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Wreckage of P-40 "Kittyhawk" aircraft recovered from the Black Sea - video

Listen to this article In the first week of May, a very interesting mining operation took place near Crimea. From the bottom of the Kerch Strait, separating the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea, near the Crimean city of Kerch, the wreck of a P-40 “Kittyhawk” aircraft was lifted. The machine is a remnant
Published: May 15, 2017 - 15:40
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 15:07
Wreckage of P-40 “Kittyhawk” aircraft recovered from the Black Sea – video
Listen to this article

In the first week of May, a very interesting mining operation took place near Crimea. From the bottom of the Kerch Strait, separating the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea, near the Crimean city of Kerch, the wreck of a P-40 “Kittyhawk” aircraft was lifted. The machine is a remnant of World War II operations in the region.

Divers combing the area for bombs, mines and other dangerous objects came across the wreckage of the plane. The work is being carried out as part of the construction of a bridge to connect the Crimean Peninsula with the Taman Peninsula and the Russian mainland. The £2.6bn construction is expected to be completed and operational by December 2018 at the latest.

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[blockquote style=”2″]”The wreck was located on the bottom, near the site where a large component of the structure is being built, about 6 km off the coast of the Taman Peninsula” – reported the Crimea Bridge Information Centre[/blockquote].

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The World War II machine was found at a depth of just 9 metres. The whole thing was secured with special straps and then the wreck was lifted gently and precisely by a crane. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan and the construction, weighing 3.5 tonnes, suffered some damage. Along with the wreckage of the aircraft, six 12.7 mm Colt-Browning machine guns and ammunition were recovered.

The operation of lifting the P-40 aircraft itself was not without problems. Admittedly, the lifting of the wreck was preceded by a week-long preparatory works, the aim of which was to dig out the structure of the plane and to discard as much mud and sand as possible. Unfortunately, during the lifting of the wreckage, the tail section, which was filled with sand, broke.

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The wreck of the “Kittyhawk” was a secret, so that it was never visited by “collectors” of memorabilia. This fact makes it a very valuable source of information and an extremely interesting museum object. After the necessary restoration work, the aircraft will probably enter the collection of one of the local museums. The first thing to do is to clean the fuselage and try to find the markings and number of the craft.

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Preliminary examination has shown that there is still part of the dashboard, the pilot’s seat and the engine, on which markings are visible. This means that the identification of this aircraft in the near future should not pose any major problems. As a result, historians will be able to learn more about the circumstances of the accident and the fate of the pilot.

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Apart from the items mentioned above, the cabin also contained a parachute, a bottle of transparent liquid, a tube radio and… a camera! This last object arouses the greatest interest among researchers, suggesting that the aircraft was used for reconnaissance and reconnaissance missions.

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The P-40 “Kittyhawk” flew in the Soviet Air Force (Wojenno-Vozdushnye Forces – rus.), for which it was acquired under the US Lend-lease Act of 11 March 1941. Under the same conditions, the Soviet Union also acquired a Douglas A-20, the discovery of which we reported recently.

Source: kerch.com.ru

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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