On September 19, in Krasnoyarsk, at the bottom of the Yenisei, the search team of the Russian Geographical Society discovered the first alleged fragment of the A-20 Boston aircraft. The plane was delivered to the USSR under the Alaska-Siberian program. In April 1943 it crashed and fell into the river near the railway bridge.
An expedition to search for the fragments of the A-20 Boston aircraft started in September. The expedition was initiated by a member of the Russian Geographical Society, the head of the "Trassa" search group of the Military Engineering Institute of Siberian Federal University, Alexander Matveev. Specialists from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation also took part in the search activities.
The divers dove to the bottom of the Yenisei in the area of the alleged crash site - near the former combine plant, not far from the railway bridge. With the help of underwater metal detectors, they explored the riverbed where earlier an echo sounder and side-scan sonar had shown the presence of iron objects.
At a depth of about four meters, the expedition members managed to find the alleged fragment of the A-20 Boston aircraft - an element of the bomber's skin.
"Over the long years that have passed since the plane crash, the riverbed of the Yenisei, its bottom and the adjacent territory have changed dramatically. During the filling and strengthening of the coast, most of the bottom was also covered with pebbles. In such a situation, the discovery of even one wreck fragment is a big deal, a tribute to the memory of the fallen Soviet pilots. The crew of the aircraft included four people, among whom was our fellow countryman, Sergeant Chizhik Vladimir Markovich, from the village of Podsinee in Khakassia. The aircraft was piloted by a 20-year-old commander, Sergeant Yuri Sukhanov. They were a part of the 260th close-range bombing aviation regiment, making a flight to the front, to the Kursk Bulge area. Today we found evidence of their last flight, our search was not in vain," notes Alexander Matveev.
In the near future, Krasnoyarsk search specialists, together with forensic scientists from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, will be carefully examining the metal fragment. It is expected that a commemorative sign will be erected on the coast in the area where the plane crashed.