Lend-Lease Memorial – Fairbanks, Alaska

Industrial might lead to victory in WW2
Industrial might lead to victory in WW2

During the early years of World War Two in Europe, both Great Britain and Russia needed a vast amount of military equipment to combat Germany and other Allied nations needed help against Japan. These countries lost a lot of equipment in the early Axis onslaught and their need for replacements far surpassed their own production capability. Luckily the industrial might of the United States of America had the solution to this problem.

The Lend-Lease program proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in early 1941 (following requests from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill “Give us the tools and we will finish the job“) was enacted by the United States Congress on March 11th, 1941 to provide financial and military equipment aid to her allies (formally known as An Act to Further Promote the Defense of the United States). This was 9 months before the United States entered the war and President Roosevelt stated it was a way of “helping to put out the fire in your neighbour`s house before your own house caught fire and burned down.”. Although this program initially still kept the United States out of the war, it was then neutral in pretence only and brought them closer to entering the fighting themselves.

President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease bill to give aid to Britain and China in 1941
President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease bill to give aid to Britain and China in 1941 (Photo Source: Associated Press)

Under the Lend-Lease program military equipment, supplies and weaponry including tanks, ships and aircraft were provided to 39 Allied countries including Great Britain, the Free French, Nationalist China, the Soviet Union and Brazil between 1941 and August 1945. The type of aid varied depending on the needs of each nation. Initially Great Britain for example needed food, land vehicles, ships and transport aircraft. The Soviet Union predominately needed fighter and attack aircraft and although they mostly made their own tanks they needed great numbers of trains and trucks to transport troops and supplies (around two-thirds of the trucks used by the Red Army at the end of the war were American made). As the war progressed and Great Britain was able to produce more of their own necessities, they also provided equipment and supplies to the Soviets for their war effort.

Yalta_summit_1945_with_Churchill,_Roosevelt,_Stalin
Allied Leaders Yalta Summit 1945 – Churchill, Roosevelt & Stalin

During World War Two the United States produced a massive amount of weaponry for theirs and the overall Allied war effort including 310,000 aircraft, 100,000 tanks and armoured vehicles, 124,000 ships of all types (with 82,000 landing craft), 7,500 locomotive engines, 41 billions bullets and 2.6 million machine guns! They spent $50.1 billion providing equipment and supplies to foreign nations during this period ($31.4 billion went to Britain, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union, $3.2 billion to France, $1.6 billion to China, and the remaining $2.6 billion to the other Allies. That’s around $650 billion in today’s money!). The Lend-Lease program helped turn the tide of the war in favour of the Allies (the majority of expenditure was allocated to Great Britain who had been at war the longest – since September 1939).

The 5,000th plane transferred from the United States to Russia in the Lend-Lease Program Bell P-63
USAAF and Soviet officers stand in front of a Bell P-63 Kingcobra to celebrate the 5,000th plane transferred from the United States to the Soviet Union in the Lend-Lease Program (Photo Source: US Army)

Under the Lend-Lease  program there was no expectation for full repayment or return of equipment following the formal end of World War Two in September 1945 as it was regarded as being ultimately used in the defence of the United States (the program enabled the United States to fight an enemy without over extending its own manpower and equipment). Generally a 90% discount was applied to lend-lease items that were retained. The UK paid back the final installment of their Anglo-American Loan of £1.075 in 2006 but it was not expected the USSR would make back a full repayment (following many disputes a partial payment of $722 million linked to grain shipments was finally made). Allied nations did also repay in some kind during the course of the war by providing their own equipment, the use of bases, food and logistical support to the United States ($7.8 billion in reverse Lend-Lease aid with the majority of this coming from Great Britain and other Commonwealth nations. The Soviets also made payments during the war of precious raw materials such as gold and platinum).

USAAF and Soviet pilots at Ladd Field, Alaska in front of a Bell P-63 Kingcobra
USAAF and Soviet pilots at Ladd Field, Alaska in front of a Bell P-63 Kingcobra (Photo Source: US Air Force)

The vast majority of the equipment and supplies provided under the Lend-Lease Program found its way to the various allied nations by shipping convoys (especially across the treacherous Atlantic Ocean where they faced the U-Boat Wolf Packs) but there was also a unique 9600 km / 6,000 mile air bridge from the lower 48 US states to Alaska and then onto the Soviet Union that was in operation from 1942 to 1945. It was known as the Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Airway or ALSIB. A large number of aircraft were handed over to the Soviets at Fairbanks, Alaska and then flown by their pilots across this airway to Mother Russia.

WW2 lend lease routes
The many routes taken to provide Lend-Lease equipment and supplies in WW2

Some 8,000 aircraft made this journey on the Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Airway, including about 5,000 Bell P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra fighters (4,719 P-39’s were provided to the Soviet Union). This was also treacherous work as the Soviet pilots had virtually no training in the types of aircraft they were about to fly across a vast distance, through sub zero conditions and operating from primitive air fields! Losses were inevitable but given the sheer number of aircraft involved they were not as high as expected (an attest to the pilots): 74 aircraft were lost in the lower 48 of the United States, 58 more in Canada and Alaska and only 42 on the lengthy Siberian leg of the air route.

Lend-Lease B-25's, A-20's and P-39's on the runway at Ladd Field, Alaska prior to testing by the Soviet Purchasing Commission - September 1942
Lend-Lease B-25’s, A-20’s and P-39’s on the runway at Ladd Field, Alaska prior to testing by the Soviet Purchasing Commission – September 1942 (Photo Source: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force)
Andrea Hincerockur (Russian pilot), Lt. Thompson Highfill of the 99th Bomb Ground and Corzen Venzopkin (Russian) in front of a Soviet P-39
Andrea Hincerockur (Russian pilot), Lt. Thompson Highfill of the 99th Bomb Ground and Corzen Venzopkin (Russian) in front of a Soviet P-39 (Photo Source: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force)
Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Airway Memorial Fairbanks Alaska
Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Airway
Soviet Lend-Lease Program Douglas A-20 Havoc at Ladd Field, Alaska in WW2 (Photo Source: US Library of Congress)
Soviet Lend-Lease Program Douglas A-20 Havoc at Ladd Field, Alaska in WW2 (Photo Source: US Library of Congress)

In Fairbanks, Alaska is an excellent memorial to the men and women who contributed to the Lend-Lease Program from both the United States and the Soviet Union. The Lend-Lease Memorial created by Alaskan sculptor R.T. Wallen was officially presented to the people of Alaska in 2006 and can be found in the downtown riverfront park of Fairbanks. It depicts both a US Army Air Force and Soviet pilot along with a Bell P-39 Airacobra propeller (the predominate aircraft ferried on the air route). It is also a memorial to the Women Airline Service Pilots (WASP) who participated in the Lend-Lease Program (ferrying aircraft). The aircraft and other supplies were ferried from the lower 48 US states, over Canada to Ladd Field near Fairbanks (now Fort Wainwright) where up to 600 Soviet pilots flew the aircraft on to the to the Soviet Union.

Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks Alaska
Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks, Alaska
Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks Alaska
Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks, Alaska
USAAF pilot Lend Lease Memorial Fairbanks Alaska
USAAF pilot
Soviet pilot Lend Lease Memorial Fairbanks Alaska
Soviet pilot
Women Airline Service Pilots WASP
Women Airline Service Pilots
Soviet Bell P-39 Airacobra
Soviet Bell P-39 Airacobra

References:

History.com

Lend Lease to the Soviet Union

National Museum of the USAF

National WWII Museum (production statistics)

US National Archives

Wikipedia

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65 thoughts on “Lend-Lease Memorial – Fairbanks, Alaska

  1. This is such an interesting narrative about what was a very significant part of our war effort. I enjoyed learning this, and appreciate so many varied photos. I am constantly amazed at the logistics of such immense undertakings, and that we succeeded in the majority of missions.

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  2. That’s a fantastic write up!

    I grew up in Edmonton, Canada and I recall seeing pictures of the city’s municipal airport tarmac full of P-39s and B-25s marked up with red stars en-route to the Soviets in the city’s aviation museum.

    The scale of that operation was astounding.

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      1. Back in those days, Edmonton was known as “The Gateway to the North” because everything that had to go north by air had to go through Edmonton.

        Sadly, the city’s the municipal airport was shut down completely a few years ago with little regard to its historical significance from a bush flying perspective.

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      2. There is a memorial statue in the Alberta Aviation Museum located on Kingsway Avenue which runs past the former airport site. The museum has quite a lot of material connected to the city’s bush flying heyday.

