Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Starshiy Leitenant Aleksandr Dmitriyevich Aniskin HSU

24 November 1918 – 20 February 1943

Aleksandr Aniskin was born on 24 November 1918 in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnyepropetrovsk) in a workers family. He studied to become a turner and from 1932 worked as turner in a metallurgical factory.

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 4 RS-82s.

On 2 July 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 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 service-woman. 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.

Later Aniskin converted to MiG-3s and served with one regiment in Kirovograd.

He was shot down a second time, near Rostov.

He was transferred 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.

The regiment to part in hard combats in the Stalingrad area and on 21 September, 12 Yaks under command of Capt. A. I. Yakimov met 15 Junkers bombers covered by six Bf 109s. After the attack, they claimed 7 victories and Aniskin claimed one of the Messerschmitts.

German activities over Stalingrad rapidly decreased and on 2 October, the regiment flew the last sorties before a short vacation in the hinterland. Aniskin claimed one Ju 88 over Ilovaya station during the day.

During the vacation the regiment was rebuild and received the proud title 32 Guards IAP. The new location was Kalininskiy front, 210 IAD, 3 Air Army. Aniskin was designated deputy commander of the 2. eskadrilliya and promoted to Starshiy Leitenant.

On 16 December, the pilots covered the army attack units and one Stuka fell to Aniskin’s guns.

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 first claimed one He 111 and then he chased one Messerschmitt and finished him over enemy territory (victories over enemy territory were normally unconfirmed).

On 14 January, 14 Yak-1s covered Shturmoviks, which were attacked by twelve Bf 109s but the Shturmoviks successfully attacked the target. The quartet led by Starshiy Leitenant F. Prokopenko joined the quartet led by Starshiy Leitenant I. M. Kholodov. The first Bf 109 was destroyed by Kholodov, the second by Prokopenko and the third by Aniskin. Totally the pilot claimed seven victories without own losses.

On 15 January, 16 Yak-1s covered Pe-2s attacking the city forest in Velikiye Luki. After two bomber attacks, nine Bf 109Fs and 8 Fw190As attacked the group at 3000m. Aniskin shot down the first Fw190 over Chernozem while his comrades finished four others but lost one pilot.

Aniskin claimed his last victory on 18 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 four biplane victories and officially a total of 10. These had been claimed during 295 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 26 February 1943, he was posthumously decorated with the Gold Star of The Hero of the Soviet Union.
During his career, he was also decorated with a second Order of the Red Banner and the Order of Lenin.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 06-07/41 night 1 He 111 Destroyed I-153     92 IAP
2 06-07/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-153   Chernigov area 92 IAP
3 06-07/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-153   Chernigov area 92 IAP
4 09/09/41   1 Junkers Destroyed I-153     92 IAP
? 18/09/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-7   Kotluban area 434 IAP
? 21/09/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-7   Konnyj 434 IAP
? 02/10/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-7   Ilovaya station 434 IAP
? 16/12/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-7   Chersivo-Karelov-V. Nikhazov-Podyasenye-Petrushino 32 GIAP
? 06/01/43   1 He 111 Destroyed Yak-1   Velikije Luki area 32 GIAP
  06/01/43   1 Bf 109 (a) Unconfirmed Yak-1   Velikije Luki area 32 GIAP
? 14/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1     32 GIAP
? 15/01/43 13:00- 1 Fw190 Destroyed Yak-1   Chernozem 32 GIAP
10 18/02/43   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-1     32 GIAP

Biplane victories: 4 destroyed.
TOTAL: 10 destroyed, 1 unconfirmed.
(a) Claimed over enemy territory.

Polk asov osobogo naznachenya (History of 32. GvIAP) - M. P. Markova, 2005, Moscow, kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.
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 20 October 2006