Our Bell P-39, Miss Lend Lease, is displayed as she was found, recovered from Lake Mart-Yavr within the Arctic Circle. She was given to Russia as part of the lend lease program. Piloted by Lieutenant Ivan Baranovsky, an engine failure on a mission in 1944 cause her to crash in the lake.
|In 2009, The Niagara Aerospace Museum acquired a wrecked P-39 that had crashed in lake above the Arctic Circle in Russia during WWII. Watch the powerful story of a warrior airplane come home to the place where she was built in Western New York after an amazing journey of over 60 years.||Bringing Her Home
Bringing Her Home from Full Circle Studios on Vimeo.(Correction: In the video, the statement that Lt. Baranovskiy had 7 victories is incorrect. We should have said that between 21 June and 9 August the 773 IAP (Fighter Air Regiment) recorded 7 Finnish airplanes to its credit. We apologize for misinformation.)
Read more about the history and recovery of this aircraft from the following sites:
- Air & Space Museum Article (September, 2011)
Lieutenant Ivan Baranovsky’s P-39 – An Airacobra’s journey to the eastern front…and back
- Bell P39Q-15BE 44-2911 Airacobra, from www.airforce.ru
Here, Miss Lend Lease sits in the museum, not a half a mile from the Bell Aircraft Company factory in which she was built.
This could be the the only P-39 to have traveled around the globe. She headed west to Alaska, where she was transferred to her Russian ferry pilots. She saw action over Russia until she crashed in Lake Mart-Yavr in 1944. When she was recovered she continued on her journey westward to the U.K., then back home to Niagara Falls, New York where she now resides.
American Quality for the War Effort
Although the magnesium nose wheel hub had disintegrated sitting in the lake all those years, amazingly, the tire and inner tube survived. In fact, the inner tube still holds the air!