Russian fighter aces on the Lend-Lease. Part C Cobra

Fighters "Airacobra" as well as "Hurricanes" from "Tomahawks" in the Soviet Union supplied specifically British. Once the "Cobra" was removed from service in the RAF they December 1941 were offered in conjunction with the "Hurricanes" for supply to Russian Alliance.

The first of the "Cobra". I Allied convoys to Murmansk were sent in December 1941, with all this part of the fighters lost in transit. According to the British, the carriage by sea had lost 49 tanks (according to another disk imaging — 54) of "Cobra". I, but that the total number of lost fighter aircraft on the route from the United States to the Russian Union, including cuts from the U.S. to the UK. Loss of convoys PQ (from the UK to Murmansk) may be to estimate the subsequent way: if the number of cars shipped from the United Kingdom (212) to take away the amount of acquired Russian Union (December 1941 — 1, in 1942 — 192, according to the archives of the Head of Staff Air Force Russian army in 1943 — 2, according to the British) and take into account that in the USSR the first P-39D-2, K and L were received 12/11/1942 and 04/12/1942 in the amount of 4 pieces, then the total number of losses during shipping will be 20-25 aircraft.

Airplanes "Cobra" P-39D-2 ("Model 14A", Bell) in the USSR acted only through Iran, according to the "southern" route. Ships transporting boxes with fighters from Iceland or directly from the eastern U.S. ports with 2 routes: via Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, reddish and the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf to the port of Abadan (Iceland-Abadan — 12.5 thousand nautical miles, New York -Abadan — 15.6 thousand nautical miles), or around the Cape of Good Hope (22 and 23.5 thousand nautical miles, respectively). So longish route allies had to use at the end of 1942 after the crushing defeat of the PQ-17 and the overall growth of loss of cargo ships in the Arctic convoys to 11-12 percent. New routes pass through areas of absolute advantages allies in the air and at sea, or in general away from the war. The advantage of this route was the safety (reduction of losses in order to significantly fewest escort vessels), his severe disadvantage — Delivery of goods only to the "sea" step increased to 35 — 60 days.

On the "onshore" step, which took place on the terrain of Iran and Iraq, as well there were some difficulties. Pro-German orientation of the governments of these countries, the lack of transport infrastructure and mountainous landscape made significant difficulties for the device "through" the way of the Persian Gulf through Iran to Azerbaijan. It took a severe political, military and engineering support of the route that did in 1941-1942.

Russian and British troops in September 1941, was occupied by Persia (Iran). Power defected to the government of the USSR and the UK friendly. Specific acts of aggression by today's standards, these military-political actions in 1941 have been voted helpful preventive measures that have allowed to save this country from the collaboration with the fascist forces. English Army Corps of Engineers under the control of General Connolly was expanded ports, highways built, reconstructed airfield network and railways.

"Southern" route for aviation began work in June 1942. On it were the first to "Hurricanes" and "Boston", and from November — "Kittyhawks", "Spitfire" and "Airacobra". In the port of Abadan fighters unloaded in boxes. Assembly and circled usually produced specifically in Abadan either located about 60 kilometers west of Basra (Iraq) at the airbase RAF.

Russian Air Force has conducted several preliminary activities for the development of the "southern" route. In the summer of 1942, were made "assembly" air base in Abadan (about 300 Russian engineers and workers running Evtihova AI), "crotch" air base in Tehran, which imported military representatives of the Red Army Air Force Management (Chief Colonel Fokin . B.) made the acceptance of aircraft, aviation regiments formed Ferry and training centers for retraining on imported airplanes.

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Is assembling aircraft P-39 "Cobra" in one of the shops of the factory in the town in Buffalo
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Shop for assembling aircraft Bell P-39 "Cobra" and the Bell P-63 "Kingcobra." The line on the left side — P-39Q, and then 3 bands P-63A. Then — two lanes almost completed P-39Q
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
South American fighter F-39 "Cobra» (Bell P-39 Airacobra) is at the airport Nome (Nome) in Alaska

The track for "Airacobra" then worked as: aircraft delivered by sea unloaded in Abadan, a gathering of Russian spices, also obletyvat Russian pilots. Then they were distilled by air to the airport "Quali-Marga" in Tehran, where the Russian military representatives made their acceptance. Further aircraft were distilled in Azerbaijani city Adji-Kabul training center or on the ferry airfields near the town Kirovabads. In connection with a pathological distrust of Stalin to foreigners of U.S. and UK professionals to delivery of aircraft in the least amount of teasers: as consultants during the build and fly-around (Abadan), as well as specialists of donor (Tehran).

Model has been and relearning process; depleted regiment was driven from the front, replenished and studied at the latest real part, getting planes and vorachivalsya the front. After the 25th Regiment also carried a spare replenishment of combat losses of the regiments sent to the front, a small batch of aircraft were sent to the warring parts "to introduce" the technique was planned for introduction. So Makar, not including training, REC function does depot, which is distributed in the battle of the incoming aircraft. Because of the 25th Regiment reserve is the main channel through which the British and South American aircraft arrived on the southern sector of the front.

But with the increasing number of foreign aircraft were based a few REC, namely, in the Ivanovo — 11 th and 22 th, in Adji-Kabul — 26th.

In 1943, the fighter P-39N / Q has started to deliver on AlSib why formed
a six ferry aviation regiments. According to the Western air forces of the Red Army just got a 3291 P-39Q (according to other sources — 3041), 1113 P-39N, 157 P-39M, 137 P-39L (140 according to other sources), 108 P-39D, and 40 P-39K. So Makar, the full amount of "Airacobra" as set out in Britain and the United States is estimated at 4,850 units.

Russian pilots already at the front were able to assess the massive armament "Bellovskih" machines, consisting of nasal motor-guns, 2 mnogokalibernyh machine guns and 4 rifle-caliber machine guns. English "Airacobra" I and P-39D armed with a gun, 20 mm, and starting with the "K" — 37-mm.

Russian technology is often enough to improve the features of the fighter simply removed the British guns. Also on the modification of P-39Q dismantled the machine gun mounted nacelles (at least, not a single photo "Cobras" are in service with the SA with these gondolas is not clear).

