: “WWII Finnish Plane Remains Found”

By | June 16, 2024

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Accident – Death – Obituary News : : 1. Finnish WWII plane wreckage
2. Moscow shooting down WWII plane

The long-standing World War II mystery surrounding the Finnish passenger plane, Kaleva, which was shot down by Soviet bombers over the Baltic Sea in 1940, has been potentially solved after more than 80 years. A diving team in Estonia has located well-preserved parts of the plane, shedding light on the tragic incident that claimed the lives of nine individuals, including American and French diplomatic couriers. The discovery has sparked interest and raised questions about the Soviet Union’s motives behind downing a civilian aircraft during peacetime. Efforts are underway to further investigate and potentially recover items from the wreckage, providing closure to this historic aviation tragedy.

1. Finnish WWII plane wreckage
2. Moscow shot down plane discovery

Discovery of the Finnish Passenger Plane’s Remains

A diving and salvage team in Estonia made a groundbreaking discovery this week, shedding light on a World War II mystery that has puzzled historians for over eight decades. The team located well-preserved parts and debris from the Junkers Ju 52 plane operated by Finnish airline Aero, now known as Finnair. The wreckage was found off the tiny island of Keri near Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, at a depth of approximately 70 meters.

The Tragic Fate of Kaleva

The civilian plane, named Kaleva, was carrying American and French diplomatic couriers in June 1940 when it met its tragic end. Shot down by two Soviet DB-3 bombers just days before Moscow annexed the Baltic states, all nine people on board, including the two-member Finnish crew and the seven passengers, lost their lives. Among the passengers was American diplomat Henry W. Antheil Jr., who was on a mission evacuating sensitive diplomatic pouches from U.S. missions in Tallinn and Riga.

Historical Significance of the Incident

The downing of Kaleva occurred at a critical time in history, as Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union was on the brink of annexing the three Baltic states. The incident has long been shrouded in mystery, with Finland initially keeping silent about the details to avoid provoking Moscow. However, the recent discovery of the plane’s remains has reignited interest in unraveling the events that led to its demise.

Conspiracy Theories and Speculation

Over the years, there have been numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the contents of Kaleva’s cargo and the Soviet Union’s decision to shoot down a civilian Finnish passenger plane during peacetime. Some believe that Moscow wanted to prevent sensitive material and documents from leaving Estonia, while others suggest it may have been a mistake by the Soviet bomber pilots. The true motives behind the tragic incident remain unclear.

Efforts to Locate Kaleva

Various attempts to find Kaleva have been made since Estonia regained independence, with no success until now. Even the U.S. Navy’s oceanographic survey vessel Pathfinder was unable to locate the wreckage in a search conducted in 2008. The recent discovery by the Estonian diving team has provided closure to this decades-old mystery and opened up new possibilities for further investigation.

Impact on Aviation History

The downing of Kaleva remains a significant event in the aviation history of the region, highlighting the complexities of Finland’s wartime relations with Moscow. The wreckage of the plane serves as a somber reminder of the lives lost and the historical context in which the incident took place. The interest in locating and preserving Kaleva’s remains underscores the importance of remembering and honoring the victims of this tragic event.

Future Plans for Kaleva’s Debris

The Estonian diving team is now focused on creating 3D images of Kaleva’s debris and discussing with authorities the possibility of raising some of the items, including the plane’s cargo and human remains. The U.S. Embassy in Tallinn is closely monitoring these efforts and stands ready to collaborate with Finnish and Estonian allies on any developments resulting from the recovery efforts. As the investigation continues, the world waits in anticipation for more answers to the enduring mystery of Kaleva.