The first of the "Air Cobra" .I allied convoys to Murmansk were sent in December 1941 year, with some of the fighters lost in transit. According to the British, 49 vehicles (according to other information - 54) of the Air Cobra type were lost by sea. I, but this is the total number of fighters lost on the entire route from the United States to the Soviet Union, including stretches from the US to England. The loss of PQ convoys (from England to Murmansk) can be roughly estimated as follows: if the number of cars sent from England (212) is deducted from the number received by the Soviet Union (1941 of the year - 1 in December, 1942 in 192, according to archive materials of the General Staff Soviet Army Air Force, in 1943 — 2, according to the English) and take into account that in the USSR the first P-39D-2, K and L received four pieces of 12.11.1942 and 04.12.1942, traffic will be 20-25 aircraft.
Aircraft Cobra P-39D-2 ("Model 14A", Bell) in the USSR received exclusively through Iran, on the "southern" route. The ships transported fighter jets from Iceland or directly from the US eastern ports by two routes: through Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea 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). The Allies had to use such long routes at the end of 1942 after the crushing defeat of PQ-17 and the general increase in the loss of transport ships in the Arctic convoys up to 11-12 percent. New routes passed through the areas of absolute superiority of the Allies in the air and at sea, or even away from military operations. The advantage of this route was safety (reduction by an order of losses with a significantly smaller number of escort vessels), its serious drawback - the delivery time for goods only at the “sea” stage increased to 35 - 60 days.
At the "land" stage, which took place on the territory of Iran and Iraq, certain difficulties also existed. The pro-German orientation of the governments of these countries, the lack of transport infrastructure and the mountain landscape created significant difficulties for arranging a “through” route from the Persian Gulf through Iran to Azerbaijan. It required serious political, military and engineering support for this route, which was done in 1941-1942.
Soviet and British troops in September 1941, occupied Persia (Iran). Power passed into the hands of the government of the friendly USSR and England. Unambiguous acts of aggression on today's concepts, these military-political actions in 1941 were useful preventive measures that saved the country from cooperation with the fascist forces. British engineer troops under the leadership of General Connolly had expanded ports, built highways, reconstructed the airfield network and railway.
"South" track for aviation started working in June 1942. The Hurricanes and Bostons were the first to follow it, and from November, Kittyhawks, Spitfires and Aero Cobras. In the port of Abadan, fighters were unloaded in boxes. Assembly and flyby were usually carried out directly in Abadan or in Basra, Iraq, located about 60 kilometers west, at the RAF airbase.
The Soviet air force conducted several preparatory activities for the development of the "southern" route. In the summer of 1942, an "assembly" aviation base was established in Abadan (about 300 Soviet workers and engineers under the leadership of Evtihov AI), an "intermediate" aviation base in Tehran, at which the military representative of the Red Army's import department (Chief Colonel Fokin V .В.) Carried out the acceptance of aircraft, formed the distilling aircraft regiments and training centers for retraining for imported aircraft.
Airplanes P-39 aircraft are being assembled in one of the shops of the plant in the city in Buffalo
Bell Assembly Assembly Bell P-39 "Air Cobra" and Bell P-63 "Kingcobra". The line on the left is P-39Q, and then the 3 line P-63A. Then - two lines of nearly completed P-39Q
American fighter P-39 "Air Cobra" (Bell P-39 Airacobra) stands at the airfield of Nome (Nome) in Alaska
The route for the Aerokobr functioned as follows: airplanes delivered by sea were unloaded in Abadan, where they were assembled by Soviet specialists, and also flown over by Soviet pilots. Then, by air, they were transferred to Qali-Margi airfield in Tehran, where Soviet military representatives carried them out. Then the aircraft were transferred to the Azerbaijani city of Adzhi-Kabul at a training center or at ferry airfields near the city of Kirovabad. In connection with Stalin's pathological distrust of foreigners, American and British specialists were attracted to the delivery of airplanes in the minimum amount: as consultants during assembly and fly-away (Abadan), as well as delivery specialists (Tehran).
The retraining process was also typical; The thinned-down regiment was relegated from the front, replenished and trained for a new material part, received airplanes and returned to the front. Through the 25-th reserve air regiment, the combat losses of the regiments sent to the front were also replenished, small batches of airplanes were sent to the warring units "for familiarization" with the equipment planned for introduction. Thus, in addition to training, ZAP served as a depot, which distributed incoming aircraft to combat units. Therefore, the 25-th reserve air regiment was the main channel through which British and American aircraft entered the southern sector of the front.
However, with the increase in the number of foreign aircraft, several more ZAPs were founded, in particular, in Ivanovo — 11 and 22, and in Aji-Kabul — 26.
In 1943, the P-39N / Q fighters began to be delivered along AlSib, for which they formed six ferry regiments. According to Western data, the Red Army's air forces received a total of 3291 P-39Q (according to other data - 3041), 1113 P-39N, 157 P-39M, 137 P-39L (according to other data 140), 108 P-39D, and 40 P-39K. Thus, the total number of Aero Cobra shipped from both Britain and the United States is estimated at 4850 units.
The Soviet pilots were already at the front able to evaluate the powerful armament of the "Bell" machines, consisting of a bow-gun, 2-s of large-caliber machine guns and 4-s of rifle caliber machine guns. The British Aircrews I and the P-39D were armed with a 20 mm caliber cannon, and from the K model onwards - the 37-millimeter.
Quite often, Soviet technology to improve the performance of the fighter simply removed the British machine guns. Also on the P-39Q modification, suspended machine-gun nacelles were dismantled (at least not a single photograph of the Cobras in service with the SA with these gondolas is unknown).
Soviet pilots evaluated the high maneuverability of the new aircraft at mid-altitude, where the overwhelming number of battles between Soviet and German fighters took place. The Soviet pilots during retraining on the P-39 encountered a flat corkscrew, but quickly learned how to deal with this problem. The pilots also liked the "car" door, which increases the chances of survival during a parachute jump. On the other hand, the risk of hitting the tail unit increased - at least two ace - Nikolay Iskrin and Dmitry Glinka were injured during the jump, and many unknown pilots died. However, it is necessary to note the good maintainability of the aircraft after the forced landings.
Despite the well-established western myth, the Aero Cobras were not used as attack aircraft or destroyers tanks. All regiments, which were armed with these fighters, were used to gain air supremacy. It is likely that the IL-2 was quite enough at the final stage of the war.
