Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Naval Kapitan Vladimir Fedorovich Abramov HSU

14 June 1921 – 23 May 1985.

Vladimir Abramov (in the aircraft) and Ivan Serbin.
Image kindly via Sergey Abrosov.

Vladimir Abramov was born on 14 June 1921 in Kuznetsk. When he was 3 years old he lost his parents.

He enrolled for service in the VMF in 1939 and completed his training at Yeysk Naval Flying School a year later. After completion of training he joined the 71 IAP-KBF (Baltic Sea Fleet Air Force) and he was to stay on the Baltic Front during his whole career.

During the first year of the war he used an I-15bis with the number 30 and an I-153 with the number 42.

In July (possibly on 2 July), he took part in the interception of a rare Focke-Wulf Fw 200. After Abramov’s initial attack the German aircraft was smoking and tried to escape but was then attacked and shot down by two other famous aces, kapitan Alexei Antonenko and Petr Brinko (flying I-16s) of 13 IAP-KBF. After this claim Antonenko and Brinko claimed it for Abramov but Abramov said the two former aces shot it down. This means that the Condor is not included in Abramov’s total claims.

On 27 March 1942, Finnish forces invaded Gogland. This resulted in some heavy air combats over the island.

At 19:00 on 27 March five I-153s from the 71 IAP led by kapitan Pavel Tshinyakov (and including Abramov) intercepted two Finnish Fokker D.XXIs over the Gulf of Finland and one Fokker D.XXI was claimed shot down. The Finnish fighter crashed on the ice and was claimed as a shared by all the pilots.
It seems that the Soviet fighters had been in combat with Fokkers from LLv 30, which didn't suffer any losses.

In the morning on 28 March, luutnantti Osmo Kauppinen’s five Brewsters of 3/LLv 24 fought against ten Chaikas claiming half of them shot down. Lentomestari Ilmari Juutilainen claimed two:

At 07:45-08:15, altitude 2,000-10m. I flew in the top patrol with kersantti Huotari. Over the Suurkylä shore at Gogland I observed beneath me enemy fighters and we went to attack. During the combat I followed one I-153 shooting at it several time from 50m, until it suddenly flipped from 200 metres altitude to the ice. Then I chased with kersantti Huotari two I-153s to Lavansaari, Where I shot the aircraft burning on the west shore. The Russians were shooting rocket projectiles, which when exploding created a black cloud reminding an explosion of heavy flak, though a bit bigger. They exploded 100-200m ahead of my plane. I-153s had four of them under both wings. My plane BW-364.”
Between 07:45-08:15 3/LLv 24 claimed five I-153s over Lavanssari when lentomerstari Juutilainen claimed two, kersantti Jouko Huotari (BW-353) claimed two and luutnantti Kauppinen (BW-366) claimed one.
It seems that the I-153s were from 71 IAP-KBF. The chronicle of the Baltic Fleet air forces reported:
“At 09:05 Kapitan Konstantin Solovev’s ten I-153 fighters of 71 IAP had just commenced the second pass of strafing the enemy troops, when four Curtiss and eight Fokkers attacked from above. The enemy was flying staggered in three altitudes: two Finnish I-153s were at 500m, the Fokkers were at 1,000m and the Curtiss were at 2,000m. The Soviet aircraft were in two groups, five planes in both the strike and escort groups. The aerial battle was fought in two altitudes, 100 and 1,000m. Two I-153s were shot down piloted by Starshiy Leytenant Mazurenko and Serzhant Aleksander Pavlov. In addition Starshiy Leytenant Vladimir Abramov made a forced landing near Seiskari with his damaged I-153 fighter.”
Additionally, kapitan Solovev claimed one individual enemy aircraft (claimed as a Bf 109) while starshii leitenant Abramov claimed a Finnish I-153.

In April 1942, he was wounded twice.

In combat over Kronstadt on 24 April, 71 IAP-KBF claimed two Ju 88s shared among seven pilots; two of these being Abramov and starshii leitenant Aleksandr Baturin.

On 7 July 1942, 71 IAP-KBF reported fighting in the morning after 06:00 with four I-153s (including Abramov) against four “Severskys” and claiming two shot down near Lavansaari.
The only Finnish detachment in the area was a three-plane Brewster patrol of 1/LeLv 24, which reported no contact. These may have been German aircraft.

On 13 July 1942, I-153s from 71 IAP-KBF were involved in combat with a reported group of “Severskies” north-east of Someri. One of them was claimed as a shared by kapitan Nikolay Korolyov, starshii leitenant Abramov, starshii leitenant Ivan Minayev and starshii leitenant Ivan Tsapov.
It seems that they had been involved in combat with luutantti Joel Savonen’s swarm of Buffaloes from 1/LeLv 24, which reported that they intercepted eight Chaikas in the Lavansaari area between 20:20-21:20. One of the I-153s was shot down over the island by ylikersantti Reino Malin (BW-366).

In the autumn of 1942 he became flight commander in the 71 IAP-KBF.

From 22 June 1941 to 22 April 1942 he flew 306 sorties of which 70 were ground attack missions and 87 were reconnaissance missions.

On 31 May 1943, the 71 IAP-KBF was designated 10 GIAP-KBF.
He subsequently was occupied with armed reconnaissance and in early 1944 re-equipped with La-5 fighters.

On 19 March 1944, he managed to claim one of the unit's initial victories with the new fighter when he was leading five fighters against a formation of 27 enemy aircraft and downed one Ju 87 personally.

On 22 July 1944, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.

His last sortie of the war he flew in the same area as his first one. This was very typical for Baltic Front Air Regiments. He ended the war as kapitan and CO of an eskadrillia.

During the war, he was also decorated with the Order of the Red Banner (four times), the Order of Patriotic War 1st Class, the Order of Patriotic War 2nd Class and the Order of the Red Star (twice).

Abramov ended the war with at least 1 biplane victory and a total of 7 and 13 shared victories.
Totally during the war, he flew more than 600 sorties and took part in 65 air combats.

Abramov continued to serve for 30 years in the Air Force and was one of the first "Navy" flyers who flew with jets.

He retired 1974 and passed away on 23 May 1985.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  22/09/41   1/2 Ju 88 Shared destroyed Polikarpov biplane   Kotlin Island 71 IAP-KBF
  27/03/42 19:00 1/5 Fokker D.XXI (a) Shared destroyed I-153   E Gogland 71 IAP-KBF
1 28/03/42   1 I-153 Destroyed I-153   NE Gogland 71 IAP-KBF
  24/04/42   1/7 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153   Kronstadt 71 IAP-KBF
  24/04/42   1/7 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153   Kronstadt 71 IAP-KBF
  07/07/42 06:00- 1/4 ’Seversky’ (b) Shared destroyed I-153   nr Lavansaari 71 IAP-KBF
  07/07/42 06:00- 1/4 ’Seversky’ (b) Shared destroyed I-153   nr Lavansaari 71 IAP-KBF
  13/07/42 20:20-21:20 1/4 Buffalo (c) Shared destroyed I-153   NE Someri 71 IAP-KBF
  20/07/42   1/2 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF
  10/08/42   1/2 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF
  31/08/42   1/5 Brewster Shared destroyed I-153   Lavansaari area 71 IAP-KBF
2 13/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed     Kivgoda 71 IAP-KBF
  26/01/43   1/6 Bf 109 Shared destroyed       71 IAP-KBF
  21/05/43   1/8 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Polikarpov   SW Lavansaari 71 IAP-KBF
  21/05/43   1/8 Fw 190 Shared destroyed Polikarpov   SW Lavansaari 71 IAP-KBF
3 19/03/44   1 Ju 87 Destroyed La-5   W Narva 10 GIAP-KBF
4 19/05/44   1 Fw 190 Destroyed La-5   Kahula airfield 10 GIAP-KBF
5 19/05/44   1 Fw 190 Destroyed La-5     10 GIAP-KBF
6 26/05/44   1 Ju 87 Destroyed La-5   SW Hakkovo 10 GIAP-KBF
7 26/05/44   1 Fw 190 Destroyed La-5   Luga Bay 10 GIAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 1 and 10 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 7 and 13 shared destroyed.
(a) Probably claimed in combat with Fokkers from LLv 30, which didn't suffer any losses.
(b) Not confirmed with Finnish records.
(c) Claimed in combat with Brewster Buffaloes from 1/LeLv 24, which claimed one I-153 without losses. 71 IAP-KBF claimed one Buffalo and it seems that they didn’t suffer any losses.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces - Mikhail Maslov, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-981-2
Russian Fighter Aces of 1914-1953 years
Sovetskiye asy - Nikolay Bodrikhin, 1998, Moscow, kindly provided by Ondrej Repka
Stalin's Eagles - Hans D. Seidl, 1998 Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-7643-0476-3
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2
Suomen Ilmavoimat part IV – 1942 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-2-0
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 22 August 2018