Cobras over the Tundra

By Alaskan author - Everett A. Long
Yakutsk, Russia author - Ivan Y. Negenblya
published by: ARKTIKA
American and Russian pilots shared the dangers of flying warplanes over the wilderness of Canada, Alaska and Siberia as they flew the Alaska/Siberia route during World War II. This is their story of courage.

omething new and exclusive to Arktika – “Signature Coffee Mugs” signed by the men and women who took part in the Lend-Lease flights to Alaska. Only a limited number of collector’s mugs will be made.

The first is signed by Elizabeth “Betty” Shea a WASP who had to bail out of her Airacobra over Montana when the engine quit.


by Everett A. Long

The world’s most inhospitable wilderness and most unforgiving weather cost lives of both Soviet and American pilots. This book is dedicated to those Soviet and American airmen who lost their lives making the world’s greatest armada, spanning two continents, a success. On the monument in the Siberian village of Seymchan, one of the route’s airdromes, there are some good words inscribed that say it best - “We shall never forget”.

Those Who Flew

Captain Thomas J. Watson Jr., an Army Air Corps pilot, organized the Alaska/Siberian route survey flight for President Roosevelt in 1942. Flying a new B-24 Liberator bomber fresh from the factory - Watson learned what the Russian and American pilots would have to endure the next three years in order to deliver colissimo recommande. (His father, Thomas Watson Sr., founded the International Business Machines [IBM] Company.)

After leaving Yakutsk, Russia, the intense Siberian cold almost claimed its first victim . . . .
"We took off, hoping to push straight through to Nome, Alaska, two thousand miles east. It was 40 below and the cold was affecting the way the engines cooled and lubricated themselves. My job was to manage the engines – our number-four engine was only delivering about half power. I had to push the three good engines beyond their safe settings to get us into the air. We climbed through moonlight and broken clouds for twenty minutes – I began to think we might make it. Half an hour after takeoff, the oil temperature on number four went up and its oil pressure went down. When that happens, something is seriously wrong and you have to act fast because the engine will catch fire. I said, ‘I think we ought to shut down that engine!’

There was no immediate response. None of us was thinking terribly clearly – the flight-deck heaters were broken and it was so cold. Fiegel didn’t say much and General Bradley, who was standing between us, didn’t either. I said, “I don’t want to be an s.o.b. here, but if we don’t do something about that engine, we may not be able to shut it down. I recommend we shut down the damn engine!”

The general said, “Yeah, I think you’d better do that, Tom.”

I punched it and the engine stopped quite nicely. We didn’t have full power on the other three – number two was sick – maybe we had 65 percent power altogether. We were in real

trouble – picking up ice, unable to hold altitude – still headed for Nome, eighteen hundred miles away.
We were making no effort to turn. I sat that out for maybe one minute. Then I said, “Hey, fellas, don’t tell me we’re going to fly to Nome on three engines. We’re getting ice right now, and we’ll get further and further out here where there’s no airport and we’ll have a hell of a time.” Finally Bradley said we should turn back.

The lights of Yakutsk were one of the grandest sights I have ever seen, because I thought we would never make it back alive. By now it was snowing hard. Our flaps didn’t work and we could barely get the landing gear down. We started to sink at an alarming rate and I pushed the two good engines past their limits to check us. The plane was so heavy with ice that it took all the strength of both lee and me at the controls to handle it at all. We made our last turn just off the ground and it looked to me as though we were going to crack up, but we finally straightened out for the runway, which was dimly visible through the snow.

We were still sinking. I saw trees ahead and yelled at Lee, but he couldn’t see them because of the ice on his windshield. So I pulled back on the wheel and blasted the throttles. The boys in the cabin told me that at that point the general covered his eyes. We zoomed over the trees and hit the end of the runway without much of a bump. I think we were all as pleased as if the war were over."

In the early 1940's the U.S. aircraft insignia was a star inside a circle -- it was a  simple task to paint the star red and paint out the circle.

One reader told about her father being one of the painters at Ladd Field. He put a little “Texaco” sign on each one.

I bet the Russians never figured that out.

Cobras Over The Tundra
“Cobras Over The Tundra” is a history of Alaska/Siberia (ALSIB) flights during WWII and challenges facing the young American and Russian pilots flying over the uncharted wilderness of the Arctic. Missing aircraft meant missing pilots who must be found quickly in minus 60 degree cold during the winter and hordes of mosquitoes during the summer. “Cobras Over The Tundra” includes more than 140 high quality black & white and color photographs. The text is in both Russian and English - a challenge in itself for author Everett A. Long and contributing author Ivan Negenblya of Yakutsk, Russia. Long’s wife, Tatiana, whom he met writing the book was the editor for both languages. In today’s world “Cobras Over The Tundra” is uniquely modern in the concept of unlikely allies working together against a common foe - Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Once again history repeats itself after 9/11 as unlikely allies work together in a fight against terrorism.


 Cobras Coffee Mug
Your favorite aviator can enjoy a hot steaming cup of coffee with a Cobra.


 Signature Coffee Mug
The first of an exclusive Arktika collection - “Signature Coffee Mugs” by those who flew and worked on the ALSIB flights of WWII. The first offering is signed by Betty Shea, a WASP pilot. On June 19, 1944 Betty took off from Bismarck, North Dakota to Gore Field, Montana. Midway over Montana her Airacobra’s Allison engine quit. After exhausting all options to restart the engine she bailed out at 1500 feet - almost too low. These Signature Coffee Mugs are produced in a limited edition of on 36 mugs. Other veterans who flew the Alaska/Siberia route will be added.


 Cobras T-Shirt - Special Sale
Wrap yourself with a “Cobra.” Photos taken by the Alaska/Siberia route pilots between 1942 and 1945.



 1983 Ben Eielson Air Race Patch
These are a limited a quantity great for collectors. In 1983 race was held for classic airplanes from Fairbanks to McGrath and back to Fairbanks, Alaska. More than 45 classics including a Tiger Moth, a 1929 Travelair 6000 and C-26 Commando entered the event. A 1944 Grumann Widgeon flown by Richard Wien won the event.


This page is dedicated to the Bell P-39 Airacobra and the Bell P-63 Kingcobra

history of Airacobra

total P39s

total P63s

Battle fronts




Russian Aces

Photos from the Alaska/Sibera - ALSIB

Our Aviation Links

Not everybody gets on our link site – you have to be special

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Alaskaland Pioneer Air Museum

“Cobras Over The Tundra” can be purchased here.
Everett was one of the founders, so rightfully he is very proud of this air museum in Faribanks, Alaska. Click Photo
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All Aviation FlightLine-OnLine
Everything you want to know about the

Reno Air Races

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We lived there a long time – a photo I took flying around Mt. McKinley.

“Cobras Over The Tundra” can be purchased here
These folks are building a monument to the Lend-Lease flights through Alaska to Russia. Your donation will be appreciated.

Heritage Museum - Anchorage Alaska
“Cobras Over The Tundra”
can be purchased here
Lots of Aviation Links
You got kids? They will love this site.

Aviation’s Top 100 Sites

Everett has been on the “sticks” since 1985 as a Pylon Judge at the Reno Air Races.

Click the photo for the “Pylon Judge’s” web site.

Stone & Stone Military Books

Russian Publications

“Tom & Louise Griffith Aviation Home Page!”
A great site from Down-Under is the most comprehensive website for Reno – If you want to know - what - where- and when – this is the place to start.

“Cobras Over The Tundra”
can be purchased here

Located at Wasilla, Alaska there is a good story here. They have on display the C-123 that flew many years in Alaska and opened many of Alaska’s airports. Even more famouse was it’s pilot – Jack Jefford. When the FAA put the C-123 out to pasture the Air Force Museum wanted it – so did the Alaskans. I made a quick call to a friend of mine at the Smithsonian Air & Space solved the problem. They have first call on anything – not the Air Force. The Alaskan FAA C-123 now belongs to the Air & Space on permanent loan to the Transportation Museum.