The first combatant unit that was armed with the Air Cobra I was the 145 Fighter Regiment (04.04.1942 for the successful combat work of the 145 Fighter Regiment turned into 19 Guards), headed by Major Reifnsheider (later changed his name to Kalugin, who was more popular, and led by Major Reifnsheider, who later changed their name to Kalugin, who became more popular, they were more popular, and replaced by more Reyhnsheider)
Unlike the 153 and 185 PAIs, which were trained in the rear training center, the fighter regiment 145 was mastered by an imported fighter in its operational zone (up to 100 kilometers from the front line), without manuals and instructions in Russian or instructors. This regiment was formed on 17 in January 1940 in the town of Kayrelo (formerly Finnish territory). He took part in the Finnish campaign, destroyed 5 enemy planes, losing as much of their own. At the beginning of the war, flew the I-16. Then on the Hurricane, MiG-3 and LaGG-3. At the end of the same month, the air regiment was tasked with mastering the Kittyhawk fighters, the P-40 and the Air Cobra 1. For this purpose, the aviation regiment was relocated to the airfield "Afrikanda", where he received the boxes with the aircraft, delivered by the Kirov railway. During May, the engineering and technical staff (headed by Major Goltsev PP, Senior Regimental Engineer) assembled the 10 of the Kittyhawk and 16 of the Air Cobra.
Technical documentation was available only in English. The assembly and study of imported fighters produced simultaneously. Most often, the work was carried out in the open air, with severe frosts, in the polar night. Despite this, the squadron commander Captain Kutahov PS was already 26 on April. (the future twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Marshal of Aviation) made 3 training flights in a circle on the Aerocobra. By 15, May personnel (22 pilot) mastered the technique of piloting fighters. At the same time, the fighter regiment was reorganized into a three-squadron squadron of 015 / 174 staff.
The first combat mission of the air regiment pilots made 15.05.1942, when the captain Kutahov, the commander of the first squadron, led the patrol of the front line.
At that time, Pavel Kutakhov was already a trained pilot, took part in the Soviet-Finnish war and participated in the invasion of 17.09.1939 in Poland. The first victory, flying on the I-16, won 23.07.1941.
During the first departure of 15 in May, Pavel Kutahov and First Lieutenant Ivan Bochkov, the future ace, shot down one fighter, which they identified as “Non-113” - in reality, they were Me-109F. This success was paid for by the loss of the first Cobra, which was piloted by Ivan Gaidenko, also a future ace, shot down in aerial combat. Mayor Kutahov's 28 was also shot down while repelling an attack on the Shonguy airfield of enemy bombers.
Kutahov, quickly leaving the hospital, took part in the fierce battle of September 15. The Hurricanes of the 837 Fighter Aviation Regiment that day tried to protect the power plant in Tulomi from the bombardment of bombed Me-109 bombers. To help the Hurricaiams, the Aero Cobra from the 19 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment was raised. In the hardest battle, seven German Air Force fighters were shot down (according to the documents of the enemy, only one aircraft did not return from combat sortie). The Soviet regiments lost two planes, then on the Kutahov plane counted 15 bullet holes.
By February, Kutahov 1943 made 262 combat sorties, took part in 40 air battles, shooting down 31 enemy aircraft (in the group - 24 of them).
27 March Kutahov and his followers Lobkovich and Silaev intercepted 4 Me-109Г during the "free hunt". During the first attack, Kutahov hit an enemy plane that had departed in the north-west direction. After a tense 15 minute battle, he managed to win a second victory. In his post-flight report, he stated that he had seen hits, but there was no enemy plane crash. At the same time, the soldiers of the land post the place of the fall of the Messer was discovered and captured by the pilot.
On May 1, 1943, Kutakhov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, promoted to the rank of colonel and transferred to the 20th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment as regiment commander. He ended the war, having carried out 367 sorties, took part in 79 air battles, scoring 23 individual and 28 group victories. After the war, he remained in the Air Force, became an aviation marshal in 1969, until 1984 (until his death) he commanded the USSR Air Force. Senior Lieutenant Ivan Bochkov, like Kutakhov, began his career during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. The first victory was won on 15.05.1942/109/XNUMX, the next day he destroyed another Me-XNUMXF. Until the end of the war he was promoted to captain.
10 December Bochkov in a battle between 6 Aerocabra and 12 Me-109 and 12 U-87 was shot down by one bomber, earning the title of ace. By February, 1943 fought 308 combat missions, conducted 45 air battles, during which won 39 victories (of which in the group - 32).
Killed 04.04.1943 during an air battle, covering the slave. By that time, he had 50 air battles and more 350 sorties. 1 May 1943 g. Bochkova awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously. Another pilot from the 9 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, who began his combat career during the Finnish company, was Fomchenkov Konstantin. In June, 1942 was promoted to captain, and on June 15, 1942 scored two victories in the sky over Murmansk. On his account, by March 1943, there were 8 personal and 26 group victories, 37 air battles and 320 combat sorties. 24 August 1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, at that time Fomchenkov added four more victories to his own account. Later he became a major, having received a squadron under his command.
24 February 1944 took part in a raid on the airfield in Tungozero, where 6 Р-39 from 19 Guards and 2 Р-39 from 760 th Fighter Guards Aviation Regiment participated, covering 6 IL-2 of the X-NXX of the fighter guards air regiment, who covered 828 IL-3 of the X-NUMX of the Fighter Guards Aviation Regiment, who covered 38-26 of the Fighter Guards Air Regiment, who covered 5 IL-190 of the X-NXX of the X-NIMX In this unsuccessful battle for the Soviet side, the Aerocobra 2 was lost immediately (Fomchepkov died in battle, on the official account of which there were 109 victories, of which 39 were group), but our pilots declared 19 shot down FV-1942 and 15.06.1942 Me 15. Lieutenant Krivosheya Efim, the future ace on the P-5, in the 9-th Guards Fighter Regiment in the squadron Kutahova hit in May 109 of the year. The first two wins were won by 4, and by September his score was already 6 group and 5 individual victories. September 22 when intercepting a large group of bombers having spent ammunition Krivosheev rammed an enemy fighter. German data says that Aerocabra Krivosheev spread Bf-1943F-XNUMX to Hoffman's obrefreytor from XNUMX./JGXNUMX into smithereens. XNUMX February XNUMX g. He was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously.
Another tragic hero of the 19 Guards Fighter Wing was Alexander Zaitsev, who gained combat experience in 1937 in China and in 1939-1940 with the Finns. By June, 1941 reached the rank of captain and commanded the third squadron of the 145 th Fighter Wing. Despite popularity among pilots, Zaitsev did not have a relationship with the regimental commissar.
Having won a number of victories on the I-16, in December the 1941 of Zaitsev received the rank of major, becoming the commanders of the 760 fighter air regiment formed on the Hurricane. The regiment in the first months of fighting won 12 victories, but lost 15 machines, and this led to friction with the command. As a result, he was removed from office. Zaitsev was returned to the 19-th Guards Fighter Wing, which flew the AIR Cobra. For some time Zaytsev flew in a pair with Pavel Kutahov.
Zaitsev on the evening of May 28 was headed by 6 AeroCob and 6 P-40, which covered 10 Sat-2. The group near Lake Shulgul-Yavr was intercepted by 12 Me-109. Despite the fact that the bombers received a direct order from Zaitsev to return, the group commander decided to continue the task. As a result, although the Soviet pilots managed to knock down the 3 Me-109 with the loss of the 2 P-40, the SAT (another one was seriously damaged) and the Air Cobra, the task was not completed.
Major Zaitsev, squadron commander of the 145 th Fighter Aviation Regiment, killed 30 on May 1942 during a training flight on the Air Cobra fighter P-39. By that time, more than 200 sorties had been flown, 14 personal and 21 group victories had been won ...
New shelves on the P-39
The first subdivisions that were retrained on the AIR Cobra in the 22-second reserve in Ivanovo were the 153 and 185 Red Banner Fighter Aviation Regiments. 29 June 1942 of the IAP 153 in full force, staffed by 015 / 284 staff (23 pilot, 20 aircraft and 2 squadron) under the command of Hero of the Soviet Union Major SI Mironov arrived at the airport "Voronezh". The fighting began on June 30, without a long buildup. Then the regiment was relocated to the airfield "Lipetsk", from which it carried out flights to 25 September. On the Voronezh front for 59 flight days, 1070 combat sorties were made (total 1162 flight time), 259 air battles were conducted, including 45 group airplanes, and 64 aircraft were shot down: 1 corrector; 18 - bombers, 45 - fighters. At the same time for three months, their own losses amounted to 8 aircraft and 3 pilot. Non-combat losses: one pilot and two aircraft.
For such success the regiment of his commander was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
153 th fighter regiment for excellent military service on the Voronezh front presented to the rank of "Guards".
Moreover, 1237's enemy aircraft were destroyed by the regiment after 77 combat sortie, including one by ram: captain Avdeev A.F. went to the "Messerschmitt" in a frontal attack and none of them wanted to turn away ... This is the first ram using the "Air Cobra".
The 153 th IAP 22 in November 1942 of the year was transformed into the 28 th Guards, and from November the 1943 in the 28 th Guards Leningrad Fighter Aviation Regiment. Thus, in the period from 01.12.1942 of 01.08.1943 regiment carried 1176 sorties, spending 66 group fights, in which 63 enemy planes were destroyed (4 Xm-126, 6 Yu-88, 7 EF-189, 23 EF-190, 23 Me -109F) and 4 aerostat, knocked out 1 bomber and 7 fighters. Own losses are aircraft 23, of which 5 is crashed in accidents and 4 is bombed at the airfield. The loss of personnel by Soviet sources was assessed as 10 people unaccounted for and dead.
Colonel Mironov in February 1944 led the 193 th fighter aviation division, and by the end of the war 17 had won victories (plus one more victory from the Finnish company). November 21 regiment 1943 was reformed into the 28 th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. The most famous regiment pilot is Major Smirnov Alexey, who performed several sorties during the Finnish war. The first victory was won in July of 1941, only he won an 153 victory on an I-4. After receiving the new "Aerokobr" account began to grow very quickly. In one of the first 23 sorties on July 1942, two enemy fighters were shot down, but Smirnov himself was shot down. He landed a burning plane in a draw lane and was saved as a result of a tank attack. The pilot stayed with the tankers for three days before returning to his unit. The next double victory of the ace was credited 15 March 1943, when the 2 FV-190 immediately hit the Smirnov sight. On his account by August there were 312 combat sorties 39 air battles and 13 downed aircraft. September 28 he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. He ended the war with 457 sorties and 35 victories (of which only one in the group).
Another fighter pilot of the 153 air regiment who had experience of the Finnish war was Nikitin Alexey. In total, by the end of the war, ace made 238 sorties, winning 24 (5 group). Another ace - Anatoly Kislyakov - won his first victory on June 25, knocking down the Finnish “Fokker” D-21 near the Sortevala lake. In general, Kislyakov was considered a "specialist" in the destruction of enemy aircraft on airfields - he destroyed 15 aircraft in this way, but he was twice shot down by fighter jets and four times. Later he served as deputy squadron commander, scored six victories over Stalingrad, flying the Aerocobra, and even 7 — when the fighter regiment 153 fought in the Demyansk region. By the end of the war, Kislyakov was given the rank of captain, making 532 combat sorties. He has a 15 downed aircraft and a 1 aerostat in his combat score. To this account, you must add another 15 aircraft destroyed on the ground. 18 August 1945 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
American P-63 Kingcobra fighter-bombers (Bell P-63 Kingcobra) and P-39 fighter jets Aerial Cobra (Bell P-39 Airacobra) before being sent under the USA lend-lease program to the USSR. During the war, from the USA to the USSR, under the Lend-Lease, the P-63 “Kingcobra” - 2400 aircraft, the P-39 “Aircobra” - 4952 aircraft were delivered
B-25, A-20 "Boston" bombers and Р-39 fighter jets, prepared for lend-lease to the Soviet Union, are lined up along Ladd Field, Alaska, in the air force, before the arrival of the selection committee from the USSR
American and Soviet pilots next to the P-39 Aero Cobra, which was supplied to the USSR under lend-lease. One of the aviation regiments of the Poltava air hub, summer 1944 of the year
The third unit, re-armed with the Aero Cobra in the reserve 22 air regiment, was the 180 th Fighter Aviation Regiment, withdrawn from the 20.07.1942 front. Previously, the regiment was armed with the Hurricanes and spent only 5 weeks at the front. The retraining was started on 3 in August and eventually in the 13 in March, the 1943 regiment returned to the Kursk area.
