Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Naval Major Vasilii Semenovich Adonkin HSU

7 April 1918 - 17 March 1944

Adonkin was born on 7 April 1918 in Khokhlovo in the Belgorodsk region.

He joined the army in 1937, attending the Eysk Military/Naval Air School, from where he graduated in 1941.

As a Mladshii Leitenant he was posted to the 72 SmAP-SF (Composite Air Regement) of the Air Force of the North Fleet.

He was in action from the start of the Great Patriotic War over the Polar region. His unit was at the time equipped with a mix of Polikarpov I-15bis, I-153s and MiG-3s.

On 29 June, he claimed a Ju 88 and three more shared while flying in an Polikarpov I-153.

On 17 January 1942, the 72 SmAP-SF became a guard’s unit and renamed to 2 GIAP-SF.

In March 1942, he was promoted to Kapitan and transferred to 78 IAP-SF, which was equipped with I-16s.

In June 1942, Kapitan Adonkin he was posted as deputy eskadrilia commander to 27 IAP-SF also with I-16s.

In April 1943, he was posted back to 78 IAP-SF, which had re-equipped with Hawker Hurricanes, to command 2./78 IAP-SF.

On 19 June 1943, he was leading eight fighters to escort Il-2s, becoming engaged with some 30 Bf 109s and Fw190s over the Varanger Fjord, during which his formation claimed four shot down without losses to themselves.

A short time later six Hurricanes with Adonkin in the lead were off to escort a formation of I-16s tasked with strafing Luostori airfield. In the target area Luftwaffe resistance appeared in the form of 10 Bf 109s and Fw190s, but these fared badly, the Hurricanes claiming five Bf 109s without loss while the I-16s shot up two aircraft on the ground.

From October 1943, he served as deputy commander for flight training and air combat before being posted as deputy commander of 255 IAP-SF, which was equipped with Airacobras.

Adonkin rose to squadron leader and in 1944 was given command of the Airacobra equipped 255 IAP-SF.

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

Shortly after the award of the HSU, he was promoted to Major.

On 17 March, he was killed in action over the Finnish island of Eckerö.
It seems that he was killed by fighters from JG 5, which claimed 11 Airacobras in the Murmansk area during the day.

Adonkin was also decorated with the Order of the Red Banner (thrice; 14 July 1941, 2 June 1942 and 7 July 1943), the Order of the Patriotic War 1st and 2nd Class and the Order of the Red Star.

At the time of his death, Adonkin was credited with 1 biplane victory and a total of 16. These victories were claimed on more than 500 sorties and around 50 combats.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
1 29/06/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-153   Vaenga airfield 72 smAP-SF
  29/06/41   1/5 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153   Vaenga airfield 72 smAP-SF
  29/06/41   1/5 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153   Vaenga airfield 72 smAP-SF
  29/06/41   1/5 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153   Vaenga airfield 72 smAP-SF
  21/07/41   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed I-153     72 smAP-SF
  25/07/41   1/3 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-153     72 smAP-SF
  13/08/41   1/3 Bf 109 Shared destroyed I-153     72 smAP-SF
  15/08/41   1/5 Bf 110 Shared destroyed MiG-3   Murmansk 72 smAP-SF
2 09/09/41   1 Hs 126 Destroyed MiG-3     72 smAP-SF
  06/10/41   1/8 Ju 88 Shared destroyed MiG-3     72 smAP-SF
  1942                
3 09/05/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed I-16     78 IAP-SF
4 12/05/42   1 Bf 110 Destroyed I-16     78 IAP-SF
5 14/05/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16     78 IAP-SF
6 01/06/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16   W Kola 27 IAP-SF
  02/06/42   1 Bf 109 Probably destroyed I-16   Murmansk area 27 IAP-SF
7 03/07/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed I-16   W Murmansk 27 IAP-SF
8 12/08/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16     27 IAP-SF
  1943                
9 02/06/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Hurricane   Kibergnes port 2./78 IAP-SF
10 12/06/43   1 Bf 110 Destroyed Hurricane   Kibergnes 2./78 IAP-SF
11 12/06/43   1 Bf 109 (a) Destroyed Hurricane   Ekkeri 2./78 IAP-SF
12 19/06/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Hurricane   Varanger Fjord 2./78 IAP-SF
13 04/07/43   1 Bf 110 Destroyed Hurricane     2./78 IAP-SF
14 22/08/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Hurricane     2./78 IAP-SF
  1944                
15 20/01/44   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Airacobra     255 IAP-SF
16 05/03/44   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Airacobra   Ekkeri 255 IAP-SF

Biplane victories: 1 and 6 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 16 and 8 shared destroyed, 1 probably destroyed.
(a) Probably from 7./JG 5.

Sources:
Aeroram
All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Russian Fighter Aces of 1914-1953 years
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Lend-Lease Fighter Aces of World War 2 - George Mellinger, 2006 Osprey Publishing Limited, Oxford, ISBN 1-84603-041-2
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 VI – 1944 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2008, ISBN 978-952-99743-5-1
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka and Mirek Wawrzynski




Last modified 30 May 2017