“It’s Back – The Bear Will Fly in 2002!”

I had lunch with Lyle Shelton the other day – and yes it is true. Click the Bear to help get it in the air.

Become a Historian Member of OX-5 Pioneers

Everett Long Historian Member # H-305

Our Link To Mecca


Everett retired from 25 years of firefighting. “I trained with several New York firefighters back at Emmitsberg – I lost some friends – please send a donation for thier families.”

Cobras over the Tundra can also be purchased at :

Executive Flyers Inc., Sacamento

All Fred Meyers stores
Transportation Museum of Alaska, Wasilla
Pioneer Air Museum, Fairbanks
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum, Anchorage
Alaska-Siberia Research Center, Juneau

The Hangar, on Kietzke Ave, Reno
Sundance Book, Keystone Square, Reno

Strategic Air & Space Museum

Experimental Aircraft Association Museum

On The Web:

My Favorite Aviation Books

Just a few good books I have in my personal library. Most are signed by the author, and many have a personal meaning to me in the places I have flown, and people I have met over the years. Order direct from this site by clicking on the info I posted.

“Into the Teeth of the Tiger”

By Don Lopez
Lopez has been the Deputy Director of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum since I knew him back in the early 1980’s. We still keep in contact and I’m proud to say Don is a good friend. “Into the Teeth of the Tiger” is great personal account of a young fighter pilot going to war.

“Fighter Pilot’s Heaven: Flight
Testing the Early Jets”

By Don Lopez

Another great book by Lopez, one that is written from the heart. A must for anyone’s collection. A short personal story for this one. Some years ago I was writing a column in the Fairbanks newspaper on aviation and one of the veterans loaned me some photos. “Here is one of the first jets to come to Fairbanks,” one vet said. It was Lopez in the P-80 and Lopez didn’t know the photo existed.

I gave him a copy on a trip to DC, “Where did you get that!” Lopez asked.

“I have my ways,” I replied. We have been swapping photos ever since for many reasons.

“Baa Baa Black Sheep”

By Greg “Pappy” Boyington

A classic World War Two book by any defination. This is a special book to me – signed by Pappyon a visit to Fairbanks where we became good friends. Pappy was a guest in our home in Alaska in 1985 and we spent many hours listening to a real live hero. A great fighter pilot, and a warm friend – we miss you “Pappy.”

“Attack of the Airacobras”

by Dmitriy Loza.

If you wondered what happened to all those Airacobras that went to Russia you must read “Attack of the Airacobras” by Dmitriy Loza. Often four Airacobras took on twelve or more German Me-109s – all Airacobras came home. Only six Me-109s made it back. Click on this site and buy it now – it is worth it.

“Pioneer Bush Pilot”

By Ira Harkey

This is the story of Noel Wien who opened the skies of Alaska with the first successful commercial air carrier. I met Noel and had my book signed – he passed on shortly after that. However, I knew Ada Wien quite well and have many memorable interviews with her – such as the time she and Noel met Willy Post – and when she as a young girl saw the Blackwolf Squadron land in Nome. They are both gone now – but you will enjoy this wonderful book on their lives in Alaska.

“Wings Over The Alaska Highway”

By Bruce McAllister & Peter Corley-Smith

McAllister and I swapped books on this one – I think I got a great deal. Lately I’ve been sending some research information Bruce needs for another book. I really enjoyed “Wings Over The Alaska Highway” because of the super photography of places I myself have flown to – good book and worth the price just for the photography alone.

“Wager With the Wind”

By James Greiner

I used to work on Jim Greiner’s Toyota back in the 70s. This is good book on Alaska mountain flying and Don Sheldon who pioneered many of the techniques common in todays Alaskan mountain flying. I met Don once just before he died at an early age of cancer. Lots of good photos and lots of adventure.

“The First and the Last”
by Adolf Galland
I met Adolf Galland in 1984 at a Luftwaffe General’s symposium conducted by my good friend Don Lopez (see his books above). I had the privilege to interview Galland and his wife Hydie for my column. Pilots during World War Two were never personal enemies – they just flew for different bosses – and respected each other’s talents. This is a must read for any aviation history buff.