Russian pilots was rated highest maneuverability of the new aircraft at medium altitudes, where the overwhelming number of battles took place between Russian and German fighters. Russian pilots during conversion training on the P-39 encountered a flat spin, but pretty quickly learned how to fight with this discrepancy. Pilots liked and "auto" door, which increases the chances of survival in a parachute jump. On the other hand, increasing the risk of hitting the tail — at least two asa — Nicholas Iskrin and Dmitry Glinka were injured during a jump, and a lot of unknown pilot — were killed. But it is worth noting and good maintainability of the aircraft after landing enforced.

Despite the ingrained Western myth, "Airacobra" is not used as attack aircraft or tanks Eradicator. All shelves, who were armed fighters data were used to gain air supremacy. It is possible that IL-2 is completely lacking in the final step of the war.

The first parade unit that received the weapons "Airacobra" I was 145 Fighter Wing (04/04/1942 for a successful military operation 145th Fighter Wing converted to the 19-th Guards), headed by Major Reyfnsheyderom (later changed his name to Kalugin — a Slavic ).

In contrast to the IAP 153 and 185, whose training was held in the rear training center, 145 Fighter Wing mastered import fighter in his own operational zone (up to 100 km from the band edge), without guidelines and regulations in the Russian language, or help instructors. This regiment was formed January 17, 1940 in the town of Kayrelo (former Finnish territory). He participated in the Finnish campaign, five enemy aircraft destroyed, losing as much of your own. First, the war was flying on I-16. Then on "Hurricanes", MiG-3 and LaGG-3. At the end of the same month regiment was given the task to master fighters "Kittyhawk" P-40E and "Cobra" 1. For this purpose, air regiment was moved to the airfield "Afrikanda", where he received boxes of aircraft delivered in the Kirov steel road. During May the engineering staff (managing major Goltsev PP, Senior Engineer Regiment), collected 10 aircraft "Kittyhawk" and 16 — "Cobra".

Technical documentation was available only in the British language. Assembly and investigation of imported fighters made immediately. Most of the work was carried out under the open sky, with severe frosts, in the criteria for the polar night. Despite this, already on 26 April the squadron commander Captain PS Kutakhov (Next two times Hero of Russian Union of Air Marshal) made a 3 training flight in a circle on the "Cobra". By May 15, the personnel (22 pilot) took over flight technical fighters. Immediately spent reshaping Fighter Wing at treheskadrilny composition of the staff of 015/174.

First sortie pilots regiment made 05.15.1942, when the captain Kutakhov, commander of the first squadron, led by patrolling the strip edge.

At the time, Paul was already prepared Kutakhov pilot, took part in the Russo-Finnish War and participated in the invasion of Poland 17.09.1939. His first victory, flying on I-16, scored 23.07.1941.

During the first flight on May 15 Kutakhov Paul and Lt. Ivan Bochkov future ace, shot down one fighter that they were identified as "non-113" — in fact, it was the Me-109f. This success paid for the loss of the first "Cobras", which was piloted by Ivan Gaidenko, also a future ace, shot down in aerial combat. Major Kutakhov May 28 also shot down during a raid on the airfield reflection "Shong" enemy bombers.

Kutakhov, promptly came out of the hospital and took part in the most severe battle on September 15. "Hurricanes" 837 th Fighter Wing at the day trying to protect the power station at Thule from plaque to hide behind the Me-109 bombers. To help the "Harrikeyiam" raised "Airacobra" of the 19th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. In the hardest battle fighters shot down seven German Air Force (according to the documents is only one enemy aircraft did not return from combat flight). Russian regiments had lost two aircraft, and later by plane Kutakhov calculated the 15 bullet holes.

Kutakhov to February 1943 made 262 sorties, took part in 40 air battles and shot down 31 enemy aircraft (in the group — 24 of them).

March 27 Kutakhov Lobkowicz and his slave and Silaev during the "free hunt" was intercepted 4 Me-109G. During the first attack Kutakhov hit the enemy plane, who retired in the north-west. After a hectic 15 minute battle he managed to win a second victory. In his own post-flight report, he said that getting beheld, but there is no enemy of the crash. With all this, the soldiers ground post crash site "Messer" found and captured the pilot.

Kutakhov May 1, 1943 awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union was promoted to colonel and was transferred to the 20th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment as commander of the regiment. But the war ended, having carried out 367 sorties, participated in 79 air battles, won 23 individual and 28 group victories. After the war, remained in the Air Force, Air Marshal began in 1969, until 1984 (until his death) commanded the Soviet Air Force. Senior Lieutenant Ivan Bochkov as Kutakhov, began his career during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. The first won 15.05.1942, for the next day destroyed another Me-109f. Until the end of the war, was promoted to captain.

December 10 barrels in a battle between the 6 "Cobra" and 12 Me-109s and 12 E-87 bomber shot down one, earning such Makar, the title of ace. By February 1943 it was made 308 sorties, carried out 45 air battles, during which scored 39 victories (in a group of them — 32).

04/04/1943 Died during an air battle, covering the slave. By the time his account was 50 dogfights and more than 350 sorties. May 1, 1943 Bochkova awarded the title Hero of Russian Union posthumously. Another pilot from the 9th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, began his own battle your way during the Finnish company was Fomchenkov Constantine. In June 1942, he received the rank of captain, and June 15, 1942 two victories in the skies over Murmansk. On his account, by March 1943 there were 8 personal and 26 shared victories, 37 aircraft and 320 combat sorties. August 24, 1943 it awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union at the time Fomchenkov added four more wins to their own account. He later became a Major, having received a squadron under his command.

February 24, 1944 took part in a raid on an airfield in Tungozero, which was attended by six P-39s of the 19th Guards and 2 P-39 from the 760th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, which produced a cover 6 of the IL-2 Attack Aviation Regiment 828. This fails to Russian side battle was lost immediately 3 "Airacobra" (died in battle and Fomchepkov, the official account of which was 38 wins, 26 of them — group), but our pilots declared 5 downed FW-190 and ME-2 109. Lieutenant torticollis Yefim future ace
on the P-39, the 19th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment in Kutakhov squadron was in May 1942. The first two of his victories won 06.15.1942, and by September, his score was already 15 group and 5 individual victories. September 9 when catching a large group of bombers expended ammunition Krivocheev rammed an enemy fighter. German data they say that "the Cobra" Krivosheeva spread Bf-109F-4 oberefreytora Hoffman from the 6./JG5 to pieces. February 22, 1943 it awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union posthumously.

Another disastrous hero Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment 19 was Alexander Zaitsev, received combat experience in 1937 in China and in 1939-1940 with the Finns. By June 1941 was promoted to the rank of captain and commander of the Third Squadron of the 145 th Fighter Wing. Despite the popularity among pilots who have not developed Zaitseva relationship with the Commissioner of the regiment.

Having won a number of victories on I-16, in December 1941, Zaitsev was promoted to major, becoming the 760 Fighter Wing commander, was formed to "Hurricane." Regiment for the first 12 months of battles won victories, but for all that lost 15 cars, and this has led to tensions with the command. In the end, it was removed from office. Zaitsev was returned to the 19th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, which flew on the "Cobra". Some time Zaitsev flying in tandem with Kutakhov Paul.

Hares in the evening on May 28 led 6 "Airacobra" and 6 P-40, which covered 10 SB-2. Group near Lake Shulgul-Yavr intercepted 12 Me-109. Despite the fact that the bombers received a direct order from Zaitseva vorachivatsya, commander of the group decided to continue the job. In the end, though, and Russian pilots were able to knock down 3 ME-109 with the loss of two P-40, SB (another was severely damaged) and "Airacobra" task did not run.

Major Zaitsev, Squadron 145 th Fighter Wing, died May 30, 1942 during a training flight on a fighter "Cobra" R-39. By the time they were made more than 200 sorties, and won 14 individual and 21 group victory …

New shelves in the P-39

The first units which have been retrained for "Cobra" in the 22nd Regiment reserve Ivanovo were 153 and 185 Red Fighter Wing. June 29, 1942 IAP 153 in full, complete statewide 015/284 (23 pilots, 20 aircraft squadrons and 2) under the command of Hero of the Russian Union of Major SI Mironov arrived at the airfield "Voronezh". Martial act began with the June 30, without a long buildup. Then the regiment was transferred to the airfield "Lipetsk", from which the flights until September 25. The Voronezh Front in 59 flying days were produced 1070 sorties (1162 hours total flying time), conducted 259 air battles, including 45 group, and shot down 64 planes of which are: 1 spotter, 18 — bombers, 45 — fighters. With all of this in three months own loss amounted to 8 aircraft and three pilot. Non-combat losses: one pilot and two aircraft.

For that kind of success his regimental commander, awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union.

153rd Fighter Wing for a good combat duty on the Voronezh Front presented to the rank of "Guards".

And in order for the 1237 sortie regiment was destroyed 77 enemy aircraft, including one — a battering ram: captain Avdeev AF went to the "Messerschmitt" a frontal attack, and none of them is not desired to turn away … This is the first ram with the introduction of "Airacobra".

153rd IAP November 22, 1942 was transformed into the 28th Guards, and from November 1943 to the 28th Guards Leningrad exterminatory Regiment. So Makar, from 12/01/1942 on 01/08/1943 Regiment performed combat missions in 1176, after spending 66 group fights, which was destroyed 63 enemy aircraft (4 Xm-126, 6 S-88, 7 PV-189, PV-23 190, 23, Me-109f) and 4 balloon shot down one bomber and 7 fighters. Own loss — 23 aircraft, of which 5 is divided into four tragedies and bombed the airfield. Loss of personnel Russian sources were estimated as 10 people missing and dead.

Colonel Mironov in February 1944 led the 193rd Fighter Air Division, and by the end of the war, his account was 17 wins (plus one more victory from the Finnish company.) The regiment November 21, 1943 reformed in the 28th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. More recognizable aviator Regiment — Major Alexei Smirnov, who performed several missions still in the process of the Finnish War. First victory was achieved in July 1941, all on I-153, he scored 4 wins. After receiving the new "Airacobra" account began to grow very rapidly. In one of the first combat sorties July 23, 1942 he was shot down two enemy fighters, and he himself was shot down by Smirnov. He planted a flaming plane in no man's band and eventually tank attack was saved. The pilot was visiting day or three tankers before he returned to his unit. The subsequent double victory ace score? March 15, 1943, when in sight immediately caught Smirnov 2 PV-190. In his account to August was 312 sorties in 39 air battles and shot down 13 aircraft. September 28 he was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union. War, he graduated with 457 departures and 35 gained victories (only one of them in the group).

Another 153 Fighter Wing pilot, who had experience of the Finnish War, was Alexei Nikitin. Total at the end of the war ace made 238 sorties, scoring 24 wins (group 5). Another ace — Kisliakov Anatoliy — claimed his first victory on June 25, knocking near Lake Sortevala Finnish "Fokker" D-21. Generally Kisliakov listed as "spices" to destroy enemy aircraft on the ground — he destroyed 15 aircraft in this way, but for all that was twice shot down by fighters and four times. Later, he served as deputy commander of the squadron, scored 6 wins over Stalingrad, flying on the "Cobra", and 7 — when the 153 Fighter Wing waged war in Demyansk. Kisliakov the end of the war, was given the rank of captain, having made 532 sorties. On his battle account is shot down 15 aircraft and one balloon. By this account, you need to add another 15 aircraft destroyed on the ground. August 18, 1945 awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union.

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
The South American fighter-bombers, P-63 "Kingcobra» (Bell P-63 Kingcobra) and P-39 fighters Airacobra (Bell P-39 Airacobra) before sending the Lend-Lease program there from the U.S. to the USSR. In the course of the war from the U.S. to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Act were put P-63 "Kingcobra" — 2,400 aircraft, the P-39 "Cobra" — 4952 Aircraft
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Bombers B-25, A-20 "Boston" and the P-39, made for delivery to the Russian Alliance of Lend-Lease, lined up along the runway U.S. Air Force base Ladd Field in Alaska before the arrival of the selection committee of the USSR
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
South American and Russian pilots next to the fighter P-39 "Cobra" comes in the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease. One of the regiments Poltava airfield complex, summer 1944

The third division, rearmament "Airacobra" in the spare Regiment 22 was the 180th Fighter Aviation Regiment, allotted from the front of 20/07/1942. Previously, the regiment was armed with "Hurricanes" and stayed at the front only 5 weeks. Retraining was launched on August 3, and in the end 13 March 1943 the regiment returned to the area of Kursk.