Earlier, the 21.11.1942 regiment became the 30 guards regiment. His commander was Lieutenant Colonel Ibatulin Hassan. The regiment commander won his first victories on the I-153 and I-16. Ibatulina was shot down and wounded in July by 1942. The lieutenant colonel led the 30 th Guards Fighter Air Regiment until the end of the war, 18.04.1945 won his last victories (15 had personal victories).
The "stars" of the regiment were Filatov Alexander Petrovich and Rents Mikhail Petrovich. Renz graduated from Odessa Flight School in 1939, served as an instructor in the Far East. In October, 1942 was sent to the 180 th Fighter Wing. The first victory was won by 22.05.1943, when the four "Aero Cobra" attacked a large group of U-87 concealed by PV-190. In the first attack, Renz shot down a fighter, and his comrades 3 U-87. After five of Renz, three PV-190 were attacked, after which he was forced to jump with a parachute.
The 30 th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment at the end of 1943 was again withdrawn from the front, and on its return it was sent to the 273 Fighter Aviation Division. Renz in the summer of 1944, took part in numerous battles in the skies over Belarus and Poland. 12 On August, Renz's group shot down 6 from 30 U-87, while 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 ended the war with 25 victories (of which 5 group), which were won in 261 departure. The title of Hero of the Soviet Union received in May 1946. Filatov Alexander Petrovich went to the front in March 1943 with the rank of sergeant and began to fly in the third squadron of Mikhail Renz. His first victory was won by 9 in May, when he shot down the PV-190, and on June 2 - Me-110.
After 3 months of fighting, Filatov had 8 personal victories and 4 in the group. 4 July was shot down in one of its sorties, and Filatov was forced to use a parachute. He returned to his regiment the next morning. A few days later he was again shot down during a battle with PV-190. This time he was captured, but on August 15 Filatov and a captured tankman escaped from a column of prisoners of war. A month later, they crossed the front line, after which Filatov returned to service. The commander of the regiment after checking SMERSH bodies returned the ace to the regiment.
Filatov in the summer of 1944. Received the rank of lieutenant, soon became deputy. commander of the third squadron. Filatov in March 1945 became commander of the first squadron. During the evening patrol 20 April, his plane was shot down. Ac planted his P-39 in German-controlled territory. Soon he was captured for the second time. Filatov was placed in the hospital, from where he safely escaped. After returning to the regiment, he received the rank of captain, but two captives did not allow him to receive the title Hero of the Soviet Union. And after the end of the war, ace with 25 victories (of which 4 was a group) was quickly fired from the air force.
Innocent Kuznetsov was another prominent figure from the 30 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. The pilot started the war in the fighter regiment 129, where he won a number of victories, in August 1942 was transferred to the IAP 180. Prior to the beginning of 1943, he flew Hurricaiahs, then there was the 30 th Guards Fighter Wing, where Kuznetsov flew Aerocovers. Before the end of the war 2 made a ram. Twice presented for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, however, he was never awarded. By the end of the war, Kuznetsov had 366 departures, of which the MiG-3 was 209, the Hurricane had 37 and the Cobra had 120. On his official account was 12 group and 15 individual victories. After the war, he worked as a test pilot, in 1956 he performed a government special mission in Egypt, completing at least one combat sortie on the IL-28. Only 22.03.1991 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union!
The first unit, which was retrained in Azerbaijan in the 25-th reserve aviation regiment, was the 9-I Guards Fighter Division, which became the most famous unit of the Red Army air force. The pilots of this unit declared victories 1147. In the division, the service was like 31 Hero of the Soviet Union, of which 3 twice, and once - three times Heroes of the Soviet Union. IAP 298 became the first regiment, which was armed with P-39D, later went 45-th Fighter Regiment and 16-th Guards. The latter was armed with both I-16 and Yak-1. The war began as the 55 th Fighter Wing on the Southern Front. The reshaping was allotted in January 1943. The 298 Fighter Regiment received 21 P-39D-2 armed with a 20 mm caliber gun and 11 P-39K-1 armed with an 37 mm caliber gun, and the commanders and deputy commanders of the squadrons received it.
The IAP 298 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Taranenko Ivan 17 March was transferred to the Korenovskaya airfield, where he entered the 219 dietary supplement. The first losses were incurred almost immediately - on March 19 they shot down Sergeant Belyakov's plane, the pilot was killed.
24 August 1943, the 298 th Fighter Aviation Regiment was renamed 10 Guards and sent to the newly organized 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Division (initially conceived as elite). In the period from 17 March to 20 on August 1943, the regiment carried out 1625 combat sorties (total 2072 hours), conducted 111 battles, which knocked out 29 and shot down 167 of enemy aircraft. Lost 11 "Aerocobras" shot down and 30 downed. The commander of the regiment - Lieutenant Colonel Taranenko Ivan during this period won four personal and group victories. In mid-July, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and he began to command the 294 fighter air division, armed with the Yak-1. 02.09.1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. On his account at the end of the war were 20 victories, of which 4 - group.
Soviet aircraft technicians repair the F-39 Aero Cobra fighter, which was supplied to the USSR from the USA under a lend-lease program, in field conditions. The unusual layout of this fighter was to place the engine behind the cockpit near the center of mass
Taranenko at the post of commander of the Fighter Wing 298 was replaced by Major Semenishin Vladimir. Like many Soviet aces, he gained combat experience during the Finnish war. He started the war as part of the 131 th Fighter Regiment on the I-16. During the next combat departure of 11 in May 1942, his plane was fired at anti-aircraft guns, the pilot received 18 injuries, but was able to land the damaged car. After recovery, he was promoted to major and became navigator of the air regiment. By May, 1943 made 136 sorties, winning 15 victories (of which 7 in the group) in 29 battles. On May 24, Semenishin was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, and from July 18 he became the commander of the 298 th Fighter Aviation Regiment. Killed 29 September 1943 year in aerial combat. Semenishin's final score - 13 group and 33 personal victories.
Vasily Drygin - another efficient regiment pilot. He got into the 298 fighter regiment from the 4 th fighter regiment in July 1942. He survived numerous fights and became one of the few pilots who formed the backbone of the air regiment after its rearmament on the P-39. In battles in the Kuban, won 15 victories (5 of them in the group).
