THE SAGA OF BW-372In August 1998, the small world of Brewster Buffalo buffs was electrified by the news that a Finnish Brewster had been salvaged from a lake in Russia. Over the next six years, our hopes were raised and repeatedly dashed, as the salvors smuggled the plane out of Russia and concealed it in Ireland while they tried to find a buyer; the buyers, meanwhile, fretted about the ownership trail.
At last, in August 2004, BW-372 was acquired by the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, which planned to restore the aircraft and put it on display in its Finnish Air Force warpaint--plans put on hold when the museum was wracked by a hurricane. Finally, nearly ten years after she was pulled from that Russian lake, BW-372 went home to Finland. It's now on display at the Keski-Suomen Ilmailumuseo (Aviation Museum of Central Finland), where she'll be restored to her 1998 condition over three or four years, with the work visible through a view window.
Here are my files about BW-372:
- 1 - 1942: The last mission for a Brewster fighter
- 2 - 1998: BW-372 found in a Russian lake
- 3 - 'That was when they started shooting' (Gary Villiard's story)
- 4 - 'The Last Brewster' (from a Finnish newspaper)
- 5 - The odyssey continues: from Ireland to Pensacola
- 6 - 2004: the Brewster has found a home
- 7 - 'It's so wrong, what has happened' (Marja Lampi's story)
- 8 - The squadron log for BW-372's last flight
And here are some links where you can learn more: