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WWII - American Volunteer Group in the USSR - the ' Triple 7's '

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posted on May, 6 2003 @ 07:03 AM
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Help !!! I need information.

I can find no information on the net on this particular US unit fighting in the USSR from 41-45. If anyone knows any information on this uit please post.

Anyway here is what I've found. It comes from a website for the flight sim Il-2 Sturmovik and it's the only info I can find. It makes some very intersting readiing.


As WWII broke out across Europe and Asia the United States remained a neutral country. However, many of her pilots did not and volunteered to fly and fight with foreign Air Forces against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

In the spirit of the Lafayette Escadrille of the first Great War, American pilots formed American Volunteer Groups or AVG's on foreign soil. Groups such as the Flying Tigers in China, the Eagle Squadron in Great Britain and the French Normandie Niemen became household names. Their exploits the stuff of legends.

In June 1941 Adolf Hitler unleashed Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union. The German blitzkrieg rolled back the Russian defenders. The Red Air Force lost hundreds of aircraft on the ground and in the air to the mighty Luftwaffe. The Nazis were marching towards Moscow and victory.

In Novemeber 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt extended the Lend Lease Act to the U.S.S.R.. The U.S. began shipping thousands of aircraft to Russia to stem the German onslaught. Soon, U.S. built P-40's, P-39's, B-25's, A-20's, and P-63's were on the way to the Russian steppes for combat duty.

In an emergency order, FDR authorized the formation of an American Volunteer Group to fight in Russia. Since America was still neutral in the war and Russia was a Communist nation, the unit formed up under a cloud of secrecy......CLICK HERE FOR THE REST







The combat record of the Triple 7's is very impressive. In approximately 39 months of combat service and 6 combat tours, pilots of the 77th racked up 293 confirmed air to air kills and hundreds of enemy tanks and vehicles destroyed. The brutal air combat over the vast Russian and Ukrainian landscape took its toll. Roughly a third of all the AVG pilots never came home.



Unfortunately, the exploits of the Triple 7's never became as well known as those of the Flying Tigers in China or the Eagle Squadron in the UK. Because of the Russian Communist Party and Stalin's tight control of information, the 77th never got it's just rewards in the American media. The men of the 77th went on with their lives after the war always knowing that they helped defeat the greatest evil the world had ever seen.





[edit on 17-10-2004 by mad scientist]




posted on May, 6 2003 @ 10:35 PM
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Very interesting. I have heard of things like this before. I think it was a smart move on FDR's part.



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:16 PM
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777avg.com...


This is a web ring for the group, enjoy!



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by Shining Wizard
777avg.com...


This is a web ring for the group, enjoy!


HA HA HA HA HA.........You didn't see that MS posted this link on his post, right ?



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:33 PM
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There should be more ATS memebers involved in the hunt for information on this subject. For a US WW2 combat unit to have almost no information is very strange. This is a true mystery.



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:42 PM
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mad scientist, why not asking to a WW2 vet group ?



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:43 PM
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Didn't see the link up there, my fault@!



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by ultra_phoenix
mad scientist, why not asking to a WW2 vet group ?


I really only have time to post on ATS.



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 01:59 PM
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That there is literally no record of this anywhere except that website. Perhaps they were blacklisted when the cold war began? Can't say for sure, I will dig around the L.O.C. this week when I am in Washington and see what I can find.

Will advise on 6/16



posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 02:05 PM
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I have only ever heard of one other incident of US airman flying on the Eastern Front. That was when US pilots accidently strafed a Russian convoy mistaking it for German. There was a minor diplomatic incident over this with the Russians claiming it was on purpose. I believe the US pilots were arrested for a few days.

Back to the 777th AVG - maybe due to Stalinist paranoia they were just disappeared and the US covered this up not wanting to inflame public opinion. Food for thought anyway.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 09:35 AM
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Still looking for information, any new members out there who may know something ? It's almost as though this unit never existed.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:07 AM
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mad scientist, I will see what I can dig up on campus with the resources available here (Monday), though I cannot promise a time frame for you.

Something inside me is telling me that some digging into the O.S.S. , the Office of Strategic Services, will or may expose something on the group you are looking for. The O.S.S. was the predecessor to the CIA and had its hands in a number of 'units' that helped in China and Russia (ie: Flying Tigers, etc.).



seekerof

[edit on 17-10-2004 by Seekerof]



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
mad scientist, I will see what I can dig up on campus with the resources available here (Monday), though I cannot promise a time frame for you.