Drygin 24 May 1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. At the end of the war, Drygin had 20 victories.
The second regiment, which was rearmed on Р-39D, was the 45 th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which had fought in the Crimea and the North Caucasus under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dzusov Ibragim Magometovich from the beginning of 1942. He was born in the village of Zamankul of North Ossetia in a poor peasant family. I went to the Red Army as a volunteer at the age of 15. Ibrahim fought in Central Asia with gangs of basmachs as a simple soldier.
Dzusov graduated from flight school in 1929 - so began his service in the air force. The commander of the 45 th Fighter Aviation Regiment, armed with the I-15bis and I-16, Dzusov I. M. became 25.04.1939.
At the beginning of 1941, the regiment mastered the new Yak-1 fighter aircraft. This unit was one of the first in the country's air force to master this fighter. With the outbreak of war, the 45 th fighter regiment covered the landing craft when Soviet troops entered northern Iran and showed high proficiency.
And in early January, the 1942 regiment dropped out of the 8-th Air Corps of the Baku Air Defense Corps and enters the 72-th Air Division of the Crimean Front. The pilots did not have combat experience, and Major Dzusov, IM, teaches them how to conduct an air battle. The commander personally leads the group to repel enemy raids, for reconnaissance, attack, cover of troops. The regiment before 19 on May 1942 made 1087 combat sorties, conducted 148 air combat and shot down 36 aircraft.
16.06.1943 he left the 45 th Fighter Wing to lead the 9 Guards Fighter Air Division. He held this post until May 1944, after which he became the commander of the entire 6 fighter air corps. By the end of the war, despite his age, he had six victories that were won in 11 aerial combat. “Dzusov flew before he got into a lot of trouble,” recalled I. Babak, a famous Soviet ace. “In May, 1943, when he was already a division commander, he flew with a group. A fierce battle ensued over the front line: several fascist aircraft were already shot down, but all the new planes approached them. After one of the attacks, Dzusov hit a fascist plane and began to leave the battle by diving, the Nazis attacked him ... The Dzusov plane caught fire and melted away. Near the command post of the division t The pilots from among those who did not fly on missions (sick and wounded) were on duty for about 24 hours. Everyone was in obscurity. the group drove up with an embarrassed smile and a cheerful sense of humor inherent in it: "Worried? Sorry, did not take into account ... I haven't jumped with a parachute for a long time. So I decided to try. After this incident, he no longer flew into battle (Dzusova was simply not allowed to do this). "
Since the 45 fighter regiment arrived at the 25 th reserve regiment at the end of October 1942 - two and a half months after the fighter regiment 298 - the training process was already debugged. Initially, the regiment was retrained to P-40, but just before being sent to the front, the Air Cobra began to arrive.
It was decided to divide the pilots into 3 squadrons, of which one armed P-40, two - "Cobra". Thus, rearmament was delayed until the beginning of March 1943, when the fighter regiment 45 returned to the front. At that time, the first and third squadrons deployed 10 P-39DH and 11 Р-39К, while the second one was 10 Р-40Е. The 45 th Fighter Aviation Regiment 9 March redeployed to the airfield of Krasnodar, from where he immediately began active hostilities. But in this sector of the front, the best aces of Goering fought, and the Soviet pilots soon suffered heavy losses.
In this regiment fought one of the best aces of the USSR Air Force - brothers Dmitry and Boris Glinka. Boris, the eldest of the brothers, graduated from a flight school in 1940 and met the war in the 45 Fighter Aviation Regiment as a lieutenant. He won his first victory in 1942. His talent as a fighter pilot was fully revealed with the receipt of the Cobra. 24 May 1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, after 10 won victories in March-April. Since the summer of 1944, the commander of the 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment.
Despite the fact that Dmitriy was three years younger, the less flying school he graduated almost immediately after his elder brother was distributed to the fighter regiment 45. Dmitry won 6 victories, in the spring of 1942, flying to the Yak-1, was shot down, wounded and spent two months in the hospital. By mid-April of the following year, he made his 146 combat mission, winning the 15 victory. 15 in April in an air battle was again wounded, spent a week in the hospital, returning to the location of the unit, received the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Dmitry Glinka in the early summer of 1943 was promoted to captain, and on August 24 became the twice Hero of the Soviet Union, for 29 victories won in 186 sorties. In September, an unpleasant incident occurred, a German trophy grenade exploded in his hands. He spent some time in the hospital.
He participated in the Neva operation and Yasso-Kish, where he won a number of victories. He got into an accident of the transport vehicle Li-2 (he was rescued from under the burning debris only after 48 hours, as a result of the accident he was seriously injured). After treatment, he took part in the Lviv-Sandomierz operation, during which he recorded 9 victories to his account. The battle for Berlin also didn’t go without it - the last victories Dmitry Glinka won 18.04.1945. In total, they won 50 victories in 90 air battles (300 combat sorties).
Another pilot of the 100 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (45 IAP 18.06.1943 for combat successes during the air battle over the Kuban was transformed into 100 Guards) was a mathematician and former chemistry teacher Ivan Babak. He joined the army in 1940, in April 1942 completed flight training, was sent to the 45 th Fighter Regiment on the Yak-1. At first, the pilot didn’t shine and Dzusov even thought about his transfer to another part, but Dmitry Kalarash persuaded to leave a promising pilot in the regiment.
Babak won his first victory over Mozdok in September, and in March, when the 45 fighter regiment returned to the front, he won a number of victories. During the hardest April battles, he shot down another 14 of enemy fighters. At the peak of his success, he caught malaria and stayed in the hospital until September.
After his return, Babak received a new P-39N at his disposal and, during the first flight, shot down Me-109 on it. 1 November 1943 was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, but again fell into the hospital with malaria that was not treated. 1944 was returned to the system in August, when the regiment took part in the Yassy-Kishinev operation.
22 April, unfortunately for the ace, he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and he was captured. Despite the fact that the Germans, he stayed just 2 week, but it had a disastrous impact on his career. It cost Babak the second Star of the Hero, and only the intervention of Pokryshkin allowed to avoid more serious consequences. Before Babak was captured on ace's personal account, there were 33 personal victories and 4 in the group.