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  3. To bad Russian history says NOTHING of US aid during the period after the German Offensive known as “Barbarossa” that thoroghly decimated the Russian tank and air corps…all the US got for its help was 50 years of mistrust and antagonisms known far and wide as the “Cold War”…

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    1. Well actually the US aid was very little as the UShad not entered the war at that stage, the Royal Navies , maily the RN was the naval power taking the convoys through NOT the US as much as sections of the US would like to rewrite the history of WWII. They may have sold/leased armaments to Britain and Russia but it wasn’t done for free the USA did very nicely out of the deal with no risk. thank you very much. So if the Russians needed to thank somebody it was the British for taking on the odds and getting the cargo through. Not the Americans

      At that time the USA was cowering behind their non involvement policy indeed the few brave US men who volunteered and served with the Bristish and Canadian forces risked prison loss of nationality and a fine of up to $200.000.00.

      This is true! If you can get a copy of Yankee RN you’ll read about a Wall Street banker who took that risk and joined the RN rising to the rank of Commander RNVR, Commander Alex H Cherry OBE who served on destroyers on the Atlantic

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      1. Cowering?….Listen limey, do you think 90 divisions just appear out of thin air? Britian’s measly 35 divisions sent to WW2 battlefields was paltry and if it wasn’t for the US propping up the UK with with armaments, food….the “whole bloody lot of ya would have sunk” and Britain is dam lucky for the English Channel, German Panzers would have rolled thru London as they did Paris . The BPF in the Pacific was TOTALLY dependent on US supply, you think the Royal Navy couyld have taken on the Japanese Navy at Leyte Gulf?….Could the BPF have stood up to the Kamikaze onslaught off Okinawa? not in your wildest dreams. The US had the Campaign for the Marianas/Palaus in the Pacific at the same time Overlord was going on…oh and by the by way, the US delivered more goods to the Russians than the UK could have ever dreamed of, could the UK have sent for example 500,000 of our superlative 2.5 ton 6-wheel drive truck to the Ruskies?…no?…thought so. This is something I have researched, to say nothing of the 35+ years I have been a historian of WW2 history, I have a list of goods and the amounts sent to the UK and to Russia…don’t try me “Lord”, I will embarrass you…I hate this when you Brits don’t know your place in WW2 history, next thing you’ll bring up is the engine in the P-51 Mustang…

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      2. You really do believe your own propaganda which is a pity. what a pity that the Germans didn’t lob a few bombs on NY killing over 60k civilians as they did London, you might have thought and felt differently. Don’t deny that the US did not enter the war until they were attacked, same as the first WW. WWII started
        3rd September 1939 not 7th December 1941.
        I suggest you calm down take a deep breath and take a good look at history not as written by the US

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      3. By the way woody just who do you think you are telling me I don’t know my place in history. I know exactly where my place was. in London with actual bombs and rockets falling around Have you ever experienced that? Looking up and seeing bombs actually falling? seeing V1 rockets tumbling out of the sky, I couldn’t see the V2’s they were too fast did you ever have that experience? Perhaps you should reads books written by people that are not American.
        Understand one more thing I have a great deal of time and repect for American’s I have visited the USof A and I’m one ot those people that don’t actually have some hatred or grudge against the US so I’d be grateful if you woould show a little more respect towards the English/British and desist in referring to us as “Limeys” this tars you with the old “Ugly American” brush which has not been brought out in quite a while.

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      4. .Here’s a very partial list Mr. Lord…the complete list is massive to say the least…

        Light Bombers – 3697….Medium Bombers – 2302….Heavy Bombers – 1420…Fighters – 8657…Transports planes – 2035…Advanced trainers – 3467….Gliders – 746….Railroad…Railcars – 10,000….Locomotives…60 ton steam – 200….electric – 5…Diesel – 40Diesel/elec. – 70…Ammunition…30cal belted – 825,000 linked belts….3 inch – 1.8 million…155mm – 600,000 8inch – 19,200…500lb Bomb – 650,000….20mm cannon – 2.3 million….hand grenade – 1 million….Bagalore Torpedo – 6,900….Comp B explosive – 110 tons….Transportation vehicles…Jeeps – 103,000…6×6 Prime Mover – 6157…Trailers, all types – 19,000…..Small arms…30cal carbine – 35,000…M2 50cal for planes – 47,000….Trench knives – 4000…Artillery….155mm – 236…240mm – 28…Self-propelled artillery…M7 “Priest” – 832…M8 “Greyhound” – 496….Misc goods….Toilet paper – 4 million rolls….leather (in tons) 117,000….Boots – 600,000 pairs….Battle Uniforms – 1.5 million….caps – 4 millionHelmets – 1.1 millionJackets – 1.5 million Socks – 17 million pairs….Undershirts – 14 million….Belts – 4 million….Razor blades – 35 million…..Blankets – 6 million…..Brooms- 2 million…Forklifts – 6000lb w/solid tires – 974 sleeping bags – 277,0005 gallon gas cans – 1 million….Aerosol bug spray – 2.3 million 1lb cans….Shoe eyelets -9.2 million….