Something inside me is telling me that some digging into the O.S.S. , the Office of Strategic Services, will or may expose something on the group you are looking for. The O.S.S. was the predecessor to the CIA and had its hands in a number of 'units' that helped in China and Russia (ie: Flying Tigers, etc.).



seekerof

[edit on 17-10-2004 by Seekerof]


that would be geat seekerof, I apreciate it



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 11:09 PM
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I never heard of this unit before mad scientist good find though this is pretty interesting.
I know countries did this type of stuff before.

Russia sent fighter pilots to the Korean War, the Top Ace of the Korean War was Russian I think.They really keep that stuff secret at the time.

That fact that this unit would still be covered in a veil of secrecy after all these years is interesting.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 12:24 AM
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This is not going to make anyone happy but the Russian based AVG sounds like it night just be someones marketing tool.

Normandie Nijemen was a wing of Frenchmen who flew with the Soviets until 1945. They flew Yak 3 and 9s and were transferred to the French Air Force as a Soviet gift with the end of WW2 in Europe.

There was only one AVG group, the American Flying Tigers, commanded by Gen.Lee Chenault. It flew Curtiss P-40B Warhawks in the Burma China theatre of operations. It was absorbed into the USAAF during 1942 aqquiring a USAF Fighter Group identifier, and flying out the rest of the war in the region. Its initial pilots were USAAC, USN, USMC (including "Pappy" Boington of Baa Baa Blacksheep Fame- yes folks he really existed although the TV made him bigger than life) who officially "resigned" from the services and flew as contract pilots with the Chinese Nationalist Air Force. Ironically they only got into action a few weeks before Dec 7 1941.

The first RAF Spitfire Squadron to be known as an Eagle Squadron was formed in early 1941 and was the first of three. Fewer than ten US Citizens actually flew with the RAF in the Battle of Britain in June to October 1940.
They were spread throughtout Fighter Command. The battle caught the imagination of Americans, and a steady flow either made thier way to England or joined the RCAF. Churchill saw the possiblities and authorised thier creation to form a US identity within the RAF which Americans could relate to.

With the entry of the USA into the war and the arrival of initial elements of the US 8th Army Air Force in England the political decision was taken to transfer the units to the 8th, complete with thier Supermarine Spitfires.
This gave the 8th a core of American pilots with experience in the ETO and amongst its first fighters.

Several squadrons of the RAF flew in Russia. A Hurricane Squadron was delivered in 1941-42 and flew around Lenningrad (St Petersburg) for several months until its pilots had fiinshed training thier Soviet counterparts. The pilots and groundcrews then returned home on an Arctic.
Handley Page Hampdens of two RAF squadrons (one manned by the RAAF) were handed over in similar fashion.

Later in the war, Halifax and Lancaster Squadrons of the RAF Bomber Command flew several sorties out of the Lenningrad against the German Battleship Tirpitz culminating in the successful Lancaster raid by Nos 9 and 617 (Dambusters) Squadrons which sunk her.

The USAF also flew several massed raids where UK Based Bombers and thier Long range escorts flew on to Russian airfields, and flew return trips.

Contraversially, the Soviets banned the use of its airfields for refueling of the planned allied Bomber and transport missions in aid of the Polish Home Army's Warsaw uprising in late 1944. Only limited supplies were dropped at the edge of the aircrafts return range UK-Warsaw-UK.

This ended widespread Strategic allied air co operation with the Soviets.

In 1945 P-38 Lightnings of the US 15th AAF were assigned CAS duties straffing German forces holding up the Soviet advance in that area.
On the first day the P-38s successful staffed German Army units near the front line. Unknown to the pilots that line shifted overnight and the next day they staffed the same areas, initially hitting German Forces but slicing into Red Army columns before the mistake was realised. There was no radio coms between the P-38s and the Reds. A furious Soviet General ordered patroling Red Air Force Yak-9Ds to shoot down the Americans. In the dogfight that followed several Yaks were shot down for no loss. A subsequent USAAF Investigation team arrived at a Soviet base to talk to the Soviet pilots and staff involved in the event. They were shocked to be told "We shot ours, What about yours?"

Several USAAF B-29 aircrews involved in the Bombing operations against Japan in 1944-45 were forced to divert to Soviet Airfields with battle damage. Despite being allies some of these aircrews were interned for up to a year, while thier aircraft were dismantled and studied by Soviet technicians. The Tu-4 Bull was a result.

There were several units of the RAF and USAAF that were involved in the ferrying US and British built aircraft, and the training of Soviet aircrews. I beleive these were based in Alaska and in Iraq and Iran from 1942 onwards. I also recall reading articles about some training and aircraft delivery units operating in what are now some of the former southern soviet republics. No formed combat units of American or british pilots flew in any guise on the eastern front, either in thier own colours or as a Soviet Regiment.

