Curtiss P-40C white 53 of Maj. Ermakov, 20 GvIAP
Updated on Jyne 3, 2014
back to VVS research index



Drawing by Tapani Tuomanen


Curtiss-Wright P-40C (C/N 16194) Serial 41-13390, also recorded for its factory number 194.

The plane was issued new to the 147 IAP VVS in early 1942. On 5 February 1942 it suffered an engine failure and made a belly-landing at Murmashi airfield.
After repairs, incudind the replacing of the engine and its cowling, it was assigned to 20 GIAP on 12 July 1942. This unit was on the Karelian Front, Murmansk area. Probably the bort number 53 was painted here, showing the same fonts of the famous '58' of A.S.Khlobystov.

The plane, flown by Major Ermakov, had to belly land on 27 September 1942 after a combat with German Bf-109s, and was too damaged to be repaired.

The plane was recovered in 1993 near Murmashi.

From :

The P-40 was clearly marked up with a tactical number '53' on the faded camouflage. All upper surfaces had been scoured nearly down to bare metal during over 50 years of snow storms. The old-style American star was faintly visible on the fuselage side. The US ARMY on the underside of the wings was clearer and had been overpainted, and red stars had been applied. There was evidence also of brown and green camouflage and possibly the outline of an RAF roundel, also on the side of the fuselage. It is not known whether this was possibly added before being completed for the US Army or after it was taken over by the British Purchasing Commission. A number of the engine cowling panels had clearly come from a British Tomahawk IIB (with green and brown camouflage), and could have been added during its operational period in Russia.

The drawing was made on the base of these indications, but the choice of the camo pattern between the possible ones is a guess, as other details not deductable from the article.