The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Alaska-Siberian Air Road, “ALSIB”

Reference work entry
Alaska-Siberian Air Road, “ALSIB” – an abbreviated name of a complicated air road Alaska (Fairbanks, USA) – Siberia (Chukotka-Yakutia-Krasnoyarsk), built on the resolution of the USSR State Defense Committee in October 1941 which stipulated the lend-lease deliveries of the US aircraft to the Red Army starting from 1942 (after the tragedy with the polar convoy PQ-17). The total length of the route is 14,000 km, from the assembly point in Great Falls, Montana (where the aircraft constructed on various American plants were ferried) through Canada, Alaska, the Bering Strait to Chukotka and then to Krasnoyarsk. The planes were ferried by the pilots of the 7th ferry group of the US Air Force. The USSR received 8,000 planes, including 5,000 fighter planes Bell P-39 “Airacobra” and P-63 “Kingcobra,” more than 2,000 bombers A-20 “Boston” and B-25 “Mitchell,” and 710 transport airplanes C-47 “Douglas.” In Fairbanks the aircraft were checked by the Soviet defense representatives after which the planes were transferred to the contingent of the First Aviation Ferry Division named after the Red Banner. The last US aircraft crossed the Bering Strait in September 1945. During the ferrying process, 115 pilots and technicians from the Soviet side died and almost the same number of people on the Canada-Alaska part of the route died from the American side. On the American and Asian areas of the route, 2 planes out of a 100 got lost. The “A.” story was first fully made public after the release of a Russian feature film “Transit” (2006).

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