MIL-OSI Russia: Monument to Soviet pilots who died in 1944 unveiled in Norway

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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

In the Norwegian municipality of Hasvik, Finnmark province, west of Hammerföst, near the 350-meter mountain Andotten, a memorial was opened to six Soviet pilots who died in a plane crash while ferrying the Catalina amphibious aircraft from the USA to the USSR. In dense fog on June 17, 1944, the plane crashed into a sheer cliff, as a result of which the entire crew was killed.

Soviet pilots flew from the United States to Murmansk via Iceland and were dressed in American military uniforms. Their remains were buried by the Germans in the local church cemetery. After the war in 1946, the US Army funeral service exhumed the remains and reburied them at the Ardennes War Memorial Cemetery in Belgium.

In 2017, the Russian side began working on the issue of installing the monument with the Norwegian authorities. The agreement took four years, and on October 7, 2021, the bas-relief was inaugurated in the presence of officials from three countries: Norway, Russia and the United States.

The delivery of the bronze slab of the bas-relief was carried out from Moscow to Murmansk by the plane of the Northern Fleet, and it was already delivered to Norway by the transport of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

The bas-relief depicts three pilots in military uniforms of the anti-Hitler coalition allies, the Catalina seaplane, and the names of the fallen Soviet pilots are written. Also in Russian, English and Norwegian there is a commemorative inscription: “In memory of the Soviet pilots who died on June 17, 1944 while carrying out a mission to ferry Catalina aircraft from the USA to the USSR within the framework of the Lend-Lease program.

The crew of the Catalina seaplane who died on June 17, 1944:

Crew Commander – Colonel Viktor Nikolaevich Vasiliev (1907-1944) Commander of the 118th Air Force Regiment of the Northern Fleet, Commander of the Order of the Red Banner;

Co-pilot – Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Petrovich Romanov (1904-1944), holder of two Orders of the Red Banner and the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st degree;

Navigator – Colonel Mossepan Ivan Fedoseevich (1898-1944), chief navigator of the USSR Navy Air Force, participant in the operation of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet for the first bombing of Berlin in 1944, holder of the Order of the Red Star;

Air gunner-radio operator – foreman Nikolai Efimovich Kuznetsov (1913-1944), holder of two Orders of the Red Star;

Flight mechanic – senior technician-lieutenant Anatoly Mikhailovich Skvortsov (1915-1944), holder of the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st degree;

Flight technician – senior lieutenant-technician Chichkan Yevgeny Konstantinovich (1918-1944), at the same time acted as an interpreter.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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