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      5. Maybe so but you are missing the point, and I suppose the manufacturers did it all and donated it all gratis? They didn’t make a mint? It certainly wasn’t a concience thing it was agood time to make a “buck”. pity they didn’t show the resolution and stomp on Hitler in 1939 when believe me it would have done much to avert the disaster that was WWII, Do you for one minute think Hitler with his German industrial might would have taken on the USA with its greater industrial might? Think about it!

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      6. Well Mr. Bow, if the Germans had lobbed a few at New York, they would have paid, and paid dearly, just as the Japanese did. Its not propaganda if its the truth. Why would the US do anything if not attacked? The people of the US weren’t real fond of becoming embroiled in yet another European conflict, to send its sons to die for what?..to make sure all the Lend-Lease supplies made it across the Atlantic?…besides, Churchill did the right thing in letting the Russians take on the biggest part of the Wehrmacht. The UK was in no position to take on anyone by itself, Churchill with his herculian forms of persuasion got the Russians and the US to it for you…fighting in every theater, supplying almost the entire allied effort, and just as the Russians did in Europe, the US did in the Pacific…take a look at this history you speak of, its not written by the sideshow participants…

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      7. And what of the “cowering” remark”….and the “Yanks” some people over here may not appreciate those remarks. I have plenty of respect…when its warranted…

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      8. Mr Bow…

        I would also like you to have a read at how the US felt about the war in Europe, this is a link to Gallup polls taken even before the US set foot in Europe..http://ibiblio.org/pha/Gallup/Gallup%201941.htm…you’ll see that the people wanted to come over and help before the US was even ready. I have always thought the US/UK were the best of Allies, but to Americans, you British sometimes come off as snobs when you call us “Yanks” or when you all take more credit than what was actually done. The US had virtually no help in the Pacific, the US had to split its 90 divisions between the theaters which were on opposite sides of the earth. I for one never agreed with the “Europe First Strategy” since the Japanese made the war so personal to Americans with its attacks in Hawaii and the Philippines, but the US went along with Churchill and just kept Japan at bay until the Germans were subdued, but put Japan on the defensive after Midway despite the Europe First strategy. I only think the US in Europe helped a little, the US with her industrial might in helping the Allies stay in the fight may or may not have tipped the scales in the Allies favor, but the US put her heart and soul into churning out munitiions on an unpredented scale because the US could not and would not allow her best ally to succumb to the Nazi onslaught…remembr this Mr. Bow, the US has ALWAYS stood by the UK…and always will…as the reverse is also true…

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      9. Yes they have always stood beside the UK except in 1776 and 1812-15. In 1939 The population of the UK was approximately 46½ million, the US of A in 1941 was 134.4 million, , Germany an her states was around 120 million. aroud 73 million. Looking at those figures can you tell me how the British could have done more than they did, Germany almost 3 times the strength of the British Japan almost half the strength of the US.

        And what is wrong with Yanks I watched the Yankees beat the Red Sox at Yankee Statium in 2008, You have o qualms about using the term “Limey” which is a much more derogatory term believe me.

        My Yankee and Redneck mates have no objections to me calling them as such and they have never ever referred to me as a”Limey”!, they may call me a Brit or an Aussie depending but thats as it should be.

        But then they are not what was once known around the globe as “the ugly Americans” I have done several blogs and have never denigrated the US of A, I have merely given considered views. as this link will attest that’s of course if you can lower yourself to read such stuff.

        http://lordbeariofbow.com/2014/11/11/wisconsin-armistice-day-2008/

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      10. Ok,, I read your blog…and you have a nice blog. I still have a problem with the “cowering” comment. Americans cower from nothing, the US is generally the first country to some other countries natural disaster (Such as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines or Fukishim in Japan) or if as recently as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, to kick out a repressive regime. Look Mr. Bow, even the British again during the Falklands needed our help, when the supply ship was sunk, President Regean sent sidewinder missiles and heliocopters and fuel…I don’t want to turn this blog into a debate of who did what, as I said, the “cowering” remark was not very nice at all, now was it?..

