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HomeEstoniaDivers believe they have found wreck of Finnish passenger plane shot down...

Divers believe they have found wreck of Finnish passenger plane shot down by USSR

Kaido Peremees, the head of commercial diving company Tuukritoode OU, says their long-term searches have finally borne fruit, and the wreck of the Finnish passenger plane Kaleva, shot down by Soviet aircraft on the eve of World War II, has been found at the bottom of the sea in the Gulf of Finland.

“Tuukritoode OU found the site of the perishing of the passenger plane Kaleva, shot down on June 14, 1940, together with the remains of the aircraft, to the North of Keri Island. According to eyewitness accounts, after a hit from Russian bombers, the plane plunged into the sea at full speed, as a result of which the wreck has been badly crushed,” Peremees said.

He said that despite this, the plane’s wing, one of the engines, and a piece of landing gear with a wheel can be identified in the debris field on the seabed at a depth of 71 to 76 meters.

“Various objects in the debris field cover an area of up to 100 by 100 meters on the seabed. It is possible that the items on the seabed are only part of the plane that originally fell into the sea, as some items and fuselage pieces may have been retrieved back in 1940 or during the years 1956-1967,” Peremees added.

Two Soviet bombers shot down the Kaleva, a Junkers Ju-52 belonging to Finnish company Aero O/Y that was en route from Tallinn to Helsinki, on June 14, 1940. The plane plunged into the sea near the island of Keri to the northeast of Tallinn, not far from the island of Prangli. All the nine diplomats and civilians on board were killed. According to one theory, there was something of value on board the plane — such as diplomatic mail — that the Soviet Union wanted. According to this theory, the Soviets retrieved the wreck the same autumn, Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat has reported earlier.

Since the wreckage of the plane could not be found, it was believed that the Soviets destroyed it in the 1950s. This idea was also supported by Vello Mass, long-time marine archaeologist at the Estonian Maritime Museum, who spent years searching for the wreck but found nothing.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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