Nikolay Lavitsky was also a veteran - in the regiment since 1941, he won his first victory by flying the I-153. Prior to the withdrawal of the regiment for rearmament, the P-39 made 186 combat missions, in which he won individual 11 and one group victory. During the summer, 1943 won another 4 victory, 24 August was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, assigned the rank of captain and appointed commander of the 3 squadron.
Asa's personal life did not develop - in the rear of Lavitsky left his wife. Probably why his every departure was associated with great risk. This behavior caused the commander concern for his life, in connection with which Dzusov transferred Lavitsky to a staff position. But it didn’t save him from death - Nikolai Lavitsky died 10 March 1944 of the year during a training flight. On the account of Lavitsky at that time were 26 victories (of which 2 group), won during the 250 sorties.
Soviet fighter American-made Р-39 "Air Cobra" (Airacobra), supplied to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program, in flight
16 th Guards Fighter Wing
The third regiment that used the P-39D during the “Battle for Kuban” was the most eminent regiment of the air force of the USSR - the 16-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. This regiment was the second in number of air victories (697), and it brought up the largest number of Heroes of the Soviet Union (XNUMH man), including two pilots who received this title twice and one - three times. AT stories The USSR had only three people - three times Hero of the Soviet Union - Marshal Zhukov received the Third Star in 1945, and the unique fourth Hero Star - in 1956. The regiment began its history in the 1939 year as the 55 th Fighter Aviation Regiment. Since the beginning of the war took part in the battles on the southern front. The 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment became the 7 March 1942 of the year.
The regiment's pilots in the spring of 1942 gave up their last Y-16 and I-153, receiving in return new Yak-1 (MiG-3 continued to be in service). At the beginning of January, 16 of the GvIAP sent 1943 to the 25-th reserve regiment for retraining on the P-39. At the same time, the regiment switched to a three-squadron system. The P-14L-39, 1 P-11D-39 and 2 P-7К-39 fighter jets were received. 1-th GvIAP 16 April returned to the front at the airfield "Krasnodar" and the next day began combat sorties.
The results of the fights for April: in the period from 9 to З0, April, 289 of Aerocobras and 13 - Kittyhawks were flown, 28 air battles were fired in which were shot down one at a time , 217 Ju-87, 2 ME-190P, 4 ME-88E, 12 ME-109G. Of these, 14 Messerschmitts were shot down by Guards Captain Pokryshkin AI, 109 Me-45 - Guards Senior Lieutenant Fadeev VI, 109 Ju-10 and 12 Messers - Guards Senior Lieutenant Rechkalov GA
Such an exact gradation of the “Messerschmitt” by modifications can be explained by the fact that at that time, the pilots officially counted the planes that were shot down over Soviet territory. Enemy vehicles destroyed behind the front line, as a rule, were not taken into account. Thus, only Pokryshkin A.I. 13 "missed" German aircraft (by the end of the war, 72 was actually shot down, but only 59 of them were "official"). The enemy aircraft at the combat account of the pilot was recorded after ground troops confirmed his fall, indicating the place, number, type. Even the plates from the engines were often delivered to the shelves. During the same period, the regiment was lost 18 "Aerokobr" not returned from combat missions and shot down, 2 - during accidents and 11 pilots. During April, the regiment was replenished with 19 "Air Cobra" and four P-40E, received from the fighter regiments 45, 84 and 25 of the reserve regiment.
Pokryshkin was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union 24 on April, then he replaced the old P-39D-2 with a new model N. Already on August 24 Pokryshkin was awarded the second Hero Star for 30 personal victories in 455 combat missions.
The third ace of the Red Army Air Force was Rechkalov Gregory. Interestingly, the flight school did not want to take him for medical reasons. He began to fight in the 55 th Fighter Aviation Regiment since the summer of 1941, flying the I-16, and-153. Rechkalov won three victories, but in one of the sorties he was shot down. For a long time spent in the hospital.
He returned to the regiment only in the summer of 1942. Flying on the Yak-1, he won a number of victories, and later began to use the P-39. 24 in May for 194 combat sorties and 12 individual and 2 group victories Rechkalov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, in June he commanded the first squadron of the 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment.
On a par with Pokryshkin and Rechkalov in 1943, the “star” Fadeyev Vadim, who had the nickname “Beard”, shone in the air regiment. The war began on the Southern Front as a junior lieutenant flying the I-16. In November 1941, the aircraft of Fadeev during the battles for Rostov-on-Don was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and the pilot had to land on no man's land. Under a hail of bullets, the pilot ran towards his positions, and then headed a counterattack with a gun in his hands!
In December, 1941 was transferred to the 630 th Fighter Wing, where Fadeev, flying Kittyhawk, won the first victory. "Beard" at the end of 1942 was sent to the 16-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. Soon he became an ace and in general was a rather legendary person. At the end of April of the following year, he was promoted to captain and became commander of the third squadron. By that time, had 394 combat sorties, in which 17 won individual victories and 3 in the group (43 air combat). Vadim Fadeev 05.05.1943 died when his link was attacked by eight Me-109. A heavily wounded pilot landed a damaged aircraft, but died in the cockpit before the Soviet soldiers ran up to him. Asa 24 May posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Just a couple of weeks before the arrival of Fadeev, Alexander appeared in the regiment. He completed his summer school at 1940, but only hit the front in August 1942. During the next 50 sorties, he destroyed 6 airplanes on the ground and 4 in the air until November 2 was shot down over Mozdok. Although Klubov was able to take advantage of the parachute, as a result of the disaster, he was badly burned and spent the next few months in the hospital (but the scars on his face remained forever). Upon return, Klubov was given the rank of captain and appointed deputy. Squadron commander.
Alexander Klub by the beginning of September 1943 made 310 sorties, won 33 victory, of which 14 - in the group. During the Iasi-Kishinev operation, 13 won victories in just one week. Died 01.11.1944 Clubs during a training flight while retraining on La-7 with P-39. By that time, he had 50 victories on his account, of which 19 groups, which were clubs won during 457 sorties. 27 June 1945 was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
The 9 Guards Fighter Aviation Division 2 of May 1944, headed at that time by Pokryshkin, returned to the front and took part in the final stage of the Yassy-Kishinev operation, then the Lvov-Sandomir and Berlin operations.
Approximately at the end of 1944, strong pressure from the high command began on Pokryshkina with the aim of re-equipping the domestic Yaks from the Trans-Ocean Aerokob. The regiment itself was against this rearmament, especially given the death of Klubov.