Previously — 11/21/1942 — regiment became the 30th Guards regiments. His commander was Lt. Col. Hassan Ibatulin. Its first commander of the regiment won a victory on the I-153 and I-16. Ibatulina shot down and wounded in July 1942 led by Lieutenant Colonel of the 30th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment until the end of the war, his last victory won 18.4.1945 (to his credit — 15 individual victories).

"Stars" regiments were Filatov Alexander P. Renz and Misha Petrovic. Renz in 1939, he graduated from the Odessa flight school, served as an instructor in the Far East. In October 1942, he was assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing. The first won 22.05.1943, when four "Airacobra" stormed the huge group of S-87 covers up the PV-190. In the first attack Rents fighter shot down, and his comrades 3 S-87. After 5 Renz stormed three FV-190, then he was obliged to jump out with a parachute.

30th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment at the end of 1943 was again withdrawn from the front, and on return he was sent into the Fighter Air Division 273. Renz in the summer of 1944, took part in numerous battles in the skies over Belarus and Poland. August 12th a group of Renz hit 6 of 30 S-87, with all this at the expense of the commander went 2 bomber. His third squadron at the end of 1944 was the best in the regiment, and in the division. Renz finished the war with 25 victories (of which 5 group), which were won in a 261 radius. The title of Hero of the Russian Union received in May 1946, Alexander Petrovich Filatov sent to the front in March 1943 with the rank of sergeant and began flying in the third squadron Misha Renz. His first victory was gained by May 9, when knocked PV-190, and June 2 — Me-110.

After 3 months of fighting on account of personal Filatov had 8 wins and 4 in the group. July 4 in one of the missions he was shot down, and Filatov had to use a parachute. In its own regiment He has returned to the subsequent morning. After a few days he was again shot down during the battle with the EF-190. Now it is captured, but on August 15 Filatov and tanker escaped prisoner from the column of prisoners of war. A month later, they ran across the front line, then Filatov returned to duty. The regimental commander, after checking the bodies of SMERSH ace returned to the regiment.

Filatov in the summer of 1944 was promoted to lieutenant, soon became a deputy. third squadron commander. Filatov in March 1945 became the first commander of the squadron. During the evening patrol on April 20, his plane was shot down. Ac planted own P-39 on the controlled Germanic areas. Soon he was the second time he was captured. Filatov was positioned in the infirmary, where he had escaped safely. After returning to the regiment, was promoted to captain, but the two of captivity is not allowed him to get the title of Hero of the Russian Union. And after the war with al 25 victories (of which 4 group) was quickly dismissed from the Air Force.

Innocent Kuznetsov was another notable figure of the 30th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. The pilot started the war in the 129 Fighter Wing, which won a series of victories, in August 1942, he was transferred to the IAP 180. Prior to the 1943 flew "Harrikeyiah", later was the 30th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, which flew Kuznetsov "Cobra". Prior to the war, did 2 ram. Twice presented to the rank of Hero of the Russian Union but was never awarded. By the end of the war in the account Kuznetsova was 366 sorties, of which the MiG-3 — 209, on the "Hurricanes" — 37 and on the "Cobra" — 120. On his official account was 12 group and 15 individual victories. After the war he worked as a test pilot in 1956, the government made a special mission in Egypt, following the IL-28 for at least one sortie. Only 22.03.1991 he was awarded the rank of Hero of the Union of Russian!

The first unit that was retrained in Azerbaijan in the 25th Regiment reserve, was the 9th Guards Fighter Air Division, which became the best-known division of the Air Forces of the Red Army. The pilots of this unit declared victory in 1147. In the service division was like 31 Hero Russian Union of which 3 are double, and one — three times the Russian Union of Heroes. IAP 298 was the first regiment which was armed with P-39D, later went to the 45th Fighter Wing and the 16th Guards. Last armed with both I-16 and Yak-1. The war began as the 55th Fighter Wing on the southern front. To re-form was set aside in January 1943. 298th Fighter Wing received 21 P-39D-2 armed with a gun, 20 mm and 11 P-39K-1 armed gun, 37 mm, with all this aircraft model "K" were the commanders and deputy commanders of squadrons.

IAP 298 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Taranenko March 17 was transferred to the airfield "Korenovskaya" where he joined the BAA 219. First loss was incurred almost immediately — March 19 was shot down plane Sergeant Belyakov, the pilot died.

August 24, 1943 the 298th Fighter Aviation Regiment was renamed the 10th Guards and sent to the newly organized 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Division (initially thought as an elite). In the period from 17 March to 20 August 1943 the regiment completed 1625 sorties (2072 hours total flying time), had 111 fights, which knocked out 29 and brought down 167 enemy aircraft. Lost 11 "Airacobra" padded and 30 shot down. The regimental commander — Colonel Taranenko Ivan scored in this period of four individual and group wins. In the middle of July, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and he took command of the fighter air division 294, the armed Yak-1. 09.02.1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union. On his account at the end of the war there were 20 victories, of which 4 — group.

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Russian aircraft engine repairing fighter P-39 "Cobra" comes in the USSR from the U.S. Lend-Lease program there, in the field criteria. The unusual layout scheme of a fighter is to place the engine behind the pilot's cabin near the center of gravity

Taranenko as commander of the 298 Fighter Wing was replaced by Major General Vladimir Semenishin. Like many Russian aces combat experience he received during the Finnish War. Began the war as part of the 131st Fighter Wing on I-16. During another sortie May 11, 1942, his plane fi
red anti-aircraft guns, the pilot received 18 wounded, but managed to land creased machine. After healing was promoted to major general and became a navigator Regiment. By May 1943 made 136 sorties, scoring 15 wins (of which 7 per group) in 29 fights. May 24 Semenyshyna awarded the title Hero of Russian Union as from July 18, he became the commander of the 298 th Fighter Wing. Died 29 September 1943 in aerial combat. The final score Semenyshyna — 13 group and 33 individual victories.