A lot of secret and strange things happened during the Lend-Lease flights through Alaska. Lots of questions. My book “Cobras Over The Tundra” is just short history on those flights which a few readers have asked questions on what I found during my research. Not everything I found was in “Cobras.” Things like atomic secrets being funneled through Fairbanks. “The Sword and the Shield” answered a few of those questions.

A chilling account of what really occurred during the Cold War years.

This has got to be the best book I have ever seen on the fabled “Skunk Works” at Lockheed. I think the infighting with our military and the perseverance of the people at the “Skunk Works” tells a lot of how things should be.



Everett in the Sukoi 27 Flanker,
Russia’s Mach 2.3 Fighter.
“A hell of a lot faster than my Cessna”

Everett flying Russia’s hottest jet, the SU-27 Flanker.

Balloon Races on one weekend and Air Races the next. Everett has been a pylon judge at the Air Races since 1985. That’s a shot I took for Bob Jones in Race 8.

Schedule one of Everett’s slide presentations for your organization. See what it was like to be the first American to fly the Alaska/Siberia route since World War Two. Contact Us for more information. Click on the photos below and some of my adventure.

(Dr) Tatiana - an English professor - and Everett’s lovely bride from Moscow, Russia. She edited both the English and Russian text on the second printing. Tanya is standing with our Cessna Everett flew through Russia in 1990.

Everett after flying the AN-2 near Yakutsk, Russia.

Refueling in Evensk.

Journalist (left) with Shannan and our Soviet navigator Valarie Smirnov.

We were surprised to see this painting on the airport terminal wall in the village of Oymukon

Steve Allison flew the P-39Q Airacobra and the P-63 Kingcobra on the route from Great Falls, Montana to Fairbanks, Alaska. Great shot of a Russian pilot in a P-39. Americans and Russians pose for a group photo – click the photo and look close to see if you know anybody (be patient it is a large detailed photo and take awhile to load).

NOTE: These photos are presented here for your pleasure. They may not be copied or used without the written consent of the owner and of Arktika Publishing.

We are starting on a second book and needs stories, interviews, and photos. Please contact us.

Notice - Elizabeth “Betty” Shea passed away May 27, 2004. We will miss that dear lady.

P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra
Museum Displays – Privately Owned – Restoration Projects

Private P-39 Restoration Project

Owner Ltc. Jack N. Taft
I worked with Jack when I lived in Alaska helping to locate small hard to find parts. Jack recovered this P-39 from a South Pacific island back in the 1980s. Click on the photos to enlarge… and check the last photo of piece Jack needs to locate and buy. Appreciate the help. Contact information:
Ltc Jack N. Taft
1801 Thorpe Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201-7531

Bell P-39 Airacobra Restoration Project

Fighter Factory Bell P-39 Airacobras Recovered from Western Russia

"We have been looking for assistance tracing the history of several P-39 Airacobras that were recovered in the Murmansk region a few years ago. We have been using several of these wrecks to restore one back into flying condition, but we would like to know the history behind some of these airplanes and maybe assign the most interesting serial number to our finished airplane. Is it possible you could assist us, or offer a few people or location that we can continue our search. The serial numbers that we have recovered are:

42-20618, 42-20206, 42-20171, *44-2204, *44-2640, 42-21060, *42-20575, & *44-32191.
Any help or leads you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Chris Vtipil Tidewater Tech Project Manager."
(757)490-3151 x.505. and

Since this was first posted there have been some results. See the red * stared Airacobras below.

Bell P-63 Kingcobra Restoration Project

Aircraft flying to Ladd Field, Alaska from Gore Field, Montana during the winter months had to be “Winterized” (Aircraft Checker’s Report 1, 2, 3) before departing for the North. I found these aircraft in my personal collection of information (Everett A. Long).
*P-39 SN 44-2204 was released from winterizing services at Gore Field for flight to Alaska on November 3, 1943
*P-39 SN 44-2640 was released from winterizing services at Gore Field for flight to Alaska on December 11, 1943.
*P-39Q SN 44-32191 was released from winterizing services at Gore Field for flight to Alaska on March 22, 1944.

