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Finnish DB-3 VP-101/VP-11

Updated on December 15, 2012
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Red 15 , s/n 392320, was lost in the heavy fog while flying with another plane from Siverskaya to Estonia on 29 January 1940 during the Winter war. Red 15 was short of fuel, so both planes landed on a frozen lake in Hauho, Southern Finland, with the purpose of transit some fuel from plane to plane. Then they were attacked by a Finnish Gloster Gamecock, so realized they were not in Estonia but in Finland. So they have to left Red 15, and the other plane took off quickly with both crew. The flight ended in Estonia with a fatal crash.

Here, Red 15 has already been recovered by Finns, and its original markings, although deleted by silver paint, are still recognizable. The black band around the fuselage is probably an unit mark, and is common to many other planes shot down or recovered by Finns. A small star is barely visible over the 15 on both sides of the tail.

Images From Keskinen, Stenman,Niska: "Venäläiset pommittajat /Soviet bombers"

Finns captured five DB-3s in repairable conditions during the Winter War; they were repaired in the depot on Tampere and put in Finnish service at first with serials from VP-11 to VP-15 (DB-11 to DB-15 after September 1941).

Six further DB-3s were bought from German war booty; when they arrived in Finland on 12 September 1941, they were marked DB-16 to DB-21.

 
 

The plane was delivered to LLv 26 on Feb 29 1940, and served for some months in the Finnish AF.

It was soon camouflaged and remarked as VP-11.

 

 

Here we see VP-11 after a bad landing.

It's unclear if the undersurfaces preserved the aluminium finish, or were painted light grey.

An hand grip was added on the nose, as on other Finnish DB-3s.

Later, yellow bands were added on the fuselage and under the wingtips.

The service f this plane with the Finnish AF was brief. The starboard engine stopped in mid air on June 30, 1941. The plane made a forced landing and sank into Lake Hirvaslampi. The crew survived, but when the plane was recovered, it was too ruined to be repaired and was written off.