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Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov 
LaGG-3 NS-37 n.04
By Massimo Tessitori
File updated on October 24, 2005
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Image from "Fighter LaGG" of series "Aviakolekciya"
 

This Lagg-3 with NS-37 37 mm gun was photographed during the combat testing in the ranks of 21 IAP (Fighter Air Regiment) of 1 VA (Air Army) in Kalininksiy front, on the airfield of Staraya Toropa , in May 1943.

One of the most interesting characteristics visible on this unclear image is the white writing, recognizable as a part of a slogan "Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov"; there are many images of La-5 showing this writing, white on the red star background and red on the camouflaged background, but this is the first published image clearly showing a LaGG-3 with such marking.

I don't know why the image is so unclear that none red star is visible and the camouflage is nearly unrecognizable; perhaps the plane was oversprayed with some black paint to improve camo, or the image is simply too bad. However, both the slogan and the camo scheme can be extrapolated from images of other LaGG-3s and La-5s. A similar LaGG-3 NS-37 n.14 is known to have stars with black outlines.
 

On the port side, there was surely written an inscription "Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov" in white and red. From the image, the writing could be slightly smaller of those usually observed on La-5s.
The writing "Ot Kolkhoznikov i kolkhoznits Gorkovskoy oblasti" (From the Collective-workmen and Collective-workwomen of the Gorky region) is well documented on images of La-5s.

 
The camo scheme is supposed to be fully standard, almost identical to "white 14" reported here.

 
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