Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Kapitan Alexei Kasyanovich Antonenko HSU

1911 – 25 July 1941

Alexei Antonenko was born in 1911.

Antonenko took part in the conflict against the Japanese in Khalkhin Gol during 1939 where he flew Polikarpov I-16s in 70 IAP.

On 27 August, ten I-16s from 70 IAP intercepted Japanese bombers reported as LB-98s (most possibly light Ki-36 bombers from 15th Sentai) and claimed two shot down in the Lake Yanhu area. One of the pilots taking part was Antonenko.

When they left Mongolia, Sergei Gritsevets and his pilots handed over their I-153s to fleet aviation pilots. Fleet aviation pilots (ten from VVS KBF and five from the Black Sea Fleet regiments) had been selected and sent by train to fight in Mongolia. Commander of it was Major Novikov and among the pilots were future aces Kapitan Alexei Antonenko and Petr Brinko (both from KBF). They had arrived in the middle of June and been dispersed among the fighter eskadrilyas. In the first half of August they were all gathered again and after the recommendation from Gritsevets they reformed as a “fleet” eskadrilya with his unit’s I-153s.

He took part in the Finnish-Soviet Winter War where he flew Polikarpov I-153s in the 10th Aviation Brigade.

He claimed a shared MS.406 on 29 February 1940.

When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, he served in 13 IAP-KBF flying I-16s.

In July (possibly on 2 July), Vladimir Abramov took part in the interception of a rare Focke-Wulf Fw200. 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 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 14 July 1941, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of Soviet Union.

At 14:55 on 23 July nine I-153s of 4./13 IAP-KBF led by Starshii Politruk Biskup with an escort of two I-16s from 2./13 IAP-KBF (Kapitan Antonenko and Leitenant Petr Brinko) took off from Täcktom airfield. The I-153s flew at low level the I-16s covered them 2000 meters high.
Over Turku airfield they encountered heavy AA barrage and the I-153 of Mladishii Leitenant Mikhail Chernov was shot down in flames on the way to target and crashed into a forest. The rest of the I-153s dropped their bombs aiming on those “dark spots on the ground” and returned to base at 15:55.
On the way home Antonenko and Brinko strafed the seaplane station Ruissalo, situated not far from Turku, and claimed two He 60s destroyed on the ground.

As a revenge for the death of Chernov it was decided to attack Turku one more time during the same day.
A new group of two I-16s (Antonenko and Brinko) and two I-153s (Leitenant Aleksey Lazukin and Mladishii Leitenant Konstantin Belorustsev) took off from Täcktom at 18:40. They attacked Ruissalo again and claimed five He 60s destroyed.
At 19:05 four Finnish Fokker D.XXIs of 2/LeLv 30 (luutnantti Martti Kalima in FR-148, vänrikki Salomaa in FR-156, Lehto in FR-152 and Järvi in FR-150) scrambled to intercept the Soviet aircraft. North of Turku they spotted a reported four I-153s and attacked. Both the I-16s and I-153s avoided the attack and headed towards Hanko. Kalima however managed to close in on one of the I-153s and claimed it damaged and presumably shot down (later upgraded to a confirmed).
50 km north of Bengtskär Island, in the vicinity of Ere Island, the Soviet fighters turned on the Finnish fighters and a fierce dogfight at 100 meters height started. The Soviet pilots returned claiming several Finnish aircraft shot down into the sea. When they returned at 19:36 they reported combat with six “Spitfires” (later changed to “Fokkers”) of which four was claimed shot down; one each by Antonenko, Brinko, Lazukin and Belorustsev.
When the landed at 19:45 the Finnish pilots reported combat with five to seven I-16s and seven I-153s of which they claimed two shot down; one I-16 and one I-153 both claimed by Kalima.
It seems that no aircraft was shot down. Kalima returned with a damaged fighter when his FR-148 had lost the antenna and suffered several hits in the fuselage and ailerons while one bullet hit was found in the fuel tank on Lazukin’s I-153.

Antonenko was killed on 25 July, when he crashed with his aircraft.

At the time of his death, Antonenko was credited with 1 shared biplane victory and a total of 5.
During the war, he was decorated with two Order of Lenin.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1939                
  27/08/39   1/10 Ki-36 Shared destroyed I-16   Lake Yanhu area 70 IAP
  27/08/39   1/10 Ki-36 Shared destroyed I-16   Lake Yanhu area 70 IAP
  1940                
  29/02/40   1/2 MS.406 Shared destroyed I-153   Turku area 10 ABr-KBF
  1941                
1 25/06/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  04/07/41   1/2 Fokker D.XXI Shared destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  04/07/41   1/2 Fokker D.XXI Shared destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  05/07/41   1/2 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  08/07/41   1/2 Ju 86 Shared destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
2 09/07/41   1 Fokker D.XXI Destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
3 10/07/41   1 I-153 Destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  16/07/41   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  16/07/41   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
4 20/07/41   1 Fokker D.XXI Destroyed I-16     13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 14:55-15:55 1/2 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 14:55-15:55 1/2 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF
5 23/07/41 19:05-19:45 1 Fokker D.XXI (a) Destroyed I-16   50km N Bengtskär 2./13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 18:40-19:45 1/4 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 18:40-19:45 1/4 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 18:40-19:45 1/4 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 18:40-19:45 1/4 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF
  23/07/41 18:40-19:45 1/4 He 60 Shared destroyed on the ground I-16   Ruissalo 2./13 IAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 5 and 9 shared destroyed, 7 shared destroyed on the ground.
(a) Claimed in combat with Fokker D.XXIs of 2/LeLv 30, which claimed 1 I-16 and 1 I-153 without suffering any losses. 13 IAP-KBF claimed 4 “Fokkers” without suffering any losses.

Sources:
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
Suomen Ilmavoimat part III – 1941 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-1-3




Last modified 09 May 2017