Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Leitenant Abram Moiseyevich Ashkinazi

1917 –

Date Decoration Note
23/09/42 Order of the Red Banner  
11/03/85 Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class  
16/05/45 Order of the Red Star 1st
03/11/53 Order of the Red Star 2nd
24/04/48 Medal ”for Combat Merit”  

Abram Ashkinazi was born in 1917.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, leitenant Ashkinazi served in 71 IAPKBF. This unit was at the time equipped with Polikarpov I-153s.

Late in the day on 3 April 1942, luutnantti Veikko Sauru’s five Fokkers from 2/LLv 30 was attacked by a dozen Chaikas on a mission to Seiskari area. The Finns claimed two enemy fighters as reported by kersantti Otto Karme:

“At 16:05, altitude 500 m. Our five-plane formation led by luutnantti Sauru headed west towards Seiskari. A six-plane enemy formation flew towards our detachment (another six-plane formation, which I did not observe at that moment was flying higher). The observed enemy aircraft were I-153s. We attacked straight on coming from slightly below. I observed the burst I fired hit the engine of the I-153, but I could not tell the impact. Right after I pulled a steep right-hand curve and simultaneously saw on my left side a burning plane in dive. I could not follow up any longer as I observed four other I-153s coming towards me. One of these flew a bit higher than the others. I gained altitude and then the I-153 above the others made a slight curve to the right and got in a firing position straight from the side. I continued firing and got all the time in a better position somewhat from behind and aside and also slightly underneath. I saw my bursts hit all the time the enemy aircraft and then saw a puff of smoke and then the plane fell in a dive seemingly out of control. When this shooting took place we were inside the layers of the clouds. I could not follow the aircraft down to the deck. My own plane FRw-130 suffered no damage.”
Karme was credited with one shot down and one probable (claimed without witness) I-153s. Vänrikki Tauno Saalasti (FRw-123) claimed a damaged I-153 in the same area. No Finnish aircraft were lost.
It seems that they had been in combat with the 71 IAP-KBF. The ORB of the KBF mentions that at 16:05, six Chaikas led by kapitan Konstantin Solov'yev met four Fokkers. The encounter began with attacks in opposite directions and turned into a curve battle where starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Baturin’s pair sent one Fokker down 11km east Seiskari, without losses.

Between 18:00 and 19:10 on the same day, kapteeni Kullervo Lahtela’s eight Curtiss of 1/LLv 32 flew a reconnaissance mission to the Gulf of Finland and engaged around a dozen Chaikas in the Seiskari area. Five I-153s were claimed by Lahtela (CU-556), vänrikki Juho Nyholm (CU-564), luutnantti Esko Ruotsila (CU-558), kersantti Niilo Erkinheimo (CU-551) and lentomestari Viljo Ikonen (CU-568). Kersantti Eero Visuri (CU-572) was shot down and killed in the combat.
The Chronicle of KBF reports:

“At 18:24 began at 500 metres a combat lasting 15 minutes between starshiy leitenant Baturin’s eight I-153s from 71 IAP and twelve Fokkers. After the attack of the Soviets the enemy tried to get in the clouds. The separated (obviously less experienced pilots) planes aimed to form into pairs and swarms after which they returned to the battle just under the clouds. The more experienced pilots attacked straight from the clouds. To avoid the surprise attacks the Soviet pilots manoeuvred 200-250 metres below the clouds. Three aircraft were shot down in the vicinity of Seiskari and one aircraft broke off towards Koivisto. After the combat the enemy broke off to the north. No own losses.”
The Soviet pilots reported that one Fokker fell burning on the ice 4km south-east of Seiskari, the second crashed 10km south-east of the island, the third crashed in villages 3km north-east of the island while the fourth was last seen flying smoking and losing height towards Björkö. After the combat, the remaining Finnish aircraft flew north.
The Soviet claims are somewhat confusing. Starshiy leitenant Baturin and leitenant Ashkinazi are credited with two shared victories in this combat; these being shared among all pilots in the flight while mladshiy leitenant Georgiy Belyakov seems to be credited with a shared in all three claimed enemy fighters (all shared ”in group”). Ivan Minayev is credited with two shared ”in group” and a third together with another pilot. Leitenant Ashkinazi is also credited with a third together with another pilot. Kapitan Konstantin Solov’yev is credited with one shared ”in group”. Who the second pilot in Baturin’s earlier claim was, is not known (Ashkinazi, Minayev or Solov’yev?).

On 4 April, kapitan Petr Biskup of 71 IAP-KBF claimed a shared Bf 109 in the Leningrad area together with another pilot. Both leitenant Ashkinazi and Ivan Minayev claimed a shared Bf 109 ”in group” during the day but it’s not known if these claims were made at the same time.

In combat over Kronstadt on 24 April, 71 IAP-KBF claimed two Ju 88s shared among seven pilots; four of these being starshiy leitenant Vladimir Abramov, starshiy leytenant Aleksandr Baturin, Vasiliy Fedorov and Ivan Minayev. A third Ju 88 was claimed by leitenant Ashkinazi.
Fedorov also claimed a Bf 109 shared with another pilot while Minayev claimed a Ju 87 with another pilot.
Leitenant Ashkinazi was seriously wounded in air combat.
The claims for Ju 88s can’t be verified with Luftwaffe records.

After the hospital Ashkinazi was not allowed to return to combat and instead he worked as the head of the air traffic control department of the headquarters of the Air Force KBF.

Ashkinazi ended the war with 1 biplane victory.
This had been claimed during 49 combat missions.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  03/04/42     Fokker D.XXI (a) Shared destroyed I-153   Seiskari - Lavansaari 71 IAP-KBF
  03/04/42 18:24- 1/8 Fokker D.XXI (b) Shared destroyed I-153   Seiskari area 71 IAP-KBF
  03/04/42 18:24- 1/8 Fokker D.XXI (b) Shared destroyed I-153   Seiskari area 71 IAP-KBF
  04/04/42   1/? Bf 109 Shared destroyed I-153   Air Force of the Baltic Fleet 71 IAP-KBF
1 24/04/42   1 Ju 88 (c) Destroyed I-153   Kronstadt 71 IAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 1 and 4 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 and 4 shared destroyed.
(a) Possibly claimed in combat with Fokker D.XXIs from 2/LLv 30, which claimed 1 destroyed, 1 probable and 1 damage I-153 without losses. 71 IAP-KBF claimed 1 Fokker without losses.
(b) Claimed in combat with Curtiss 75As from 1/LLv 32, which claimed 5 I-153s while losing 1 Curtiss 75A (pilot KIA). 71 IAP-KBF claimed 3 Fokkers without losses.
(c) Not verified with Luftwaffe records.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov

Last modified 31 May 2021