La-5 Wide 42 of Eskadrilya Valerii Chkalov
by Massimo Tessitori

Updated on May 26, 2019

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Photo of German soldiers close to a downed La-5 in the Summer 1943, Orel-Kursk area.

The plane shows the usual black-green camouflage, with the inscription "Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov" recognizable on its left side.

Other interesting characteristics are the unusually wide size of the fonts of the number 42 (or 43?), and the white cap on its tail.


The inscriptions were made by stenciling and seem made with faded white or another light color.



a reconstruction of the look of plane Wide 42

It is very likely that there was the inscription "Ot Kolkhoznikov i kolkhoznits Gorkovskoy oblasti" 
(From the Collective-workmen and Collective-workwomen of the Gorky region) on the right side, characteristic of the most part of the VCh planes.

A second possibility, less likely, is the inscription 'Gorkovskiy pozharnyy', Gorki fireman.




Left: reconstruction of the left side of the plane.




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