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Monument to Soviet WW II air pilots to emerge in North Carolina by autumn

The monument will be delivered from Russia

NORFOLK /Virginia/, February 17. /TASS/. A monument to Soviet pilots who underwent training and then took Catalina flying boats to the Soviet Union during World War II will emerge in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, by next autumn, the city’s acting mayor, Rick King, told the media on Friday.

King said he hoped the monument would be in place by December 1. He was speaking at a special ceremony honoring Russian sailors buried in Norfolk. The monument will be delivered from Russia.

The United States and Russia are in the process of coordinating the details of the monument’s handover. The city authorities unanimously supported the idea of the monument King said. The bronze monument will depict a flying boat and three pilots - Soviet, Canadian and American - standing on it.

Russian ambassador’s speech

At a reception following the ceremony on Friday Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov in his speech looked back on the history of US-Russian relations.

"In the history of Russian-US relations there are glorious pages describing the days when during World War II the Soviet Union and the United States were fighting together against Nazi Germany. The lend-lease program was an important part of our joint struggle," Antonov said.

"In January 1945 one of the planes crashed during tack-off. A memorable plaque will be placed at the site of the pilots’ death (at a US Coast Guard base) and a monument, in Elizabeth City (North Carolina), Antonov said.

He thanked the command of the base and the city authorities for cooperation.