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La-7s of 178 giap, 14 giad
by Massimo Tessitori

Updated on March 5, 2017

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The 178 giap received La-7s only in April 1945; it's not clear if it utilized them in combat.

La-7 n.95 of Capt. K.A. Yestigneev of 178 giap.

The photo is very bad and doesn't show well if the plane has a standard camouflage or not, but the number 95, the red nose, white spinner, La-7 logos and stars with the typical size of Zavod 21 are recognizable.

The impression is that the upper and side surfaces are all painted with a solid dark color, green AMT-4 or dark grey AMT-11; this seems to suggest that the photo was taken after a postwar repainting of the plane.

Profile of plane 95 as it likely was when just delivered to the unit.
Profile of plane 95 as it seems on the photo, possibly after a postwar repainting.

According to La-7of Milos Vestsik, MBI, these planes were of 176 giap, photographed by the frontline reporter Aleksander Dmitriyev on 10-20 April 1945 during the Berlin Operation. According to the caption, these six planes were assembled just for the session.

The resemblance of these planes with n.95 of the photo above looks remarkable, while they don't resemble at all to the livery of 176 giap that we know. So, one could wonder if there is any misidentification and these planes are of 158 giap instead of 156 giap.

They have an uniformly dark uppersurface instead of the grey/grey camouflage; this color could be dark green AMT-4 or dark grey AMT-12. All the cowlings look of a different color, probably red.

Image from La-7of Milos Vestsik, MBI.


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