However several individuals were noted to have been allied observers with the the Red Air Force. Although I haven't come across confirmed accounts I would not doubt that pilots being pilots, at the man to man level, they would have wrangled flights on ops.

Stalins official policy was he did not trust his allies (they were all spies in his eyes) and as far as possible he allowed them nothing to do with Soviet Citizens, especially in his military.

Evidence of this can be taken from what happened to soviet citizens working in the convoy ports in the Barrents. Thousands of soviet citizens,whose only crime was welcoming or meeting allied sea men who were risking life and limb bring Russia war supplies were sent to Siberian Gulags for years or decades on the orders of Stalin.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 01:21 AM
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Originally posted by craigandrew
This is not going to make anyone happy but the Russian based AVG sounds like it night just be someones marketing tool.



I wouldn't be so quick to jump the gun, the information appears accurate and the pictures are authentic. I believe they did exist. Stalin wouldn't be worried about them as he'd have complete control, you can be sure they weren't reporting to Washington during the war.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 02:01 AM
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From the same site :

Rumors were spreading that allied POWs recently liberated by Soviet forces were being shipped eastward to Russia and the city of Odessa, not westward

toward Allied lines. These rumors alarmed the AVG and Col. Williams asked Allied command for permission to fly to a U.S. airbase in France. General Eisenhower, distrustful of Russian intent, personally ordered Col. Williams to, Get the hell out of dodge! The AVG loaded all maintenance personnel on C-47 Dakota transports and sortied 54 aircraft for the flight to France. The Soviet leadership was livid. Stalin ordered all record of the AVGs accomplishments destroyed and suppressed. Local Soviet commanders, which had become close to the American volunteers, were rounded up and executed by the KGB for their failure to stop the Americans from leaving.

The legacy of the Triple 7s was lost in the forty year chill of the Cold War, but in the 1990s old Soviet archives were finally opened and documents once thought destroyed were released to the public. It was only after this that a full accounting of the Triple 7s accomplishments could finally be made. Ironically, many Triple 7 pilots were awarded Hero of the Soviet Union medals during the war by soviet Commanders, but Stalin ordered the medals not be given out. He insisted they be given to brave communist pilots instead. In June 2001, as a gesture of good will, Russian president Vladimir Putin surprised newly elected U.S. President George W. Bush with the long forgotten medals and asked him to give them to any surviving members of the AVG, their widows or grandchildren. President Bush passed the medals on to the Pentagon which did just that. Many of the family members of Triple 7 pilots were unaware that their father or grandfather had even been to Russia, let alone fought the Germans.




posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 02:32 AM
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Hi Mad Scientist,

I checked out the 777 site. I'm a wargamer. By preference I game 15mm -25mm figures, but I also have a few computer games. My wife is a "TheSims" by Sid Meiher fan. Sturmovik is a very popular on-line game title. If I had the money, I'd probably buy the discs.

Wargamers do lots of research (hence most war gamers I know are actually anti war) and the more obsessed of them produce very realistic backgrounds and histories for thier characters and units. Some are historically based, but many grab elements of history, and mix them with thier game unit/character backgrounds to create a story board.

This sites links are mostly to other gaming engines, wargamer forums and online games utilizing Sturmovik and or other airpower games. He also has links to Skin and skinner sites. You have possibly hooked me on getting this game at all costs


You may or may not know. Skins are the frame and covering design tools that gamers can use to create customised characters, marking and equipment. Skinners are designers who use those tools. My wife lives and dies by what she can down load for "The Sims"....I made the mistake of buying her the first disc for last Christmas and I have been a widow ever since. It is an evolving game structure that appeals to the creative mind.

This Sturmovik the Forgotten Battles is a game in a similar vein.

I also recognise some of the photos from histories I have read about the training and ferry units involved in the Soviet supply missions.

I am not saying this is not a for real history you have come across, but on all probabilities its a gamers very impressive background for his US piloted games unit.

If anybody can find anything verifying this as historical fact -v- gamer fiction I would be very keen to look at the links.

Cheers

I think this is a gamers very



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 02:45 AM
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I think most of the information from the gamers site comes from the book Cobra's over the Tundra.

www.anybook4less.com...

What intrigues me even more is the claim that Putin gave the medals to Bush and asked for them to be awarded to the survivors. I'm trying to find out if this is true.

I have read many books about the eastern front and have never come across the 77th AVG except this one site.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 06:11 AM
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I will have to put the book on my wifes "to buy for husband" list.......its only back logged to 2026.


Thank you for the information.

Cheers



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