Crea sito
from white 57 to LG-3
an aircraft captured and reutilized by Finnish AF - part 1
By Massimo Tessitori
File updated on November 25, 2004
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This LaGG-3 no. 57 was captured by Finnish forces after a forced landing in a meadow at Ala Sedorska, near Nurmoila on September 14, 1942. 
The aircraft was damaged by the Finnish pilot Altto Tervo during a combat over the Olonets isthmus.
It probably belonged to 524 IAP.
The serial of the aircraft was 3121357. 
It left the factory on 11 August 1942, and had been in service for a short time when it was captured.
We see some training bar under the fuselage in correspondance to the "57".

The aircraft was observed by inhabitants of Ala-Sedoksa; women and children are visible in the image.
It's interesting to see how different the red stars appear if photos are taken with different types of film.


The aircraft was of 35th series and its characteristics are: 
  • rounded prop spinner for VISh-105SV propeller; 
  • triple exhaust stacks; 
  • 1 ShVAK 20 mm firing through the propeller shaft; 
  • 1 12,7 UB machine gun guns on the left side of the engine cowling, and relative holes on the left side of the cowling; 
  • engine cowling with fast lock and merged intake profile; 
  • engine side cowling panels divided by a vertical line under exhaust stacks front; 
  • no side protection plates behind the exhaust stacks; 
  • vertical slots in front of the windscreen; 
  • rectangular supercharger intakes; 
  • long radio mast; 
  • angled rudder hinging line; 
  • modified elevators with modified hinge line and wider trimmers; 
  • wider water cooler inlet; 
  • water cooler outlet on the fuselage without any step; 
  • retractable tail wheel with bulged doors; 
  • wing slats, pitot on the lower wing surface. 


The aircraft appears:
  • camouflaged with AMT-4 green and AMT-6 black;
  • The lower surfaces are supposed to be painted with AMT-7 light blue, even if some images look to show a considerably darker color; it's likely that the aircraft undersurface was painted light blue at least when the aircraft was built;
  • red stars in 6 positions; the stars had not any black outline;
  • white 57 painted on the fuselage sides;
  • black prop blades and spinner; the root of the blades is in natural  aluminium;
  • some light rectangles are visible on the fuselage and rudder sides, in nearly symmetrical positions; they could be fabric pieces glued to cover a damage.

The camo scheme looks to be standard of Zavod 31 in Gorki during mid 1942, it looks to be identical to that of La-5 produced in the same factory.

The fighter arrived to a repair depot on October 7, 1942.
Note the apparently dark wheel disks, in contrast to the light color (possibly light blue) of the main gear legs.
It looks that there were two light rectangles disposed nearly symmetrically to those of the left side, possibly made with fabric glued to cover some war damage.
Note the light color of the armoured seat backrest.

Here are two images with about the same perspective, again taken at the repair depot.
It's interesting to note again how different the colors appear (particularly the red stars) if the photos are taken by different types of films.
The light color on the lower part of the rudder has very soft demarcation; it'sunclear if this is due to spraued colors orto some mud; this is visible on the photos of the just forced-landed aircraft too.

This image gives the strong impression that part of the lower surface was painted with a darker shade than usual. It's unclear if this is a real thing or if shadows are making some joke.
Some very light mud is visible on wheels, and perhaps on some other parts. 
The white blotch on the prop blade is a sun reflection where the blade is bent.

After restored, white 57 became LG-3 in Finnish service, and was assigned to LeLv 32; this unit was based based at Nurmoila, on the Olonets isthmus.

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A special thank to Jouni Ronkko for his collection of scans, that are the base for this research.
All these photos, scanned from many publications (including LaGG fighters in action) come from Keski-Suomen Ilmailumuseo.
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