot and his personal things were also founded there. This post will tell us about the lifting of the plane and the determining of the pilot’s identity.
In August 28, 2006 the plane debris were completely removed from the swamp. The pilot’s body was found in the cabin of the plane. There were also found some documents, including a party card for the Kostenko P.N name.
According to the data of the Central Archive of the Russian Ministry of Defense the “Kittyhawk” plane with such an engine number belonged to the 196-th fighter regiment. The plane was piloted by Senior Lieutenant Kostenko P.N, who meant to be downed on February 23, 1943 in the area of “Ivanovo riffles”, covering the attack planes Il-2.
Philipp Nikitovich Kostenko was born on October 10, 1914. In 1931 he graduated from the seven-year school in the village of Khomutets. He worked as a laboratory assistant- selectionist in southern dairy farming SRI in Kharkov. In 1933, he entered the first course of zoological institute in Dergachi where he studied for one year. He as an excellent pupil and Komsomol was taken to the flight school from his institute. He studied three years in Chuguev flight school until August 1938. The study in the flight school was counted towards as a duty in the Red Army. After school he got the lieutenant’s rank. He began his duty on the Western border, in Byelorussia, near Bobruisk. He participated in the Polish campaign in 1939. He was on the front from the first day of the Great Patriotic War. At the Leningrad direction since the end of 1941.