Credit to Apacheclips.com for the above photo. Interesting to see the Red Star on the fuselage. The pilot was still inside. On his remains were found the Glory Order III Degree and Military Red Banner Order medals.
This amazing Bell P39 was located at the bottom of Lake Mart-Yavr within the Russian Arctic Circle in the summer of 2004. As with other recoveries over the years, it was discovered by a fisherman who saw the silt covered outline through the crystal clear water.
The P39 sat on the bottom of a shallow lake at a depth of 5m, covered and buried up to the top of the propeller spinner in fine silt. Covered in silt, no markings were initially visible but after a little brushing, a red star appeared together with a yellow serial on the fin and rudder. With the serial now known, a search through the archives showed the pilot had disappeared on a transfer flight in November 1944.
Taking advantage of the good weather, the recovery team used air bags, tripod frames and a truck winch to bring the P39 to the shore. It caused concern that when the P39 emerged both the cockpit doors were still closed. Usually, if it was a water landing, one or both would have been jettisoned allowing for a quick exit. If the lake had been frozen, the team would still have expected one door to be open following any force landing.
The reason soon became apparent; for some unknown reason, the pilot had not exited the P39 and his remains were located in the cockpit. Missing for 60 years, the pilot was buried on 6 October 2004 with full military honours at the Glory Valley Memorial, near the Litza Valley, NW of Murmansk.
BE SURE TO GO TO THIS SAME LINK. THERE ARE A WHOLE SERIES OF PHOTOS PLUS THE HISTORY OF THIS SPECIFIC PLANE AND ITS PILOT.