Press-conference: the 75th Anniversary of the route of courage - Krasnoyarsk Air Route
This year Krasnoyarsk celebrates an important date in its history - the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the Krasnoyarsk Air Route also called the route "Alaska – Siberia", ALSIB. During the Second World War, it was a part of an air route used to ferry American aircraft, which the US supplied to the USSR under the Lend-Lease contract. From Krasnoyarsk, aircraft went to the west, to the front.
"When you begin to study the materials telling us about the history of the Krasnoyarsk Air Route, you understand what real heroes those people were. Not only pilots who risked their lives flying several thousand kilometers over the taiga, but also those who built this route", said Deputy Mayor Sergey Kochan at the press conference dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of ALSIB. "The runways were built within ten months, although today experts say that this work should take at least five years. This is a real route of courage."
For the reference:
By the early 1940s, the pilots of the Yenisei Air Group of the Main Directorate of the Northern Sea Route made successful long-haul flights in arctic conditions with a length of up to 2000 km. In addition to the pilots, the city had the necessary specialists - dispatchers, meteorologists. Krasnoyarsk also had a universal airfield, where any type of aircraft could land. The history of ALSIB began on October 9th, 1941, when by the decision of the National Defense Committee the construction of the air route along the line Uelkal - Krasnoyarsk was entrusted to the Civic Navy Department. And a year later, in October 1942, the first transfer took place. The last aircraft was ferried along the air route in 1945. In 1946 it was officially closed.
Vyacheslav Filippov, the representative of the Museum of the Military Engineering Institute of the Siberian Federal University, was one of the people who were the first to explore the topic of the Krasnoyarsk Air Route. "Interest in ALSIB's history began to wake up when we found a plane that had crashed during the Great Patriotic War near Kryuchkovo station", explains Vyacheslav Filippov. "But until 1994 the information on the air route was classified. Active work on this topic began in 2002."
"The air route itself was extremely difficult: 6306 kilometers from Fairbanks (USA) to Krasnoyarsk through Chukotka, Kolyma, Yakutia, flying under extreme weather conditions", says Aleksandr Yuzhannikov, a researcher of ALSIB history, member of the Krasnoyarsk Public Chamber. "Over the years of work of the Krasnoyarsk Air Route from 1942 to 1945, 8094 aircraft were ferried to Krasnoyarsk. Not all the planes reached their destination, accidents happened, people died in terrible catastrophes. We ought to preserve the memory of these heroes.
During the past years, a lot has been done: an exposition appeared in the museum of Lyceum №11, the remains of the hero-pilots were transferred from the places of plane crushes and reburied at the Troitskoye Cemetery - behind the Victory Memorial building you can now see a memorial in memory of the perished pilots, several books and a photo album on the history of the route were published.
This year, on the street gallery "On Stage", next to the Youth Theater, was opened an exposition dedicated to the history of AlSib with pictures of the times of the Great Patriotic War. One of the most significant events of this year will be held on November 10th-11th in the library of SibFU. There will be held an international scientific conference "Lend-Lease. Routes of cooperation against a common enemy. 75th Anniversary of Krasnoyarsk Air Route (Alaska-Siberia)" The conference will also include the presentations of books and documentaries about the history of the Krasnoyarsk Air Route.