*P-39 SN 42-20575 flown by Sublieutenant I. I. Stepanov of the 7 VA (Air Army) Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment and was shot down by the Luftwaffe over the Petsamo region October 9, 1944. Stepanov was killed. This information comes from a Finnish book “Pohjoinen Ilmasota” by Hannu Valtonen. * This Airacobra was recovered from Russia by the Fighter Factory-Avition Institute of Maintenance and is now in storage in Virginia.

P-39Q-15 SN 44-2032 crash site. Airacobra was shot down on 27th of June 1944. It belonged to 255 IAP of the Northern Fleet. It was on a escort mission for A-20s to Kirkenes. Pilot Senior Lieutenant Voronin was killed. Thanks to Rune Rautio for the history. Photos from a P-39 crash site in Northern Norway August 1-2, 2005. Copyright© Harri Honkanen, Finland.

P-39Q-5 SN 42-20442 crash site. This Bell P-39Q-5 was shot down on 26th of May 1944 (probably) by Uffz. Herbert Schaefer of Luftwaffe’s 11th Staffel/JG 5. The pilot of the Airacobra was Sub. Lt. Sergey Sergeyevich Tropa from 2nd Squadron of the 255th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Northern Fleet Air Force. Tropa was killed. Photos from a P-39Q-5 crash site in northern Norway taken in 1996. Copyright©Harri Honkanen.

Note: This information is updated as details are obtained. If anyone has additional information, or corrections, please send an email – Use “Restoration” for the “Subject.”

New air museum in Kiev, Ukraine, text presently in Ukrainian, however will be updated with English and Russian translation pages. Contact Valery Romanenko specialist in Lend-Lease Aircraft of World War Two.

Web site devoted to Lend-Lease Aircraft, by Prof. Ilya Grinberg.

Museum Displays

Tikkakoski Finnish Air Force Museum – Richard Hoopes photos

Complete photo tour of this Airacobra restoration courtesy of Harri Honkanen

1 & 2: Everett Long Photo) Tillamook Air Museum – 3,4 &5: Long Photos) – Yanks Air Museum – 6: Britt Dietz photo) Planes of Fame Museum Chino, CA. – 7: Long Photo) Post Office in Oymukon, Russia.

Privately Owned

Current Events For Audi Club Members

Note: The Northern Sierra Chapter is not an official Audi Club North America Chapter. We are part of the Golden Gate Chapter located in Northern California, however as a matter of convenience we organize events that interest club members living in the Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe zones.

Join the Audi Club North America (pdf file)

February or March – TBA – Slide and Movie Show of the Audi Winter Driving School at Seefeld, Austria presented by Everett Long.

Poster for 2005 Reno-Fernley Raceway Audi Club North America designed by Everett at Arktika

Photo Album

2007ALMS Races Audi Club Corral

Winter Driving School

Everett’s Stuff

Everett driving through the “Corkscrew” at Laguna Seca in his A4. - Everett suited up for the Infinion Raceway – “Richard Hoopes photo.” Audi drivers are special join today.

Our supporters
Sierra Nevada Region Porsche Club of America
Sierra BMW Club
Audi Club North America

Track Masters

Audi Club member’s web sites

Double Diamond Athletic Club
Belle’s Tea Cottage

Welcome to Arktika Publishing

Arktika Publishing started in 1991, in Fairbanks, Alaska shortly after the founder, Everett A. Long returned from his second trip to Russia. Long, an Aircraft Crash & Rescue firefighter, private pilot, aviation writer and adventurer saw the need to write a book about the places and people he met during his 1990 “Friendship Flight” from Fairbanks, Alaska to Yakutsk, Russia.

“Cobras Over The Tundra” was Arktika Publishing’s first book on the Alaska/Siberia (ALSIB) flights of World War Two through Alaska. Long’s second book will be about the men and women who flew the American warplanes on the Alaska/Siberia route.

“Cobras Over The Tundra” was featured on the Fox News Channel August 10, 2003 and on January 11, 2004 production of “War Stories with Oliver North” titled “The Untold Story of the Eastern Front” honored the men and women who flew the Alaska-Siberia Route. We are very honored to have this recognition of our book.

Arktika has started branching out to provide additional items interesting to aviators. Arktika’s newest exclusive venture is the “Signature Coffee Mug.” Special signed mugs in a limited edition will be produced making a unique collector’s gift.

Aviation Writer:

Alaskans enjoyed Everett’s weekly aviation column, “The Pilot’s Corner,” in the Fairbanks Daily News - Miner for 12 years. Many of his Alaskan aviation articles were published in magazines throughout the country – including the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine. “Cobras Over The Tundra” is now in its second printing. It is a history of the Lend-Lease flights over the Alaska/Siberia (ALSIB) route from Montana to Fairbanks and on to the Russian front to fight Nazi Germany. The book includes stories and photos from Russia and America, and is printed in both English and Russian. Only the highest quality reproduction was used for the more than 140 black & white and color photos – the stories within the photos are priceless.

Private Pilot - Aviation Adventurer:

A Private Pilot with over 2000 hours in Alaska, Canada and Russia. Everett and his daughter, Shannan, were the first Americans to fly through Russia (with permission), after the ALSIB route closed at the end of World War Two. On June 17, 1990 they entered Soviet airspace in their Cessna 172 Skyhawk and flew the ALSIB route to Yakutsk, Russia. They returned to Nome, Alaska on July 4, 1990. There have since been many other Americans flying their private airplanes over to Russia – “but I was the first.”

Editor Joins Arktika:

This is a story in itself. On page 54 in “Cobras Over The Tundra” there is a photo of the two Russian women stationed in Fairbanks during the war. Lena Makarova became a good friend of Everett’s and recommended someone she knew who had a daughter teaching English in Moscow. When Everett needed the best possible editor for both the English and Russian text he found help through Lena Makarova, an English Professor at the University of Moscow. Tatiana Semionovaya Reznik came to his aid and provided valuable insights to “Cobras Over The Tundra.” Then in December of 1993 Tatiana became Mrs. Tatiana Long and the company was complete.

Special Presentations
Speaker Fees: None
Organization provides room and meals for evening presentations.
Organization guaranties minimum purchase of 10 copies of “Cobras Over the Tundra.”
Each book will be autographed by the author (in English) and the editor (in Russian).
Travel: Less than 400 miles - no charge – we will drive to you at our cost.
Over 400 miles organization provides costs or airfare.

A dynamic interactive presentation great for any organization interested in Aviation History first hand by someone who was there.

Everett’s slide presentation of his flight through the Soviet Union takes you into the personal experiences he and his daughter enjoyed on this epic journey.

Everett taught Aircraft Crash and Rescue Fire Fighting for 20 years,
Taught Alaskan Aviation History courses at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Elderhostle program for 15 years,
Taught Fire Fighting Command for the National Fire Academy,
Was the MC for aviation dinners and was the,
Keynote Speaker for the North Dakota Fire Fighter Annual Convention.
Everett’s one hour show is more than just educational – it is fun. His Russian and Alaskan Flight presentation have been seen by the:

Interior and Arctic Alaska Aeronautical Foundation,
Carl Ben Eielson Order of Daedalians,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks Elderhostle,
Northern Lights Chapter 99s,
North Dakota Fire Fighter’s,
Watsonville EAA,
Smithsonian Air & Space Museum,
2002 AirVenture EAA Fly-in at Oshkosh,
Santa Rosa EAA,
Pacific Coast Air Museum,
Hobo Club State Conference,

University of Nevada, Reno Eldercollege.

(click CD cover at left to download pdf slide show example)

For more information on how to schedule Everett’s Russian Slide Show or have an example CD mailed Free of Charge – Contact Arktika