Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Starshiy Leitenant Aleksandr Dmitriyevich Aniskin HSU

24 November 1918 – 20 February 1943

Date Decoration Note
02/08/41 Order of the Red Banner 1st
23/10/42 Order of the Red Banner 2nd
22/02/43 Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union Posthumous
22/02/43 Order of Lenin Posthumous

Aleksandr Aniskin was born on 24 November 1918 in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnyepropetrovsk) in a worker’s family. He studied to become a turner and from 1932 worked as turner in Petrovsky steelworks.

He started his flying training in an aeroclub in Dnyepropetrovsk and later worked at the club. In 1938, he entered the army pilot school in Sevastopol. He graduated 1940 as leitenant and as one of the best students.

After graduation, he was assigned to the 92 IAP, 16 IAD, in Uman City.

In the autumn of 1940, the regiment moved to Brody.

In the morning on 22 June 1941, he patrolled as patrol leader, when they observed enemy aircraft bombing their own airfield.

In the following chaos after the German attack, he did not succeed to meet his wife Vera in the city.

After one combat, he was forced to land on neighbouring division’s airfield with a damaged fighter. There he found another damaged aircraft, an I-5 biplane. With the help of one mechanic, he repaired it and flew back to his aerodrome together with the mechanic.
His regiment was transferred to Chernigov airfield, where he initiatively took off during night after a He 111. After several attacks, he shot it down using four RS-82s.

On 2 August 1941, it was published in the newspapers that for three aerial victories and 40 ground attacks he was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner. This was the first award to a pilot from 92 IAP.

In the beginning of September his regiment was encircled.
On 9 September, he shot down a Junkers Ju 88 over the airfield but his plane was also damaged.
During the night, all useable aircraft were evacuated to the east but Aniskin stayed on the airfield together with one pilot, one mechanic and one buffet servicewoman. During the day, they repaired one messenger biplane U-2. Since only three could be evacuate with this aircraft, Aniskin opted to stay on the airfield. However, during the start procedures he unseen sat on undercarriage axle and after a successfully landing he surprised his comrades!

They were evacuated to Pavlograd.

He left 92 IAP in September 1941 and in August 1942, he was posted to the 434 IAP.

In the summer of 1942, he was again shot down and between 21 August and 5 September 1942 he was in a sanatorium.

On 18 September, he claimed his first victory with the 434 IAP as one of the 15 claimed by the regiment’s pilot that day.

434 IAP took part in hard combats in the Stalingrad area and on 21 September, twelve Yak-7Bs under command of kapitan Aleksandr Yakimov met 15 Junkers bombers covered by six Bf 109s. After the attack, they claimed seven victories. Known claiming pilots are kapitan Yakimov (one Bf 109 over Kotluban Station), Andrey Baklan (one Bf 109 over Konnaya) while Aniskin and starshiy leitenant Fedor Kayuk claimed one shared Bf 109 south of Kotluban Station.

During the vacation the regiment was rebuild and received the proud title 32 Guards IAP on 22 November 1942. The new location was Kalininskiy front, 210 IAD, 3 Air Army. Aniskin was designated deputy commander of the 2. eskadrilya and promoted to starshiy leitenant.

Twelve Yak-1s from 32 GIAP intercepted four He 111s of KG 53 escorted by the Bf 109 Rotte of Feldwebels Josef “Bazi” Brechtl and Kurt Stöber near Velikiye Luki in the morning of 6 January. The War Diary of 7./JG 54 reads:

“The Rotte of Fw. Brechtl and Fw. Stöber is surprised by a myriad of enemy fighters. Fw. Stöber heard the warning in his headphones: ‘Pull up, fighters behind us,’ and as he looks around, Bazi is nowhere to be seen. He was probably shot down by the Russian fighters.”
“Bazi” Brechtl was an ace with 28 kills on his tally and his Bf 109 G-2 WNr. 13666 (black 2 + ~) reportedly crashed south of Velikiye Luki after combat with seven Soviet fighters. The pair of Bf 109 Gs had taken off from Smolensk.
When they returned to base, the Soviet fighter pilots triumphantly reported the shooting down of four Bf 109s – one each by starshiy leitenant Arkadiy Makarov, leitenant Mikhail Lepin, leitenant Aniskin (west of Lake Derganovskoye) and mladshiy leitenant Yuriy Rysakov.
An upset Stöber returned alone to base and reported two of the Soviet fighters shot down – one at 09:53 at 2,000 meters altitude and the second 09:55 at 1,500 meters altitude. In reality, only the Yak-1 flown by Rysakov had been hit, and the pilot made a force-landing in Soviet territory. Moreover, leitenants Nikolay Koval and Ivan Korchachenko claimed one German bomber shot down each (Koval reported his claim over Pupkovo, south of Velikiye Luki but as a Ju 88 while Korchachenko reported his west of Lake Derganovskoye). The German losses were however confined to Brechtls Bf 109, with three He 111s being damaged.
The fighter units of 3 VA reported fairly good results during the day – 210 IAD (32 GIAP and 169 IAP) reported 16 Bf 109s (including one by kapitan Ivan Izbinskiy over Kuprovo), six He 11 Is, five Ju 88s and one Ju 88 shot down, 157 and 274 IAD chalked up 15 victories – but a comparison with German loss records reveal these to be exceedingly high overclaims. In fact, 6 January proved to be a heavy day for 32 GIAP, which had three of its own fighters shot down – with the loss of two pilots. One of these was 11-victory ace starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Koshelev, acting Eskadrilya commander, who was shot down over German-held territory in combat with IV./JG 51. It might have been his Yak-1 that was recorded as 12./JG 51’s Oberfeldwebel Herbert Friebel’s 54th victory (reported as a MiG-3 claimed at 12:31 at 800 meters altitude).

On 6 January 1943, after hard battles, the 1. IAK claimed no less than 38 victories, 17 of them by the 32 GIAP.
Aniskin commanded one flight which blundered on two He 111s covered by two Bf 109s. He chased one Messerschmitt and finished him over enemy territory (victories over enemy territory were normally unconfirmed).

At 13:00 on 15 January, 16 Yak-1s covered Pe-2s attacking the city forest in Velikiye Luki. After two bomber attacks, nine Bf 109 Fs and eight FW 190 As attacked the group at 3,000 meters. Aniskin shot down the first FW 190 over Chernozem Station while his comrades finished four others but lost one pilot. One of the Bf 109s was claimed by Ivan Korchachenko.

Aniskin claimed his last victory on 19 February 1943.

Two days later, he took off in snowfall at 14:00 against German bombers as part of the first group led by kapitan Moshin. Over the Zaluchye-Khmeli area they attacked bombers covered by fighters. During the battle, Aniskin’s Yak-1 was hit and fell to the ground between the Zaborovye and Zavolochi villages. The comrades were not able to observe Aniskin’s last moments.

At the time of his death, Anakin was credited with 4 biplane victories and a total of 9. These had been claimed during more than 300 operational sorties and 105 aerial battles. In sources there is evidence of at least 12 victories, some of them could be officially unconfirmed (or shared?).

On 22 February 1943, he was posthumously decorated with the Gold Star of The Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 ??/??/41 night 1 He 111 (a) Destroyed I-153   South-Western Front 92 IAP
2 ??/??/41   1 He 111 (a) Destroyed I-153   Chernigov area 92 IAP
3 ??/??/41   1 Hs 126 (a) Destroyed I-153   Chernigov area 92 IAP
4 09/09/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-153   South-Western Front 92 IAP
5 18/09/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-7B   Kotluban Station 434 IAP
  21/09/42   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Yak-7B   S Kotluban Station 434 IAP
6 16/12/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-1B   Velikiye Luki area 32 GIAP
7 06/01/43 09:50 ca 1 Bf 109 (b) Destroyed Yak-1B   W Lake Derganovskoye 32 GIAP
8 15/01/43 13:00- 1 FW 190 Destroyed Yak-1B   Chernozem Station 32 GIAP
9 19/02/43   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-1B   Kholmy 32 GIAP

Biplane victories: 4 destroyed.
TOTAL: 9 and 1 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed between 22 June and 2 July 1941.
(b) Probably claimed in combat with 7./JG 54, which claimed 2 Yak-1s while losing 1 Bf 109 G (pilot KIA). 32 GIAP claimed 4 Bf 109s while getting one Yak-1B damaged.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Black Cross/Red Star Volume 4 Stalingrad to Kuban - Christer Bergström, 2019 Vaktel Förlag, Eskistuna, ISBN 978-91-88441-21-8
Deutsche Luftwaffe Losses & Claims -series - Michael Balss
Polk asov osobogo naznachenya (History of 32. GvIAP) - M. P. Markova, 2005, Moscow, kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 22 January 2022