My friend Maurice Rockett, who flew in the 95th BG as a B-17 bombardier, emailed me after reading the article about the hard-partying Russian pilots who flew the P-39s over to Russia after the U.S. decided not to use the plane. Maurice writes:
"Rob, in your blog, you addressed the problem of Russian pilots flying while into their cups. As I remember when working in Stratford, CT, at Vought-Sikorsky, there was a group of Russian pilots flying out of Bridgeport (as I recall). They often took off without warming-up only to plunge into Bridgeport Bay. End of story with you can call a 'bloop.'"
I wonder how many Russian air accidents during the war were a result of 'FUI'--'Flying under the Influence'?
It should be mentioned that there were many outstanding Russian pilots during the war, using the P-39 to rack up massive kills on superior German aircraft.
Also, there is an interesting link discussing the Alaska-Russia Airacobra route at the following site: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_oPe97virjyY/RoMPzmcX_MI/AAAAAAAAA0Q/UoH0LubXXR8/s400/alcan-hwy.jpg&imgrefurl=http://thefirecloudreport.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html&h=254&w=400&sz=36&hl=en&start=19&um=1&tbnid=jTnUKnyuHQ85sM:&tbnh=79&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dp-39%2Bairacobra%2Bcrash%2Brussian%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den