Located almost halfway along the Soviet stretch of the Alaska to Siberia route, Yakutsk was chosen as an administrative center. Other than its location, the decision was also influenced by the city’s infrastructure—Yakutsk was home to the largest radio communications center of the north-eastern part of the U.S.S.R. For pilots, who were used to stuffy dugouts and plank-beds at other checkpoints, Yakutsk felt like a metropolis with warm rooms, electric lights, and even a restaurant… The city hosted the headquarters of the Ferry Division and the Krasnoyarsk air route, the 4th Ferry Aviation Regiment, and the 8th Military Transport Aviation Regiment.
One of the few reminders of those days is a memorial to those who perished delivering planes. A stela with a stylized bird in flight rises from the center of the memorial honoring the legendary participants of the Alaska-Siberian route. A walkway leads from the stela to a site with eight memorial slabs listing the names of 113 crew members who lost their lives on the route. Here also lies the crew of the B-25 Mitchell bomber that crashed near the settlement of Zhatay in 1943. The main part of the memorial is a full-size mockup of the P-39 Airacobra fighter—one of the most numerous Lend-Lease warplanes.
We would like to thank everyone for the hearty welcome! We are very grateful for the warm receptions and attention in each city on the route.
Our Yakutsk weekend came to an end. The planes are ready for the final flight to the endpoint of the historic route—Krasnoyarsk—with a stopover in Bratsk.