Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Mladishiy Leytenant Konstantin Belorustsev

In July 1941 Belorustsev served in 4./13 IAP-KBF. This unit was at the time based at Täcktom, Hanko.

Between 21:07 and 22:00 on 22 July three I-153s of 4./13 IAP-KBF led by Leytenant Aleksey Lazukin flew an air reconnaissance over the Turku airfield and returned reporting “several dark spots” on the ground.
This information led to the decision to attack Turku next day.

At 14:55 on 23 July nine I-153s of 4./13 IAP-KBF led by Starshiy Politruk Biskup with an escort of two I-16s from 2./13 IAP-KBF (Kapitan Aleksey Antonenko and Leytenant 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 Mladishiy Leytenant 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 Russalo, situated not far from Turku, and claimed two He60s 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 (Leytenant Aleksey Lazukin and Mladishiy Leytenant Belorustsev) took off from Täcktom at 18:40. They attacked Russalo again and claimed five He60s 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 five was claimed shot down; two by Brinko and one each by Antonenko, 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 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.

Belorustsev ended the war with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 23/07/41 1 Fokker Destroyed I-153   50km N Bengtskär 4./13 IAP-KBF

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

Hävittäjä-Ässät (Finnish Fighter Aces) - Kalevi Keskinen, Kari Stenman and Klaus Niska, 1994 Apali, Tampere, ISBN 952-5026-00-0
Stalin's Eagles - Hans D. Seidl, 1998 Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-7643-0476-3
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2
Additional information kindly provided by Andrey Dikov and Carl-Fredrik Geust.

Last modified 24 May 2004