Polkovnik Ivan Fedorovich Balyuk HSU
30 April 1919 – 13 January 1993
Ivan Balyuk was born on 30 April 1919 in Krolevets, in the Sumy region.
Balyuk joined the army in 1937, attending the Chuguyevsk Military Air School from where he graduated in 1940.
He was serving with 38 IAP when the war broke out in June 1941, flying the Polikarpov I-153 with this unit.
Initially he was much involved in ground attack sorties, during which he claimed 15 tanks and 30 trucks destroyed.
On 13 July, Aristotel Kavtaradze was killed when he rammed a Bf 109 in a head-on “taran” attack over Soltsy airfield.
The German aircraft was a Bf 109 flown by Oberleutnant Gerhard Ludwig of I./JG 54, who also was killed. The German fighters were escorting Ju 88 against the airfield in the Novogorod region near Lake Ilmen.
It seems that the “taran” was performed in the evening, since Oberleutnant Ludwig claimed an I-15 at 17:45.
Leitenant Balyuk claimed an Bf 109 over the airfield in the same combat.
On 13 August, the I-153s from38 IAP fought with Ju 88s over Bol’shaya Gorushka and leitenant Balyuk and Lazar Chapchakhov claimed one each. Chapchakhov also claimed a Bf 110 over the same place. It’s possible that Aleksandr Yelkhov also took part in this combat since it’s known that he claimed a Ju 88 together with another pilot during the day.
Leitenant Balyuk claimed a shared Ju 88 over Kobylkino on 15 August. This claim was made together with two more pilots and it’s possible that these were Aleksandr Yelkhov and leitenant Ivan Konovchenko.
Leitenant Konovchenko also claimed one additional Ju 88.
On 26 August, he was severely wounded in combat and sent to hospital and didn’t fly any more missions with 38 IAP.
He was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner on 11 February 1942.
In May 1942 and upon recovery, he was then posted to 237 IAP on the Stalingrad Front.
In August, he became commander of the 1st eskadrilya.
On 7 December 1942, he was decorated with the Order of Patriotic War 1st Class.
He was decorated with a second Order of the Red Banner on 30 January 1943.
On 31 January 1943, he was promoted to kapitan, as the unit became the 54 GIAP on the same date.
The unit next moved to the Central Front.
By May 1943, he had taken part in 137 engagements.
He then took part in the Battle of Kursk.
On 24 August 1943, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.
In October 1943, 54 GIAP was re-equipped from Yak-1s to Airacobras, then moving to the 1st Belorussian Front for the campaigns of 1944.
Balyuk ended the war with 4 biplane victories and a total of 16. These had been claimed during more than 348 sorties (by 31 March 1945) and 140 air combats.
During his career, he had also been decorated with the Order of Aleksandr Nevskiy, a second Order of Patriotic War 1st Class (on 11 March 1983) and the Order of the Red Star.
Balyuk stayed in the service after the war and graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1951, coming off active duty as a polkovnik in 1973.
He passed away on 13 January 1993 in Rostov on Don.
|Kill no.||Date||Time||Number||Type||Result||Plane type||Serial no.||Locality||Unit|
|1||13/07/41||p.m.||1||Bf 109||Destroyed||I-153||Soltsy airfield||38 IAP|
|2||18/07/41||1||Bf 110||Destroyed||I-153||Staraya Russa airfield - Ivanovskoye||38 IAP|
|3||11/08/41||1||Bf 109||Destroyed||I-153||Lake Ilmen||38 IAP|
|4||13/08/41||1||Ju 88||Destroyed||I-153||Bol'shaya Gorushka||38 IAP|
|15/08/41||1/3||Ju 88||Shared destroyed||I-153||Kobylkino||38 IAP|
|5||21/10/42||1||Bf 109||Destroyed||Yak-1||NW Dubovka||237 IAP|
|6||24/10/42||1||FW 189||Destroyed||Yak-1||Location 226 SD (Stalingrad)||237 IAP|
|7||24/10/42||1||Bf 109||Destroyed||Yak-1||SE Grachi||237 IAP|
|8||24/10/42||1||Bf 109||Destroyed||Yak-1||SE Grachi||237 IAP|
|9||01/11/42||1||Bf 109||Destroyed||Yak-1||W Vinnovka||237 IAP|
|10||11/12/42||1||Ju 52/3m||Destroyed||Yak-1||S Pitomnik||237 IAP|
|18/12/42||1/2||Bf 109||Shared destroyed||Yak-1||Karpovka||237 IAP|
|13/01/43||1/2||Ju 88||Shared destroyed||Yak-1||W Nizhne-Chirskaya||237 IAP|
|11||15/01/43||1||Ju 88||Destroyed||Yak-1||N Bol'shaya Rossoshka airfield||237 IAP|
|12||31/05/43||1||FW 190||Destroyed||Yak-1||Sadovaya - Borzenki||54 GIAP|
|13||02/06/43||1||FW 190||Destroyed||Yak-1||Khitrovo||54 GIAP|
|14||05/07/43||1||Ju 87||Destroyed||Yak-1||S Bogomosyev||54 GIAP|
|15||08/07/43||1||FW 190||Destroyed||Yak-1||Skorodnoye||54 GIAP|
|16||20/07/44||1||FW 190||Destroyed||Airacobra||Berezhtsy||54 GIAP|
Biplane victories: 4 and 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 16 and 3 shared destroyed.
All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Russian Fighter Aces of 1914-1953 years
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Stalin's Eagles - Hans D. Seidl, 1998 Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-7643-0476-3
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christopher Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2
Асы Великой Отечественной. Самые результативные летчики 1941-1945 гг - Mikhail Bykov, 2007 Moscow, ISBN 978-5-699-20526-4