WWII Bomber, Crew Emerge From Polish River

Soviet plane went down in tributary of Bzura River in 1945
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 25, 2015 9:53 AM CDT
WWII Bomber, Crew Emerge From Polish River
A destroyed Soviet plane, not the one found in Poland, appears in this 1939 photo.   (Wikimedia)

The remains of a Soviet fighter-bomber plane and two crew members shot down by Germans in 1945 have been found in a river in central Poland amid extremely low water levels associated with a drought. Explorers made the find in the muddy tributary of the Bzura River, near the village of Kamion, on Sunday. The remnants of the plane—believed to be a P-2—have been moved to a museum for examination, with more recovery work planned on Saturday. Museum head Zdzislaw Leszczynski says parts of Soviet uniforms, a parachute, a sheepskin coat collar, parts of boots, the pilot's personal TT pistol, and radio equipment have been found, along with a lot of heavy ammunition. Inscriptions on the control panel and radio equipment are in Cyrillic.

Leszczynski says witnesses had described the plane being hit while flying low in January 1945 and crushing down through the thick ice and into the river. At that time in the area, the German army was retreating toward Berlin before the Red Army's advance. He adds he has informed the Russian Embassy about the find and hopes the crew can be identified and buried properly in a military cemetery. An Embassy rep says officials are still waiting for a written notification but consider the find important. She believes the crew could be identified by the numbers on the wreckage and properly laid to rest. (More Poland stories.)

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