Rechkalov, the new commander of the 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, was in bad relations with Pokryshkin and was soon removed from his post and replaced by the commander of the 100 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment Glinka Boris. Rechkalov, despite this, still got the second Star of the Hero 1 of July (for the 46 individual and 6 group wins). Two weeks later, Boris Glinka was wounded during an air battle and was badly damaged leaving the Air Cobra. The injuries were so serious that he did not return to the ranks until the end of the war. There was simply no one to appoint the 16 th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment commander, and Pokryshkin had to agree to the return of Rechkalov.
In total, at the time of the victory, Grigory Rechkalov made 450 combat sorties, participated in 122 air battles, in which he won 62 victories (56 - individual). It should be noted that the confrontation of the aces continued all their life, and was even mapped onto the pages of memoirs.
9-I Guards Fighter Division in February 1945 was deployed through Germany in search of a better airfield. Pokryshkin found an original solution to this problem, adapted several lanes for the bases of the division.
After Rechkalov (in February, 1945 was sent to headquarters), Babak Ivan, the piloting inspector for 16-th GvIDZ, was appointed commander of the 9 th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. He commanded the regiment until 22 April, when he was hit by anti-aircraft fire and was captured by Germans.
Pokryshkin flew until the end of the war, eventually completing 650 combat missions and taking part in 156 battles. Pokryshkin’s official score was 65 victories, of which 6 was in the group, but some researchers brought the score to 72 personal victories. Under his command, 30 pilots received the title Hero of the Soviet Union, and several - twice Hero.
27 Fighter Aviation Regiment
Another unit that received the P-1943 in 39 was the 27 th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which conducted the first part of the war as part of the air defense of the Moscow District. In the summer of 1942, he was sent to the Stalingrad front, and in the spring of the next year, he was re-equipped on the P-39 and sent to the 205 th fighter aviation division (with the 08.10.1943 it became the 129-th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment). Since April, 1943 was commanded by a productive, but little-known, Soviet ac Vladimir Bobrov. He began to fight in Spain, having won several victories during that company. First won his victory in the first days of the war, and the last - in May 1945, in the sky over Berlin. However, Bobrov never received the Hero's Stars, but mainly because of the terrible nature (which veterans often recall in his memoirs). The regiment took part in the battles near Kursk, and in the Belgoro-Kharkov attack (55 victories were won). For unknown reasons, Bobrov was removed from the command of the regiment at the beginning of 1944.
Bobrov took Pokryshkin into his division, making him in May the commander of the 104 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. Continuing to fly the fighter P-39, the last victory Bobrov won over Czechoslovakia 9 May 1945. In May, papers were sent to award Bobrov the title Hero of the Soviet Union, but they were first stopped by Marshal Novikov, and after a few years Marshal Vershinin. After retiring from the air force, Bobrov did not wait for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, died in the year 1971. Only 20.03.1991 honored him with the title Hero of the Soviet Union - thus, Bobrov was the last Hero of the USSR.
In 27, on the Aero Cobra under the command of Bobrov, Nikolai Gulaev fought very effectively. He met wars deep in the rear, and only got to the front in April 1942 g. The 27 th Fighter Aviation Regiment was sent in February 1943 of the year.
The junior lieutenant by June 1943 became the deputy commander of the squadron with 95 combat missions and having individual and 16 group victories with 2. One of his most famous victories was the 14.05.1943 ram.
During the Battle of Kursk, the Gulaev showed himself very well, for example, only on 5 June he made 6 sorties, during which he shot down 4 of enemy aircraft. 11 July was appointed commander of the second squadron. In August, the regiment was withdrawn from the fighting and taken to the rear for rearmament on the P-39. And September 28 Gulaev became the Hero of the Soviet Union. In January-February, 1944 took part in the battles near Kirovograd, and later in the Korsun-Shevchensk operation.
30.05.1944 during one of the missions Gulaev was hospitalized with a wound. Upon the return of 01.07.1944, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for 45 victories for the second time (of which only three are in the group).
In August, Gulayev was promoted to major, and 14 was shot down in a battle with EF-190. He was able to land the plane at his aerodrome, however he did not return to the line. In total, Nikolay Gulaev had 57 personal victories and 3 group wins.
9 Guards Fighter Wing
"Cobras" this unit of the Air Force received in August and also soon became known as the "Regiment of Ases" (the third in terms of performance - 558 victories). The war began, having armed with the I-16, as the 69 th Fighter Regiment. He covered himself with the glory of Southern Ukraine in the battle near Odessa. 7 March 1942 received the title of Guards, and was rearmed at LaGG-3 and Yak-1. In October, 1942 was transformed into an elite unit, where the best pilots of the 8 Air Army were assembled.
The regiment received a P-39 in August 1943 of the year and flew these fighters for about 10 months. The 9-th Guviap in July 1944, was taken from the front and rearmed on La-7. This is probably why most aces of the regiment are strongly associated with La-7 and Yak-1.
We only mention three aces of this aviation regiment - Amet-Khan Sultan, Alellukhin Alexei and Lavrinenkov Vladimir.
Crimean Tatar Amet-Khan Sultan before rearmament fighter P-39 flew the Yak-1 and Hurricanes. Total won 30 individual and 19 group wins.
Alelyukhin Alexei fought in the regiment from the first day of the war. Victory Day was met by the Deputy Committee, twice the Hero of the Soviet Union with 40 individual victories and 17 in the group. It is impossible to single out the number of victories won on fighters of a particular type, however, we note that at least 17 was scored on the Aerocobra.
Vladimir Lavrinenkov scored victories for 33 (of which 22 are individual) until the moment of retraining for the P-39 fighter. 24.08.1943 during a collision with the PV-189 jumped with a parachute and was captured. He returned to the regiment only in October and ended the war with 47 victories, of which 11 are group wars. Flying on the P-39, scored at least 11 wins.