Vasily Drygin — another effective pilot regiment. In the 298th Fighter Wing, he got out of the 4th Fighter Wing in July 1942. Survived numerous battles and became one of the few pilots who formed the backbone of his regiment after upgrading to R-39. In the fighting in the Kuban scored 15 wins (5 of them in the group).

Drygina May 24, 1943 awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union. At the end of the war in the account Drygina had 20 victories.

The second regiment, which rearmed by P-39D, was the 45th Fighter Wing, who fought in the Crimea and the North Caucasus, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim Dzusova Magometovich since the beginning of 1942. He was born in the village of Zamankul North Ossetia in a poor farming family. Went to reddish Army as a volunteer at the age of 15 years. Ibrahim was fighting in Central Asia with gangs Basmachi ordinary fighter.

Zushi in 1929, he graduated from flight school — so he began his service in the Air Force. The commander of the 45th Fighter Wing, which has in service-15bis and I-16, Zushi IM was 25/04/1939.

First, in 1941 the regiment mastered new fighter Yak-1. This unit was one of the first in the Air Force of the country who have mastered this fighter. The 45th Fighter Wing from the beginning of the war produced a cover-up landing craft while entering in northern Iran, Russian troops and for all that showed the highest proficiency.

And that first January 1942 the regiment was out of the 8th Air Corps air defense of the town of Baku and comes in 72nd Air Division of the Crimean front. Pilots had no combat experience, and Major zushi IM teaches them how to dogfight. The commander personally leads the group to reflect enemy attacks, exploration, ground attack, a cover for the troops. The regiment until May 19, 1942 made 1,087 sorties, conducted 148 air battles and shot down 36 aircraft.

16/06/1943 he left the 45th Fighter Wing to head the 9th Guards Fighter Air Division. This post he held until May 1944, then became commander of the 6th Fighter Air Corps. By the end of the war, regardless of age, his account was 6 victories that were won in 11 air battles. "Zushi flown before was in severe trouble, — recalled II Babak, known Russian ace — In May 1943, when he was already a division commander, he flew with the group. Fierce battle ensued over the front line: a few Nazi planes were been shot down, but they came to the rescue of all new aircraft. Once in one of the attacks zushi Nazi aircraft shot down and began to walk away from a fight dive himself stormed the Nazis … The plane Dzusova lit up and faded in the distance. As experienced pilots! Around Fri division commanders were on duty for three days the number of pilots do not fly on the job (unhealthy and wounded.) All were in obscurity. Finally came the long awaited news: Dzusova picked ground troops, he is wounded, but health is not serious … Later there was a merry meeting: Zushi met a group to drive up embarrassed grin and joyful humor inherent in it: — Worried? Sorry, did not realize … Long time did not jump with a parachute. So I decided to try out. After this incident, he did not fight in the summer (not just Dzusova allowed to do so). "

Since the 45th Fighter Wing arrived in the 25th Regiment reserve at the end of October 1942 — two and a half months after the 298 Fighter Wing — the learning process has already been debugged. At first regiment transitioned to P-40, but in practice before going to the front began to act "Airacobra".

It was decided to divide by 3 Squadron pilots, one of whom was armed and P-40, two — "Cobra". So Makar, re-tightened just prior to March 1943, when the 45 Fighter Wing returned to the front. At that time, the first and third squadron has 10 P-39DH and 11 P-39K, while the 2nd was 10 P-40E. 45th Fighter Aviation Regiment March 9, relocated to the airfield Krasnodar, where he immediately began active combat actions. But in this part of the front fighting the best aces Goering and Russian pilots soon suffered a great loss.

This regiment fought some of the best aces of the Soviet Air Force — brothers Dmitry and Boris Glinka. Boris — the eldest of the brothers — he graduated in 1940, a flight school and met a war in the 45th Fighter Wing lieutenant. His first victory was gained in 1942 His talent as a fighter pilot completely opened to provide "Cobra". May 24, 1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union after in March-May, won 10 victories. Since the summer of 1944 — Commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment.

Despite the fact that Dmitri was younger by three years, the least he finished flight school almost immediately after his elder brother, and was assigned to Fighter Wing 45. Dmitry scored 6 victories in the spring of 1942 by flying a Yak-1 was shot down, wounded and spent two months in the hospital. By mid-April of next year, made its own 146th combat sortie, scoring 15 th victory. April 15 in a dogfight was again wounded, spent a week in the hospital, returning to the placement of parts, received the title of Hero of the Russian Union.

Dmitry Glinka first summer in 1943 was promoted to captain and 24 August was twice Hero of the Russian Union of 29 victories won in 186 combat missions. In September, there was a nasty incident in his hand grenade exploded in the German trophy. He spent some time in the hospital.

He took part in the operation and Neva Yasso-Kish, which won a series of victories. Got a tragedy transport Li-2 (was rescued from under the flaming wreckage only after 48 hours, as a result of the tragedy was severe injury). After healing has participated in the Lvov-Sandomierz operation, during which recorded on his own account another 9 wins. Battle of Berlin also has not been without it — the last victory of Dmitry Glinka scored 04.18.1945, the total he had is gained 50 victories in 90 air battles (300 sorties).

Another pilot in the 100th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (45th IAP 18/06/1943 for military successes during an air battle over Kuban converted to the 100th Guards) was a mathematician and past chemistry teacher Ivan Babak. The army came in 1940, in April 1942, he graduated from flight training was oriented in the 45 th Fighter Wing at the Yak-1. First, the pilot does not shine and zushi even thought about his transfer to another unit, but Dmitry Calarasi persuaded to throw in the regiment promising pilot.

His first victory Babak won over Mozdok in September, and in March, when the 45th Fighter Wing returned to the front, won a number of victories. During the heaviest fighting of April shot down 14 enemy fighters. At the peak of success of its own "grabbed" malaria and stayed in the hospital until September.

After returning Babak has at its disposal a new P-39N and during the first flight it shot down Me-109. November 1, 1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union but again came to the hospital with malaria undertreated. In order back in August 1944, when the regiment took part in the Iasi-Kishinev operation.

