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Nomad PBN (Canadian: 1 )

Consolidated US Naval Aircraft Factory PBN Nomad

PBN-1 Nomad built by the US Naval Factory in Philadelphia for shipment to USSR (Russia) under the Lend-Lease Act.

Consolidated Aircraft Corporation Model 28. Catalina licence built by the Naval Aircraft Factory. 138 delivered to USSR. Aircraft were inspected and accepted by the Soviets at NAS Elizabeth City, NC. Aircraft destined for the Northern fleet were ferried via Gander, Newfoundland to Reykjavik, Iceland by the Soviets with a Royal Air Force pilot and radio operator, then onwards to Guba Gryaznaya, Murmansk, Russia with just the Soviet crew. Aircraft destined for the Pacific fleet were returned to the US Navy at Elizabeth City and ferried to NAS Kodiak, Alaska where they were delivered back to the Soviets for onward flight to the Far East. Aircraft destined for the Black Sea and Baltic fleets were ferried via the South Atlantic route through Brazil and Africa by the Soviets with a Royal Air Force / Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, and navigator/radio operator and mechanic as far as Habbabiya, Iraq, then onwards to Baku, Azerbaijan and Sevastopol, Russia with just the Soviet crew.

General Joe Baugher Nomad

last update: 2023-04-11 22:07:23

Nomad PBN 02915


Known Squadron Assignments:

Lend-Lease to USSR at Elizabeth City, NC. Delivered to Soviet Navy as 02915. Departed Elizabeth City 11Jan45. Crashed in the late hours of 11 Jan45 during the sector from Elizabeth City to San Juan, Puerto Rico of its delivery flight via the southern route when the Canadian pilot lost his bearings shortly after takeoff. When he switched from flying by sight to using instruments once he flew past the flares on the river, he felt he was rising too quickly and turned downwind, plummeting into the Pasqotank River near Elizabeth City; five of the nine crew, four Soviets and one Canadian, were killed while the pilot survived.Joe Baugher Serials

last update: 2024-February-28

Ferry Flight 1945-01-11 to 1945-01-11

45 (T) Group (RAF) Elizabeth City North Carolina USA

Nomad aircraft 02915 was a Lend-Lease aircraft destined for Russia. It departed Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA 1945-01-11 on the first flight leg from Elizabeth City to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a delivery flight to via the Southern ferry route but crashed shortly after take-off. The pilot lost his bearings after switching from flying by sight to instrument flying. Once he flew past the lighted buoys on the river, he felt the aircraft was rising too quickly and turned downwind, plummeting into the Pasquotank River near Elizabeth City, killing five of the nine crew

The Russian crews were exposed to much different conditions in America than those in their homeland. Aircraft returning to the USSR were often loaded with alcohol, cigarettes and other luxury items and there is some speculation that a contributing factor in the crash is that the aircraft may have been over-weight at take-off

Canadian civilian Radio Officer PH Nataros, who may have also been serving as an interpreter, Russian Lieutenant A Borodin, Russian Pilot HN Chikov, Russian Navigator VM Levin and Russian Senior Lieutenant DM Medvedev were all killed in the crash

There has been little detail found on either those who lost their lives or those that survived. The aircraft does appear in the Ocean Bridge book by Carl Christie as being flown by RAF Transport Command. The Nomad was likely flown by survivor Captain IR Dobbin, possibly a Canadian and in the RCAF. Both he, and Flight Engineer M Freedman (nationality undetermined), were likely with RAF Transport Command. The other survivors were likely a Russian Lieutenant VP Djachenko and a Russian Chief Sarikov

This aircraft was part of a top secret program conducted by the US Navy and Soviet Russia based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA, called Project Zebra. During the program, the US Navy trained over 300 Russian aviators to fly amphibious bombers for use against German and Japanese submarines using the PBN-1 Nomad, a variation of the Catalina PBY-5 and built by the Naval Aircraft Factory at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Pennsylvania, USA between October 1943 and June 1945. The program documentation was not declassified by the US government until December 31, 2012

Ocean Bridge, The History of RAF Ferry Command by Carl A Christie page 326

Flying Cats, The Catalina Aircraft in World War II by Andrew Hendrie, pages 94-5

General Odessites

General US Navy and US Marine Corps BuNos Third Series (00001 to 13216)

General Stalin FDR Project Zebra and the crash everyone tried to pretend...

General (42) Project Zebra: Roosevelt and Stalin's Secret Mission to Train 300...

1945-January-11 KIFA Lieutenant Afanasie Borodin 2023-01-23
1945-January-11 KIFA Captain H N Chikov 2024-02-14
1945-January-11 KIFA Captain Valentyn M Levin 2023-01-23
1945-January-11 KIFA Senior Lieutenant D M Medvedev 2023-01-23
1945-January-11 KIFA RAF Civilian Radio Officer Peter Harry Nataros 2023-01-23

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