Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Major Andrey Yakovlevich Baklan HSU

23 July 1917 – 20 May 1985

Andrey Baklan was born in Kalinovka on 23 July 1917.

In 1938, he graduated from the Odessa Military Aviation School of Pilots.

He took part in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War in 1939-40, flying Polikarpov I-153 with 49 IAP. He flew about 40 missions, mostly in the ground-attack role but didn’t make any claims in this conflict.

In June 1941, leitenant Baklan still served in 49 IAP, flying Polikarpov I-153s.

In September 1941, he was posted to 237 IAP. With this unit, he flew Yak-1s.

He was posted to 521 IAP in February 1942 and continued to fly Yak-1 with this unit.

In April 1942, he was posted to 434 IAP. With this unit, he flew Yak-1s and Yak-7s.

Baklan and Ivan Izbinskiy claimed one Bf 109 each north of Valuyki on 2 July.
These were possibly claimed in combat with Bf 109s from II./JG 52 which reported that Unteroffizier Helmut Adam from 4./JG 52 made an forced-landing in Bf 109 F-4 WNr. 13225 (White 3 + –) at Valuyki due to unknown causes and was reported as missing. Unteroffizier Adam had taken off from Belyi-Kolodes and the fighter was a total loss after the forced-landing.

434 IAP was heavily involved in combat with Ju 87s and Bf 109s over Kalach on 26 July.
Eight Ju 87s were claimed by leitenant Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Yak-7B), kapitan Vasiliy Babkov (2 Ju 87s while flying a Yak-1), Ivan Izbinskiy (Yak-7B), Nikolay Karnachonok (2 Ju 87s while flying a Yak-7B) and Vasiliy Savel'yev (2 Ju 87s while flying a Yak-1).
Seven Bf 109s were claimed by Baklan (Yak-1), Ivan Izbinskiy, starshiy leitenant Nikolay Gorshkov (Ya-7B), Aleksey Khol'zunov (2 Bf 109s while flying a Yak-1), leitenant Aleksandr Shishkin (Yak-1) and major Ivan Kleshchov (Yak-1).
It’s possible that the Bf 109s were claimed in combat with II./JG 3, which lost Bf 109 F-4 WNr. 10250 (unknown pilot), reportedly due to flak.

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 Aleksandr Yakimov (one Bf 109 over Kotluban Station), Baklan (one Bf 109 over Konnaya) and Aleksandr Aniskin (one shared Bf 109 together with another pilot south of Kotluban Station).

On 21 November 1942, 434 IAP became 32 GIAP.

On 23 November 1942, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union (No. 755) and the Order of Lenin.

Six Yak-1B pilots of 32 GIAP took off from Zaborovye at 17:38 on 9 March 1943 and were surprised to receive a radio call from the ground station about a formation of 30 German bombers, escorted by 20 Bf 109s, that had crossed the frontlines. This was the He 111 of III./KG 53, escorted by JG 54. In spite of their numerical superiority, the “Grünherz” pilots were unable to cover the bombers. Two were claimed shot down by kapitan Andrey Baklan (claimed as a Ju 88 between west of Slugino and Kolomna) and mladshiy leitenant Sergey Vishnyakov. One of the Heinkels from 8./KG 53 made a forced landing at Gogulovka (He 111 H-6 WNr. 7733 marked III. with 15 % damage) and the other one was damaged, with one crew member getting killed. In the clash between the fighters of both sides, 32 GIAP’s aces seem to have frightened off many of the Messerschmitt pilots, since they claimed four shot down (including one over Slugino by Ivan Korchachenko), while in reality no fighters were lost on any side.

In June 1943, he was posted to 19 IAP. With this unit, he flew La-5s and La-7s.

19 IAP claimed two FW 190s Dobzhinovo area on 21 July 1944. Baklan claimed one north-east of the town while Viktor Aleksandryuk claimed one north of the town.
Aleksandryuk had earlier in the day claimed a Hs 126 south of Reyovets station airfield.

On 19 August 1944, 19 IAP became 176 GIAP.

On 23 September, Baklan and Viktor Aleksandryuk claimed one FW 190 each north-west of Valmiyera.

He took part in the Soviet attack on Japan in August 1945.

Baklan ended the war 2 biplane victories and a total of 20.
These were claimed during more than 700 missions.
Baklan was credited with a large number of shared victories but these have been difficult to verify.

During the war, Baklan was also decorated with a second Order of Lenin 26 March 1942), the Order of the Red Banner (1940), The Order of Suvorov 3rd Class (25 July 1944), the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class (11 March 1985) and the Order of the Red Star.

He continued to serve in the Air Force after the war.

Baklan died on 20 May 1985.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
1 07/09/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-153   Yukhnovo - Kirovo 49 IAP
2 10/09/41   1 Ju 87 Destroyed I-153   Konotop 49 IAP
  1942                
3 07/02/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-1   Kalinin Front 237 IAP
4 22/03/42   1 Ju 87 (a) Destroyed Yak-1   Okorokovo 521 IAP
  22/03/42   1/3 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Yak-1   Okorokovo 521 IAP
5 22/06/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   Zapadnoye 434 IAP
6 02/07/42   1 Bf 109 (b) Destroyed Yak-1   N Valuyki 434 IAP
7 26/07/42   1 Bf 109 (c) Destroyed Yak-1   Kalach 434 IAP
8 18/09/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-7B   Vertyachiy 434 IAP
9 21/09/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-7B   Konnaya 434 IAP
  1943                
10 09/03/43 17:38- 1 Ju 88 (d) Destroyed Yak-7B   W Slugino - Kolomna 32 GIAP
  1944                
11 15/04/44   1 Bf 109 Destroyed La-5   Kupchintsy 19 IAP
12 16/04/44   1 Bf 109 Destroyed La-5   Khudachkuv-Vel'ke 19 IAP
13 07/07/44   1 Bf 109 Destroyed La-5   Gavinovichi 19 IAP
14 20/07/44   1 FW 190 Destroyed La-5   Ignatul 19 IAP
15 21/07/44   1 FW 190 Destroyed La-5   NE Dobzhinovo 19 IAP
16 12/08/44   1 FW 190 Destroyed La-5   S Varka 19 IAP
17 23/09/44   1 FW 190 Destroyed La-7   NW Valmiyera 176 GIAP
18 ??/??/4?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed        
19 ??/??/4?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed        
20 ??/??/4?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        
  ??/??/4?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed        

Biplane victories: 2 and 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 20 and 21 shared destroyed.
(a) According to some sources, this was four Ju 87s attacked by three Yak-1 and shared between them.
(b) Possibly claimed in combat with Bf 109s from II./JG 52, which lost 1 Bf 109 (pilot MIA). 434 IAP claimed 2 Bf 109s.
(c) Possibly claimed in combat with Bf 109s from II./JG 3, which lost 1 Bf 109. 434 IAP claimed 7 Bf 109s.
(d) Claimed in combat with III./KG 53, which suffered 1 force-landed and 1 damaged. 32 GIAP claimed 2 He 111 shot down without losses.

Sources:
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
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov




Last modified 15 April 2021