April 22, unfortunately for Ace, he was shot down by ground fire, and he was captured. Despite the fact that the Germans, he spent only 2 weeks, but it's damn affected his career. It cost Babak 2nd Star of the Hero, and only the intervention Pokryshkina possible to avoid more severe consequences. Before Babak was captured on a personal account ace had 33 personal victories and 4 in the group.

Veteran and was Lavitskaya Nicholas — in
the regiment since 1941, first won by flying on I-153. Until the moment of abduction shelf for re on P-39 made 186 sorties, which won 11 individual and one group win. During the summer of 1943 scored 4 more wins, 24 August awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union was promoted to captain and appointed commander of the 3rd Squadron.

Ace's personal life did not develop — in the rear Lavitskaya threw spouse. Certainly because of his every flight has been linked to a huge risk. This behavior has caused concern for the commander of his life, and therefore the zushi translated Lavitskaya on staff position. But on his death is not spared — Nicholas Lavitskaya died March 10, 1944 during a training flight. On account Lavitskaya at the time was 26 wins (of which 2 group) won by 250 during combat missions.

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Russian fighter American-built P-39 "Cobra» (Airacobra), is supplied to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program there, in flight

16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment

The third regiment, who used the P-39D during the "Battle of Kuban", was the most eminent regiment of the Air Forces of the USSR — the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. This regiment was the second large air victories (697), and it was brought up the largest number of Russian Union of Heroes (15elovek), including 2-pilots who were given the title twice and 1 st — three times. In the history of the Soviet Union there were only three people — three times Hero of the Russian Union — Marshal Zhukov received a third star in 1945, and the fourth a unique Star of the Hero — in 1956 the regiment began its history in 1939 as the 55th Fighter Wing. Since the beginning of the war took part in battles on the southern front. 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment was March 7, 1942.

The pilots in the spring of 1942, the regiment surrendered their last I-16 and I-153, in return new Yak-1 (MiG-3 for all that remained in service). 16th GvIAP first in January 1943 was sent to the 25th Regiment to train the replacement for R-39. With all of this regiment defected to treheskadrilnuyu system. There were obtained 14 fighter P-39L-1, 11 P-39D-2 and P-7-1 39K. 16th GvIAP April 8 returned to the front at the airport "Krasnodar" and for the next day began combat missions.

The results of the battle for April: in the period from 9 to s0 of April was carried out 289 sorties "Airacobra" and 13 — "Kittyhawk" by 28 air battles in which it was shot down by one Do-217, Ju-87, 2 FW-190 , 4 Ju-88, 12, Me-109R, 14 Me-109E, 45 Me-109G. Of these 10 "Messerschmitt" knocked Guard Captain Pokryshkin AI, 12 Me-109 — Guard Lieutenant Fadeev, VI, 1 Ju-88i 7 "Messers" — Guard Lieutenant Rechkalov GA

As accurate gradation "Messerschmitt" on modifications can explain the fact that while officially counted aircraft pilots who were shot down over Russian territory. The enemy machines destroyed behind enemy lines, usually not taken into account. So makarom only Pokryshkin AI "Has missed" 13 German aircraft (the end of the war, his account was almost knocked down 72, but only 59 of their "official"). The enemy aircraft at the expense of military pilot recorded after ground troops confirmed his fall, with the location, number, type. In the shelves are often delivered even signs with the engines. During the same period, the regiment lost 18 "Airacobra" is not returning from combat missions and shot down, 2 — in accidents and 11 pilots. During April the regiment was filled with 19 "Cobra" and 4 F-40E, acquired from Fighter Wing 45, 84 and 25 reserve regiment.

Pokryshkina awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union of April 24, the same year he replaced an old P-39D-2 on the latest model N. Already on August 24 Pokryshkin awarded the second star of the Hero of 30 individual victories in 455 combat missions.

The third ace of the Air Force of the Red Army was Rechkalov Gregory. Interestingly, in flight school did not want to take it on honey evidence. Started a war in the 55th Fighter Wing from the summer of 1941, flying the I-16 and I-153. Rechkalova had scored three victories, but in one of the missions he was shot down. For a long time spent in the hospital.

In the regiment returned in the summer 1942 Flying the Yak-1, won a series of victories, and later began to use the R-39. May 24 for 194 sorties and 12 personal and group 2 win Rechkalova was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union in June became the first to command a squadron of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment.

Flush with Pokryshkin and Rechkalova in 1943 Regiment shone "star" Vadim Fadeev, who had the nickname "Beard." The war began on the southern front a second lieutenant flying the I-16. In November 1941, Fadeev aircraft during the battle for Rostov-on-Don, was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and the pilot had to sit down in no man's land. Under a hail of bullets pilot ran to the side of their own positions, and later led a counterattack with a gun in his hand!

In December 1941 he was transferred to the 630 th Fighter Wing, where Fadeev flying on "Kittyhawk" first victory. "Beard" at the end of 1942 was aimed at 16-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. Soon became an ace and in general is quite a famous person. At the end of April next year was promoted to captain and became the commander of the Third Squadron. By that time, had 394 sorties, which won 17 individual victories and 3 in the group (43 aerial combat.) Died 05.05.1943 Vadim Fadeev, when his unit stormed eight Me-109. Badly wounded pilot landed the plane warped, but died in the cockpit before the run up to him Russian soldiers. Asa May 24 posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union.

The regiment just a couple of weeks before the arrival of Alexander Fadeev was a club. Graduated from flight school in 1940, but only got to the front in August 1942 during the next 50 departures 6 aircraft destroyed on the ground and in the air 4 until November 2 was shot down over Mozdok. Although the club was able to use a parachute, eventually crash very burned and spent in the hospital the next few months (but the scars on his face remained forever). On return Klubova was promoted to captain and appointed deputy. squadron commander.

Alexander Clubs to top September 1943 made 310 sorties, scored 33 victories, 14 of them — in the group. During the Iasi-Kishinev operation for only one week scored 13 victories. Clubs died 01/11/1944, during a training flight during transition to the La-7 with R-39. By the time his account had 50 wins, 19 of their group, which club won during 457 sorties. June 27, 1945 was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union posthumously.

