Ohio Man’s WWII Aircraft Collection

A staggering WWII aircraft collection has been discovered in the city of Newbury, Ohio. The collection belongs to a man named Walter Soplata, who has been collecting planes for years. Unfortunately, many of them are in disrepair. While Soplata may not have the means to keep all of his planes in a decent state of repair, the sheer size of his WWII aircraft collection still warrants a certain amount of praise.

Many of these planes have been shrouded in wild growths. In what basically amounts to a mass grave for airplanes, these old planes are hidden by weeds and other plant life, as well as surrounded by junk. Despite how decrepit many of the planes are, that is nothing compared to the fate which almost befell them. When Walter Soplata first acquired his WWIII aircraft collection, the majority of the planes were about to be sold for parts. Thanks to Soplata’s efforts, even though the planes may not look as they once did, they are still relatively intact. He has essentially preserved a large part of history and saved valuable airplanes from destruction.

Walter Soplata passed away about four years ago, but others who knew of his collection decided to keep it safe from anyone who might try to steal parts or other souvenirs. Thus, Soplata’s incredible collection of WWII aircraft was kept out of the public eye. This changed when a young photographer named Jonny Joo happened upon the collection while looking for an intriguing subject for his pictures. He found the abandoned airplane gravesite and decided it would make for an even more interesting subject than the types of abandoned buildings he normally photographed.

Johnny Joo did not simply trespass onto Soplata’s former property. He found a neighbor there who told him about what he had discovered and permitted him to explore the premises a bit. Some of Joo’s photos of the WWII aircraft remains exemplify the term “airplane graveyard.” Many of his pictures portray rusted and tattered shells of formerly great machines, the forested surroundings giving the appearance of a virtual lost world, the Mail Online reports.

The late Soplata’s WWII aircraft collection includes dozens of planes and engines that were nearly destroyed for parts. The graveyard houses a wealth of educational and historical knowledge for those who understand war-era planes, and some of the planes’ interiors are much more intact than their exteriors. No plans for Soplata’s collection of WWII aircraft are currently underway.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE