P-39 Bell Airacobra, 42-6827P 39 á flugi

The Incident:

In summer of ´42, a plan was devised to lure elements of the German Navy into a trap. Word „leaked out“ that the biggest convoy of all time was en route to Murmansk. Akureyri was the second largest city of Iceland. It is north of the Arctic Circle and at the south of a long fjord. That fjord was lined with British and American warships. The town was on the side of the fjord and a landing strip (Melgerdismelar) south of it. Some of our planes, P-39´s in this case were sent there to intercept any German photo plane. We had four planes in the air, two high and two low from dawn to dusk, which was almost all of the time. They flew up and down the fjord only. Lippert, my friend and I were lucky enough to be included in the support team. We were elated, we were going where the action is! We had no transports so we went by boat around the island. When we came into the fjord, we saw the many ships to be hidden from the enemy.

“The action was not to my liking” The Germans never took the bait. One of our pilots, a friend, crashed while taking off in the fog. Normally, officers had little contact with NCOs. One morning Lieutenant Kassos was assigned to fly to the mouth of the fjord to see if it was fog free. Our fog would be gone by the time he returned, but he had to take off in thick fog. He was nervous and scared. We talked, then as he got into the plane he talked to Lieutenant Meyers. He took off, became disoriented and flew into a hill ca 1 km from the air strip. The field was named for him. Kassos Field was there. Lieutenant Meyers went on to be an ace in Europe. While we stayed in Akureyri a German plane was spotted at Reykjavík and shot down. We who were where the action was to be, had to be content and listen on the radio. I did get a geography lesson. We came back by boat the other way so I traveled completely around Iceland and crossed the Arctic Circle as well. (Extract from a friends dairy)

The Crew:

Pilot, Kassos, John G. was killed in the crash.

The Aircraft:

Bell P39D Airacobra
S/N: 41-6827
Squadron/Group: 33 FS. IBC

Details on aircraft: WikipediaYoutube