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  #1  
Old 11th June 2005, 16:51
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Juha Juha is offline
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Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello, according his memories, Helmut Lipfert ambushed a Boston which was escorted by 8 fighters over Strait of Kerch around noon on 29.12.43. According to his memories German listening service had heard that the plane was ferrying a high ranking Soviet officer to Kerch bridgehead and Barkhorn had sent Lipfert with a wingman to shoot the plane down. The Boston crashed on the shore of Kerch.peninsula

Has anyone info on a possible victim?



TIA

Juha
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Old 12th June 2005, 23:11
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello, Juha!

29.12.43 not a Boston but Li-2 of 1.esc. of 9.AP GVF (transport regiment of Civil Air Fleet) was attacked by 2 Me-109 during his flight from Ahtanizovskaya to Zhukovka (Kerch bridgehead). This plane had crew of 5 airman, pilot - Kpt.Kurepin. The plane began to burn in the air but made a successful landing on the border of Zhukovka landing ground. 1 man was killed, two - badly wounded. No info about cargo or passengers. In all that day 9.AP transferred in 25 flights to bridgehead 2425 kg of food, 1320 kg of medical cargo, 5 kg of post and 15 officers, evac.from bridgehead 27 badly wounded men.
What a subject of your research?

Best regards,
Andrey
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Old 13th June 2005, 21:32
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Thanks a lot for Your answer, Andrey.
I'm not doing any research on this incident. Just reading the newer translation (2003) to Finnish of the Das Tagebuch des Hauptmann Lipfert and became curious. I read the the older translation (1978 at least 20 years ago and liked the book very much, the newer translation is much better, especially on aviation terms. I have became curious on how well the Lipfert's story hold water. On this occasion it might hold well if there were Soviet fighters around. 2 Bf 109s at least attacked a twin engined single tail a/c which crashlanded. According to Lipfert he and his wingman came out from the sun for a high speed attack, opened fire and went to deck with Soviet fighters on hot pursuit. After Soviet fighters turn away Germans made a wide circle, took more altitude and made one diving strafing attack on the smouldering wreck and then flew away on deck.
Germans might have thought that they were ambushing a high ranking Soviet officer but Soviets were in times very cunning to spread misinformation by "careless" use of radio so the German supposion might have been entirely false. Of course sometimes Germans learned lot from Soviet radio traffic.

But again, thanks a lot.
Juha

Last edited by Juha; 13th June 2005 at 23:13. Reason: Trying to delete an unwanted smilie and correct a grammar error
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Old 13th June 2005, 22:30
marsyao marsyao is offline
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Juha, there could be multiple possibilities for this incident, German's intellegence could be correct, but that Soviet aircraft carried high rank officer could be late on schedule, and Lipfert intercepted a wrong aircraft would be another reasonable explanation.
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Old 13th June 2005, 23:09
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello marsyao
Yes, I understand that. Without much more thorough research on German and Soviet sources it is not even possible to establish even with reasonable degree of certainly that the Li-2 was attacked by Lipfert and his wingman. After all Boston was shoulder winged a/c and its wing platform was different of that of Li-2/DC-3. But a/c recognition is/was always a problem in those fast moving high-stress situations, so IMHO the Li-2 is altogether possible victim.

But thanks for Your comment
Juha
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Old 14th June 2005, 12:21
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello

I have checked Tony Wood’s and Jim P’s claims lists and the only claim against twin on 29.12.43 listed was that of Lipfert. The place given is SW Mayak, time 10.05. In the Valtonen’s translation of Lipfert’s memories otherwise same but the place is written as Mayack. Now, I don’t have a decent map on Crimea but the Soviet bridgehead on Kerch peninsula was a small one at that time.



Andrey, I’ll ask one more favour. Was the Li-2 of 1.esc. of 9.AP GVF written off or only damaged?



TIA

Juha
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Old 14th June 2005, 23:09
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello, Juha!

Mayak is a village in the very eastern point of Crimea. The landing ground was between Mayak and Zhukovka. From the report an impression is appears, that Li-2 was written-off. One of two badly wounded was the pilot. No words about fighter escort. Maybe "8 fighters" had other task (for example - air cover of bridgehead, a common task of that time and that place). Transport aircrafts usually made a low-level solo flights to bridgehead according to the strict rules mostly without escort. And German attacks were very rare - probably because attack of the low-level target over the water was the difficult task (and German Ju-52 transport in the Black Sea area used the same tactic in many cases)

Best regards,
Andrey
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Old 15th June 2005, 10:48
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Thanks a lot again, Andrey!

So it seems that the Li-2 of 1.esc. of 9.AP GVF was Lipfert’s “Boston”. I guess that the Li-2s of the Civil Air Fleet didn’t have dorsal turrets or does the crew of 5 indicate that there was also 1-2 gunners aboard in that Li-2?

And thanks a lot for the info how the Soviet “airbridge” to Kerch bridgehead worked. Much appreciated.



Thankfully

Juha



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Old 15th June 2005, 21:35
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello, Juha!



Yes, it seems that Lipfert’s “Boston” was certainly Li-2. I don’t know about GVF Li-2’s armament, but a presence of MGs seems logical.

By the way, high-ranking officers usually preferred ships or U-2 biplanes for the transfer to Kerch bridgehead. Of course, exceptions were possible.



Regards,

Andrey
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Old 16th June 2005, 00:08
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Re: Soviet Boston lost over Strait of Kerch on 29.12.43?

Hello Andrey
I asked on the dorsal turret only because IMHO it's easier to mistook Li-2 with a dorsal turret for Boston than the normal Li-2 for Boston. Lipfert didn't mention any defensive fire.

The high ranking officer isn't so important, there are many explanation on that, for example those mentioned by marsyao. IMHO there is even a possibility that Soviets were using the Li-2 as a bait, guessing that missinformation on high ranking officer would tempted Germans to sent one of their aces to eliminate such a target and so maybe give an opportunity to eliminate the German. Or at least to deceive Germans to put an effort at the time which Soviets could predict. But this is purely a speculation.

Thanks for Your help
Juha
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