Bellingham, Washington, USA. May 22, 2014
The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation proudly announced today that it has partnered with the Moscow-based Russian Aviation Company, Ltd. (RUSAVIA), supplier of aviation equipment for Russian-built aircraft and helicopters worldwide and Wargaming.net, the award-winning online game developer and publisher to retrace and create a documentary film of the secret World War II Alaska-Siberia air route to Russia.
Originally conceived and developed by the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, Warplanes to Siberia™ is the story about the secret delivery of nearly 8,000 military aircraft from the United States to the Soviet Union during World War II along the Alaska-Siberia air route (ALSIB). The route is approximately 6,000 miles (9,700 kilometers) long and runs from Great Falls, Montana through Canada and Alaska, across the Bering Strait, and through Siberia to Krasnoyarsk, Russia. As part of the Lend-Lease program under the Roosevelt administration, it was one of the great logistical efforts of the 20th century and a vital supply route to the former Soviet Union. It not only is the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who helped deliver the airplanes to Great Falls, Montana, but also the story of the creation of the Alcan Highway through Canada (Alaska Highway) to help support the ferrying effort. To this day, few people have heard of ALSIB or know the vital role it played during the war.
Jeff Geer, BRAVO 369’s president and executive director, said “Partnering with RUSAVIA will allow us to tell the story of ALSIB from both the United States and Russian perspectives. This project is historically significant in that it will draw global attention to not only the untold story of ALSIB but it will shed light on the friendship and mutual cooperation between our two great nations that existed both then and now.” Geer continued, “We are also delighted to partner with Wargaming.net, who shares our passion for aviation history, restoration and conservation of historic warplanes, and educational outreach.”
According to Sergey Baranov, RUSAVIA’s general director, “(2015) – The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it is known in Russia, promises to be a landmark event. This is the last major commemoration that will be attended by veterans who served in the war. It is our chance to say goodbye and pay honor to the last of these brave men and women. Warplanes to Siberia™ (ALSIB 2015) will tell their story and, as such, deserves to be supported.”
Tracy Spaight, director of special projects at Wargaming.net, said “We work with museums around the world to recover, conserve, and exhibit the vehicles of World War II. We are thus proud to partner with BRAVO 369 and RUSAVIA on this historic joint heritage project. It is our hope that by honoring the shared sacrifice of the men and women of the United States, Canada, and Russia will reflect on the history of cooperation between our nations.”
The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, RUSAVIA, and Wargaming.net recently presented the Warplanes to Siberia™ project to an international audience during the Mutual Concerns Conference at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
In 2015, the combined flight team of BRAVO 369 and RUSAVIA will fly the entire ALSIB route as part of a joint formation across Siberia and beyond, and then participate in the International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS-2015) in Russia, celebrating the end of World War II in Europe. Geer, who will be leading the U.S. flight segment, said “This will be the first time that a joint Russian and U.S. team will be making the flight to Krasnoyarsk and Moscow together. During World War II, U.S. pilots delivered the aircraft only as far as Fairbanks, Alaska and then the Soviet pilots took the aircraft from there to Krasnoyarsk. It is as large of a logistical effort now as it was then to move aircraft and crews over long distances with difficult terrain and flying conditions.”
Geer concluded “We are truly honored to be working with RUSAVIA and Wargaming.net. Together we will re-create and document this historical event so that it can be shared and preserved for future generations.”
PDF Document Download Press Release – International Team to Retrace Secret Air Route to Russia – 5-22-14