Zászlós Miklós ‘Miki’ Kun
Zászlós (Ensign) Kun was attached to 1/3. vadászszázad (1/3. Fighter Squadron) at the time of the assault of Soviet Union. The unit was equipped with Fiat CR.42s.
At 04:30 on 11 August, a record number of five out of the six Caproni Ca.135bis took off and performed a successful bombing raid on Nikolayev. They also attacked a strategic bridge over the Bug River close to the city. The bombers were joined by their unusually strong fighter escort – comprising six CR.42s of the 1/3. vadászszázad and five Re.2000s of the 1/2. vadászszázad led by százados László Tomor – over Pervomaysk airfield. Loaded with captured Soviet 100kg bombs, the Capronis flew out over the Black Sea east of Odessa before making a wide circle to surprise the city’s defence by coming from the south-east. The leading aircraft, with flight leader fohadnagy István Szakonyi at the controls, released its bomb load on the central railway station from 3000m. The other bomber raj (flight) bombed the bridge.
The Hungarian encountered strong anti-aircraft fire. The starboard engine of B.517, the aircraft flown by fohadnagy Szakonyi, was hit by shrapnel, causing the aircraft to lose speed and lag behind the rest of the formation. The lone Caproni was then attacked by six I-16s but despite repeated attacks from various angles, the fighters couldn’t score a fatal hit. Moreover, the bomber’s two gunners claimed three of the attackers. Örmester János Bánkuti (radio operator) reported shooting down two and szakaszvezetö János Mester (flight engineer) one. One of the I-16s had positioned itself in the bomber’s blind spot as it closed in from behind for the kill but was jumped at the last minute by a CR.42, who promptly shot it down. Soon after this episode, the bomber reached friendly territory but because of the extensive damage sustained during the combat, the pilot decided to land at the larger Pervomaysk airfield. Once on firm ground, the exhausted crew counted 42 bullet holes in their aircraft yet none of the five crewmembers – which included a supernumerary, Staff alezredes Sándor András – was even lightly wounded.
Another second flight bomber was also attacked by three I-16s while leaving the target area. One of them was claimed as shot down by the radio operator. Soon afterwards, the lone Caproni was able to find sanctuary in clouds and escape the fighters’ further attention. A third Hungarian bomber escaped a trio of I-16s which were engaged by a pair of CR.42s. One of the I-16s was shot down and the survivors were forced to disengage.
Meantime, on their way from Nikolayev, the remaining Hungarian bombers were attacked by nine Soviet I-16s. They were immediately engaged by the escorting CR.42s and a wild męlée developed, involving six Hungarian biplanes and nine Soviet monoplanes with the Re.2000s joining in. The Hungarian fighters flew above the bombers when they left the target area and when the Russian leader selected the first Caproni he was intercepted by szakaszvezetö Lajos Göcsei and hadnagy Albert Seres. A turning dogfight followed but the Hungarian CR.42s stayed behind the desperate Russian until Göcsei found himself in a favourable position. He sent a long burst into the fuselage of the I-16, flames leapt from the aircraft and it fell towards the ground like a spinning torch. Almost at the same time zászlós Kun had shot down another I-16 which just flew in front of his machine guns. When Tomor rejoined the bombers, he discovered a lone I-16 behind one of the Capronis. He dived on the enemy and shot it down in flames. At the same time, zászlós Márton Szönyi and zászlós Baranyai, who were escorting a crippled Caproni (fohadnagy Szakonyi’s Ca.135), encountered two I-16s and shot them down promptly. Seres, who flew back to search for the two fighters and the bomber, saw the two Soviet fighters hitting the deck. This was the 1/3. "Kor Ász" vadászszázad first five claims during the Second World War and all CR.42s were hit but none were lost. The claimants were the squadron CO százados Tomor, zászlós Kun, zászlós Szönyi, zászlós Baranyai and szakaszvezetö Göcsei (the latter shared with hadnagy Seres).
1/2. Vadászszázad claimed three victories when szakaszvezetö Kálmán Gémes, százados László Gyenes and föhadnagy Tamás Móry claimed one each. However, Reggiane V.420 of fohadnagy Gyula Lasztóczy was missing (possibly shot down by flak) and this was the 1/2. vadászszázad first combat loss.
The Soviet 9 IAP-ChF claimed three enemy aircraft shot down near Nikolayev. However, two of its pilots, squadron CO Kapitan Aleksey Kolobkov, together with Leitenant Leonid Danchenko, were shot down in air combat in the Nikolayev area. Both were KIA.
Later in the war he served as a Ju 52 pilot in the 102/1. futárszállító század.
Kun ended the war with 1 victory, this one claimed while flying Fiat CR.42.
He emigrated after the war to West Germany where he passed away in 1982.
|Kill no.||Date||Time||Number||Type||Result||Plane type||Serial no.||Locality||Unit|
|1||11/08/41||04:30-||1||I-16 (a)||Destroyed||Fiat CR.42||Nikolayev area||1/3. vadászszázad|
Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with I-16s from 9 IAP-ChF, which claimed three enemy aircraft while losing two. The Hungarian fighters and bombers claimed 12 I-16s while losing one Re.2000.
Csaba Becze: A magyar királyi 1. honvéd éjjeli vadász repülőszázad Magyar Repüléstörténeti Társaság Konferencia Közleményei 1999 kindly provided by Csaba Stenge
Biplane Against The Red Bear - Julius R. Gaal, 1974 Air Combat Spring/1974 kindly provided by Santiago Flores
From Barbarossa to Odessa: Volume 2 – Dénes Bernád, Dmitriy Karlenko and Jean-Louis Roba, 2008 Ian Allan Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-85780-280-1
Harcok az orosz égen Budapest - László Tomor, 1942 kindly provided by Csaba Stenge
Additional information kindly provided by Csaba Stenge.