9th Guards Fighter Air Division 2 May 1944, headed at the time Pokryshkin, returned to the front and took part in the final step of the Iasi-Kishinev operation, then there was the Lvov-Sandomierz and Berlin operations.

Around the end of 1944 began to Pokryshkina strong pressure from the high command to re on Russian Yaks with zakookeanskih "Airacobra". Himself against the regiment was re-especially given the death Klubova.

Rechkalov, the new commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, was in a bad relationship with Pokryshkin and soon he was removed from his post and changed by the commander of the 100th Guards Fighter Aviation
Regiment Boris Glinka. Rechkalov, despite this, still got the second star of the Hero of July 1 (up to 46 personal and group 6 wins). Boris Glinka two weeks later was wounded during an air battle and very hurt to leave the "Cobra". Injuries were so severe that, in order to end the war, he did not return. Appoint the commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment was just some, and Pokryshkin had to agree to return Rechkalova.

Just at the moment of victory Gregory Rechkalov completed 450 combat missions, participated in 122 air battles in which scored 62 victories (56 — personal). It is worth noting that the confrontation lasted the entire life of aces, and has even been shown on the pages of memories.

9th Guards Fighter Air Division in February 1945, it was transferred through Germany in search of the best airfield. Pokryshkin found the original solution to this prepyadstviya for basing aircraft division have adapted a few strips of highways.

After Rechkalova (in February 1945, was sent to staff position), commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment was appointed Ivan Babak, an inspector for piloting the 9th GvIDTs. He commanded a regiment straight until April 22, when he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and fell into German captivity.

Pokryshkin flew to the end of the war, eventually performing 650 sorties and taking part in 156 fights. The official account Pokryshkina was 65 wins, 6 of them — in the group, but some researchers brought the score to 72 individual victories. Under his command the 30 pilots were awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union, and a few — twice Hero.

The 27th Fighter Wing

Another division, which received a 1943 R-39, became the 27th Fighter Wing, who spent the first part of the war, the defense of a metropolitan area. In the summer of 1942, he was sent to the Stalingrad front, and in the spring of next year rearmed on the P-39 and was sent to the composition of the 205th Fighter Air Division (from 08.10.1943 was 129th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment). Since April 1943 he commanded an effective but little-known, Russian Al Vladimir Bobrov. Wage war he began in Spain, won during one of several victories. His first victory was gained in the first days of a war, and the last — in May 1945 in the skies over Berlin. But the Beavers never got the Star of the Hero, but because of the terrible temper priemuschestvenno (as in his memoirs frequently remember veterans). The regiment participated in the battles of Kursk and Kharkov Belgor-coming (it is gained 55 victories). Bobrova for unknown reasons first in 1944 was removed from command of the regiment.

Bobrova in his division took Pokryshkin making it in May commander of the 104th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. Continuing to fly a fighter jet F-39, the last victory over Czechoslovakia Beavers won 9 May 1945. In May, sent a paper to the awarding of the title of Hero of the Russian Bobrova Union, but they are initially suspended Marshal Novikov, a couple of years Marshal Vershinin. Retiring from the Air Force, Beavers never got the title of Hero of the Russian Union, died in 1971. 20.03.1991 only awarded him the title of Hero of the Russian Union — so Makar, Bobrov was the last hero of the Soviet Union.

In the 27 th to the "Cobra" under the command of Bobrova very effectively waged war Gulaev Nicholas. War he met in a deep rear, and the front fell in April 1942 in the composition of the 27th Fighter Wing was directed in February 1943.

Second Lieutenant in June 1943 he became deputy commander of the squadron, with 95 combat missions and having to account to 16 personal and group 2 victories. One of the most recognizable of his victories was a ram 14/05/1943.

During the Battle of Kursk Gulaev did very well, so for example, only for June 5, they had missed 6 sorties, during which ace shot down four enemy aircraft. July 11 was appointed commander of the 2nd Squadron. In August, the regiment was taken out of combat and was taken to the rear for re on P-39. A September 28 Gulaev became a Hero of Russian Union. In January and February of 1944 took part in the battles near Kirovograd, and later in the Korsun-Shevchenskovskoy operation.

05/30/1944 during the 1 st of the missions Gulaev got to the hospital with a wound. On his return 1/7/1944 second time awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union of 45 wins (of which only three per group).

In August Gulaeva promoted to major, and number 14 in a battle with the PV-190 was shot down. He managed to land a plane on its own airfield, but in order not returned. All in all an Gulaeva Nicholas had 57 individual victories and 3 group.

9th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment

"Cobra", the division received the Air Force in August and also soon became known as "The Regiment Aces" (third in scoring — 558 wins). Started the war, being armed with I-16, as the 69th Fighter Wing. Covered itself with glory in battle southern Ukraine near Odessa. March 7, 1942 received the title of the Guard, and was rearmed in the LaGG-3 and Yak-1. In October 1942, it was transformed into an elite unit, which gathered the best pilots of the 8th Air Army.

The regiment received a P-39 in August 1943, and flew the data fighters about 10 months. 9th GvIAP in July 1944 was taken from the front and rearmed on La 7. Perhaps because most of the aces shelf tightly associated with the La-7 and Yak-1.

We note only 3 aces of the Aviation Regiment — Amet-Khan Sultan, Alellyuhin Alex and Vladimir Lavrinenkov.

Crimean Tatar Amet-Khan Sultan to re on P-39 fighter jets flying the Yak-1 and the "Hurricanes". Total won 30 individual and 19 group victories.

Alelyukhin Alex in the regiment fought the war from the first day or the war. Victory day zamkompolka met, twice Hero of the Russian Union with 40 personal victories and 17 — in the group. Highlight the number of victories won by the fighter on a certain type of unrealistic, but we note that at least 17 had been specifically is gained to the "Cobra".

Lavrineshsov Vladimir scored 33 wins (22 of them private) before the re-education on the P-39 fighter. 08/24/1943 during a clash with EF-189 jumped with a parachute and was taken prisoner. In the regiment returned in October and finished the war with 47 victories, of which 11 — group. Flying the P-39, scored at least 11 victories.