Summing up, it should be said that the use of the Aerokobr in the Soviet air force was unequivocally successful. This aircraft in the capable hands was powerful weaponsequivalent weapons of the enemy. There were no “special” spheres of use of the Aerokobr - they were used as ordinary, “multi-purpose” fighters, performing the same functions as the “Yakovlev” and “shop” ones: they fought with fighters, flew reconnaissance, accompanied bombers, guarded the troops. They differed from Soviet fighters with survivability, more powerful weapons, good radio, but they were inferior in vertical maneuverability, ability to perform sharp maneuvers and withstand large overloads. Cobra pilots were loved for good protection and comfort: one of the pilots of the P-39 even said that he flew on it “like in a safe”. Pilots "Aerokobr" did not burn, as the plane was made of metal, and the tanks were located far in the wing. Also, they were not hit in the face with a jet of oil or steam, since the engine was in the back, they did not smash their faces on the sights, they did not turn into a cake during the nosing, as happened twice with Hero of the Soviet Union Klubovyy AF after transplanting to la-xnumx with p-xnumx. There was even some kind of mysticism that the pilot who tried to preserve the damaged Cobra due to the forced landing almost always remained alive and unharmed, but those who left her with a parachute often died from hitting the stabilizer at the door level .. .
Major Pavel Stepanovich Kutakhov (the future twice Hero of the Soviet Union and the Chief Marshal of Aviation) in the cockpit of the American-made fighter P-39 "Air Cobra". Karelian front. During the years of the Great Patriotic War, P. S. Kutakhov made 367 combat sorties, conducted 79 air battles, shot down 14 enemy aircraft personally and 28 in the group
Fighter pilot, deputy commander of the 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Grigory Andreyevich Rechkalov near his A-Cobra A-39 aircraft
Deputy Squadron Commander of the 2 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Air Force of the Navy Hero of the Soviet Union Guards Senior Lieutenant N.М. Didenko (second from left) is discussing with his comrades an air battle next to the American Aero Cobra fighter P-39 (Р-39 Airacobra), which was supplied to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program. The fighter’s fuselage features an eagle with a German pilot in its beak and a destroyed German plane in its paws. Nikolay Matveyevich Didenko - World War II participant from the fall of 1941. By July 1944, the Guard Senior Lieutenant N.M. Didenko made 283 successful sorties, conducted 34 air battles, personally shot down 10 aircraft and sank 2 enemy schooners. In November, 1944, N.M. Didenko "for the unparalleled heroism shown in battles with the German fascist invaders" was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union
Georgy Basenko on the wing of his plane A-Cobra Р-39. Behind the other "Air Cobra". 1-th Ukrainian Front, 1944 year. George Illarionovich Basenko (1921 year of birth) during the war years shot down 10 enemy planes personally and 1 - in the group
The commander of the 102 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guard Major A. G. Pronin on the wing of his A-Cobra R-39 fighter. From the report: “To the Chief of Staff of the 2 Guards Fighter Aviation Corps. I donate: on the basis of the orders of the commander of the regiment of guard Major Pronin, on all combat aircraft of the regiment, guards badges are drawn on the doors of the cabin of the aircraft on both sides. Chief of Staff of the 102 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guard Major (signature) Shustov "
From left to right: Major A.S., Chief of Staff of the Regiment Shustov, deputy commander of the regiment, Major Sergei Stepanovich Bukhteev, (squadron commander?), Captain Alexander G. Pronin, (deputy squadron commander?), Senior lieutenant Nikolai Tsisarenko. The month on the photo is not specified. For this and a number of other photos of the 1943 spring-summer period, this introduces some uncertainty when specifying the positions / military ranks Pronin (squadron commander / regiment commander) and Tsisarenko (deputy squadron commander / squadron commander) at the time of the shooting. In April June, the regiment of the 2-squadron became 3-squadron, there are movements in the command structure. In July, the regiment is assigned the Guards name 102 of the Guards Fighter Regiment. According to the record in the military ID of A.G. Pronin, he has been holding the post of regiment commander since June 1943. Accordingly, Nikolai Tsisarenko becomes squadron commander
From left to right: Junior Lieutenant Zhileostov, Junior Lieutenant Anatoly G. Ivanov (died), Junior Lieutenant Boldyrev, Senior Lieutenant Nikolai Petrovich Alexandrov (died), Dmitry Andrianovich Shpigun (died), N.А. Krytsyn, Vladimir Gorbachev. The deputy commander of the squadron of the guard, senior lieutenant Anatoly Grigorievich Ivanov, died in the area of the town of Lautarant during training flights of 17.08.1944. He was buried in a mass grave of the city of Zelenogorsk, Leninograd region. Senior pilot Guard Lieutenant Dmitry Andrianovich Shpigun went missing 12 in February 1944 of the year on the Sverdlovsk-Kazan section during the span of the 2 set of P-39 aircraft from Krasnoyarsk to Leningrad. Dmitry Shpigun died in a large-scale disaster that killed the 2 fermentation squadrons (the 9 th ferry regiment of the Siberian Military District and the 2 th guards fighter regiment of the Navy SF). The reason for the death of the 16 pilots is an incorrect weather forecast issued for the route Sverdlovsk-Kazan: the weather was stormy. Due to the failure of the radio, none of the group commanders or leader crews could take the command to return to their aerodrome and transfer it to Aerocrams.
ЛAirborne fighters of the 3 Squadron of the 39 Guards Aviation Regiment. Third right - Ivan Mikhailovich Gerasimov. Already after the war, the guard lieutenant I.M. Gerasimov died in a plane crash in the area of Belaya Tserkov near Kiev in the autumn of 1947. The names of the others and the location of the shooting are not known. The photo was taken against the background of the Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter (“Air Cobra”), which was supplied to the USSR from the USA under a lend-lease. Aero Cobra was in service with the 39 th air defense assault squad from 1943 to May 1945.
Ace Pilots of the 9 Guards Aviation Division at Bell fighter P-39 “Air Cobra” G.А. Rechkalov. From left to right: Alexander Fedorovich of Clubs (twice Hero of the Soviet Union, shot down an 31 aircraft in person, 19 - in a group), Grigory Andreyevich Rechkalov (twice a Hero, shot down 56 aircraft in person and 6 - in a group), Andrei Ivanovich Trud (Hero of the Soviet Union, 25 He personally shot down the 1 aircraft in the group) and the commander of the 16 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment Boris Borisovich Glinka (Hero of the Soviet Union shot down the 30 aircraft in person and 1 in the group). 2-th Ukrainian Front. The photo was taken in June 1944 of the year - on the Rechkalov plane the number of stars corresponds to his achievements by this time (46 planes were shot down personally, 6 in the group)