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      11. I assume that you interpret the word to mean cowardly, it seems to have that connotation however the sense in which I used it is perfectly acceptable according to my Oxford English Dictionary, I have no idea what your Mr Webster says he butchered the English language many many years ago which is to the f=detriment of the Americans of today, I have written some blogs on that subject too.

        I used the word to describe the American action of not entering into the war freely and without provocation as putting up a shield of defence i.e. the “Isolationist Policy”, to keep well away from the action. You cannot deny this either for WWI or WWII, Therefore ‘taking shelter behind’ can be summarised in the one word, cowering; and does not imply cowardice. I recall cowering in our air-raid shelter some nights when Jerry decided he’d come over and bomb us, I do not consider we were being cowardly, would you?

        And I think perhaps it’s time for you to drop the Mr. bit, you’ve already dropped the lord bit which is fine by me; it’s just a fun name which I took on to upstage an English chum. You may if you wish call me Brian as does pacificparatrooper or beari which is an acronym which I wont go into here

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      12. In my first reply I made a typo for which I apologize f=detriment, I understand that the f= can be misconstrued however the exlanation is quite simple, the f is next to the d on the keyboard and the = next to the backspace. Instead of hitting the backspace to delete the f I hit the =. when writing the word detriment, Unfortunately I cannot touch type I have to watch the keyboard.

        By the bye thank you for the kind remark you made regarding my blog, there are many blogs on my site involving our American cousins.

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      13. Ok fine….Brian……This thing you have against America for not getting into the war when YOU wanted really seems to bother you for some reason. After the US’s experience in the 1st war, and the casualties sustained by the British and French and even Germany, it seems to me prudence would be in order. I am more specialized in the Pacific Theater than Europe, the reason being is that I have been in the middle of (although I wish I hadn’t after it was all said and done) “debates” in who did more to defeat Nazi Germany, most of those “debates” degraded into insults and name-calling on the myriad of WW2 pages on Facebook. I stay away from that, I stick to the Pacific because there is no doubt who defeated Imperial Japan, plus I lived in the Philippines for a period of time, right down the road from the imfamous Japanese POW Camp at Cabanatuan where the survivors of the “Bataan Death March” were kept in apalling conditions, that later the US Rangers and Filipino militia rescued. The Philippines are a WW2 historians perfect place to delve into the history. I have my own WW2 history page on Facebook which I have run for nearly 5 years with a membership of over 8500, I have a great page with a loyal and very knowledgeable core group of members, I even had a B-17 radio operator/waist gunner come to my page and share some great photos and harrowing stories of his time in the air over Germany. My page deals mostly with the Pacific, but I do posts about Europe fairly often. Having visited the places where Americans fought and died was an amazing experience due to the fact that no part of the fighting took place on mainland US, I have a great set of pics from my time in the Philippines that are posted to my WW2 history page on Facebook, I am going back soon, my wife (who is Filipino and is from Luzon) has a few friends that have told me about relics out in the jungles of the Philippines known only to the locals, cant wait to get back to see for myself whats out there…hoping nothing that will explode! Will have to find out if I am only allowed to take photos or if I am allowed to hunt for these relics to put them with my growing collection…one last thing, the context in which you have used the word “Yanks”…didn’t care for it…but I can live with it…

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      14. I’m sorry you take offfence at my use of the word Yank, Woody it is however never used in a derogative manner, I have many chums who I correspond with in the US who themselves refer to themselves as Yanks. Indeed I recieved one just a short time ago from a Regina Jefferies, an American author and UniversityTeacher heres a cut and paste, you will also note she uses English spellings for certain words, also she refers to herself as a Yank.

        Perhaps I shall write a blog on what I believe was the the effect imposed by the Americans in 1921/22 in what became the Washington Treaty, aka The Five Power Treaty, which though including Japan did not include Germany and this had devasting effects. I don’t know if you are aware of this Treaty and how and why it emasculated the Royal Navy, with terrible consequences not envisable at the time but done with a purely selfish motive. The truth and the flawed reasoning will probably astound you, you may even not believe it prima facie.

