Bomber 31 story

25 March 1944. PV-1 BuNo 34641, piloted by Lt. Walt S. Whitman of VB-139, with crew of seven, sustained engine damage from the enemy fire over Shimushu. The pilot attempted diversion to Petropavlovsk, but crash-landed on the slope of Mutnovsky volcano, Kamchatka. The crash site was first discovered by Russian geologists in 1962. Back then the KGB vetoed any information about the aircraft, and even attempted to disperse the wrecks to, perhaps, make it less visible from the space. Only in 2000, the initial evaluation was performed by the U.S. team of experts. Ralph Wetterhahn, former military pilot and aircraft crash investigator was part of that team. He wrote a great book, that sparked my initial interest to the aerial war in the north pacific region. Unique pictures from the crash site were kindly provided by Mr. Wetterhahn.


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