In summary, it must be said that the introduction of "Airacobra" in the Russian Air Force was definitely a success. The aircraft was in the expert hands of a massive gun, equivalent arms of the enemy. Some "special" areas of use "Airacobra" were not — they were used as everyday, "multipurpose" fighter that performs the same function as the "Yakovlev" and "Lavochkin": battled fighters flew reconnaissance, accompanied the bombers, guarded by troops. Russian fighter jets from different vitality, more massive weapon, a benign radio, but with all this gave way in the vertical agility, the ability to make sharp maneuvers and withstand the tremendous overload. The pilots 'Cobra' adored for decent protection and comfort: one of the pilots of F-39 even said that flew it, "as in the safe." Pilots "Airacobra" did not burn because the plane was made of metal, and the tanks were located in the far wing. Also, their faces are not thrashed jet oil or steam, since the engine was at the back of the persons not broken sights, while nosing is not transformed into a cake, it came out with two times Hero of the Russian Union of Klubova AF after transplantation in the La-7 with R-39. There was even some kind of magic that the pilot tried to save the damaged "Cobra" due to a forced landing in fact has always remained alive and unharmed, but those who have left it with a parachute, often died from the impact of the stabilizer located at the door .. .

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Mayor Paul S. Kutakhov (later twice Hero of the Union and the Russian Air Chief Marshal) in the cockpit of a fighter South American production P-39 "Cobra". Karelian Front. During the years of war, Russian Lofty PS Kutakhov made 367 sorties, carried out 79 air combat, shot down 14 enemy aircraft in person and 28 in group
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Fighter pilot, deputy commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, twice Hero of the Russian Union of Gregory A. Rechkalov about your own aircraft P-39 "Cobra"
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"

Deputy squadron commander of the 2nd Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, Naval Air Force of the Union of Russian Hero Guard Lieutenant NM Didenko (second from left) discusses the teammates dogfight near the South American fighter F-39 "Cobra" (P-39 Airacobra), is supplied to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program there. On the fuselage of the fighter an eagle with a German pilot in its beak and a German aircraft destroyed in the legs. Didenko Nikolai Matveevich — party majestically Russian war with illumine 1941. By July 1944, the Guard Lieutenant NM Didenko made 283 successful sorties, spent 34 air battles personally shot down 10 aircraft and sank two schooners opponent. In November 1944, NM Didenko "for the unprecedented heroism in battle against the Nazi invaders" was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"
Jora Basenko on the wing of its own aircraft P-39 "Cobra". Behind seen other "Airacobra". 1st Ukrainian Front, 1944. Jora Illarionovich Basenko (born in 1921) during the war shot down 10 enemy aircraft and one person — in group
Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"

The commander of the 102nd Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, the Major AG Pronin on the wing of his own fighter P-39 "Cobra". From the report: "the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Guards Fighter Air. Donoshu: Based on the orders of the commander of the regiment of Guards Major Pronin on all military aircraft regiment in the aircraft cabin doors on both sides of the Guard painted icons. Chief of Staff of the 102-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, the Major (signature) Pasha "

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"

From left to right: Chief of Staff of the regiment, Major AS Pasha, the deputy commander of the regiment, Major Sergei Stepanovich Bukhteyev (Wing Commander?) Capt. Alexander G. Pronin (Deputy Squadron Commander?) Lieutenant Nikolai Tsisarenko. Month in the photo is not specified. For this and other photos spring-summer 1943 it puts some uncertainty when specifying a job / military ranks Pronin (squadron commander / commander of the regiment) and Tsisarenko (Deputy Squadron Commander / Wing Commander) at the time of shooting. In April, June regiment of 2-3-eskadrilnogo became eskadrilnym, movements occur in the command structure. In July, the Guards regiment assigned name of the 102-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. According to records in the military card, AG Pronin, he has served as commander of the regiment from June 1943 Accordingly, Nicholas became the commander of the squadron Tsisarenko

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"

From left to right: Lieutenant Zhileostov, Lieutenant Anatoly Ivanov (deceased), Lieutenant Boldyrev, Senior Lieutenant Nikolai Alexandrov (died), Dmitry Andrianovich Shpigun (died), NA Kritsyn, Vladimir Gorbachev.Zamestitel Guard squadron commander Lieutenant Anatoly Ivanov died in the village of Lautaranta at a training flight 17/08/1944. He was buried in a mass grave town Zelenogorsk Leninagradskoy area. Senior pilot LIEUTENANT Dmitry Andrianovich Shpigun missing 12 February 1944 on the site of Sverdlovsk — Kazan at the stretch of the 2nd set of aircraft P-39 from Krasnoyarsk to Leningrad. Dmitry Shpigun died in a large-scale disaster which killed 2 Ferry Squadron (9th Regiment SibVO Ferry and 2nd Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment Navy SF). Cause of death 16 pilots — an incorrect weather forecast issued by the route Sverdlovsk-Kazan: The weather was stormy. In view of failure of any one of the radio team leaders or crew leaders failed to take the team to return to its own airfield and give it to "Cobra"

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"

Aetchiki fighter 3rd Squadron of the 39th Guards Regiment. 3rd right — Ivan Gerasimov. After the war, the Guard Lieutenant IM Gerasimov, died in a plane crash in the snow-white church near Kiev in the autumn of 1947. Names and other place is not clear. Photo is made against the background of the fighter Bell P-39 Airacobra («Cobra"), which was delivered to the USSR from U.S. Lend-Lease. "Airacobra" were in service with the 39th Air Defense GIAP from 1943 to May 1945

Soviet Aces on fighters Lend-Lease.  Part C "Cobra"

Aces pilots of the 9th Guards Fighter Aviation Division at the Bell P-39 "Cobra" GA Rechkalova. From left to right: Alexander F. Clubs (twice Hero of the Russian Union, personally shot down 31 aircraft, 19 — in the group), Gregory A. Rechkalov (twice Hero, personally shot down 56 aircraft and 6 — in the group), Andrey Work (Hero of the Russian Union , personally shot down 25 aircraft and one in the group) and the commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment Boris Glinka (Hero of the Russian Union shot down 30 aircraft and one person in the group). 2nd Ukrainian Front. Photos made in June 1944 — on the plane Rechkalova number of stars corresponds to his achievements at this time (46 aircraft shot down personally, 6 in each group)

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