        Anyway here the paste from a Yank the paragraph ‘So many……[…] was my message to Regina; and the last is her’s to me.

        reginajeffers commented on George William Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea, Advocate for Protestant Principles.

        in response to LordBeariOfBow:

        So many colourful characters and events in the Regency period that I’d never heard of thanks to you and Rachel Knowles I’m getting to know and enjoy this period in my history that I never really gave a thought to and I’ve missed out on so much. Thanks again for sharing and enlightening me on […]

        The contrasts are fascinating in the Regency. I have studied many other eras, but I always return to the early 1800s in England. (Not bad for a Yank, Brian.)

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      15. Being an Aussie I have enjoyed reading your online barrage at each other! Looks like you have both got to a point where its time to bury the hatchet? Isn’t it amazing after 70 years how one subject can still get people so passionate? Regardless of the argument this is what I like about people who are interested in history, that passion! Anyway, I would appreciate it if we call a truce. Thanks gentlemen.

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      16. I think it entirely likely that he is what he claims to be, his profile suggests that he is what we in Australia call a stirrer, but by the same token I get the feeling he has access to a bit more info than I do. He puts forward what could be called an interesting theory, supposition and in a sense I feel he is taking on and questioning the old privilege; History is written by the victor. It would take a great deal of time effort delving into hidden records to either prove him right or prove him wrong I think he is a very good educator trying to raise interest be it by anger or not, He is also trying to seperate the wheat from the chaff of historians of the immediate post WWII era. An interesting man, and yes I did pick up on your remarks
        😀

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      1. Fair enough Deano, as regards the “online barrage’ as you so delicately put it, you may not be aware although I am English, for the past 64 years I’ve been a £10 Pom. and like another Pom I circumnavigated this island continent but unlike Matthew Flinders I did it on land, Took more than 8 years to do, not many of my living and dead Aussie mates can boast of such an achievement
        😛

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      2. All good 🙂 That is great. Something I hope to do myself someday. I have seen a lot of Australia, but still so much more to see. Did you have a 4WD and caravan type set up? Good old Matthew Flinders – he did a great job of filling in the gaps of his more flashy predecessors!

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      3. No I hitched and worked my way in clubs and pubs,selling cars, I had a weird old time. Pioneer buses and some air travel were my main means of travel when I was flush. The Nullaboor was just a bush track back then too, now it’s paved, took the truck I’d hitched a ride on 4 days to cross it to get from Adelaide to Perth via Port Hedland, all told that part took over 6 weeks
        😀
        Matthew Flinders is the greatest and most unsung hero of the early days of setttlement. I tried when working as a guide at the ANMM at Darling Harbour to get them to erect a statue to him in the main foyer, I was tallking to myself, the only thing the National Maritime Museum had was a small picture and a couple of paragraphs a blinding insult, They have more for the Frenchman Boudin, including a large bust of him. A national disgrace.

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      4. As I recall from Ceduna in SA to Norseman WA the road was just dirt ( it saw a grader once in a very long while), giant potholes filled with ‘bulldust’ the real bulldust, got nerve wracking at times and to think I gave up a free first class AnsetttANA flight from Melbourne to Perth to tackle this. Glad I did!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The numbers are huge—it makes one think. (Daddy Warbucks must’ve made a mint~!)

    The props on that A-20 in the snow seem slightly out of focus, I imagine the engine was ticking over, possibly as an anti-freezing precaution … thanks for this info.

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  5. I once worked with a man who had been stationed in Basra, Iraq, an entry point for Lend-Lease shipments to the Soviet Union. He occasionally spoke of how grateful the Soviets were for the supplies that came through that port.

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      1. Yes sad way to go. Until they started to perfect radar/sonar, got air cover, more ships etc (and cracked the Enigma code – well a lot of it, there were some periods where they changed things and this avenue went “dark”) the U-Boat menace was almost a turning point.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A really interesting post. I hadn’t realised that he Soviets flew aircraft from Alaska to Siberia. Those who flew Lockheed Hudsons across the Atlantic to Cornwall were equally courageous. And don’t ever think that American aid wasn’t appreciated. Many years ago on a school trip to what was then Leningrad, I actually had a Russian veteran thank me for the aid they had received in WW2… Airacobras, Bostons and Hurricanes especially.

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    1. Alas the US is not the only part of the world with these issues. I hate reading that back home in Australia they are looking at stopping designing and building Australian cars at Ford and Holden (the Australian part of General Motors)

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