Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Politruk Petr Semenovich Bityutskiy HSU

17 July 1913 - 13 August 1941

Petr Bityutskiy was born on 17 July 1913 in Pokrovka, Volgograd region.

He joined the army in 1934 and attended the Stalingrad Military Air Collage. He graduated from this school in 1937.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 he was serving as a ground attack pilot and political commissar in the 66 ShAP. This unit was based on the South West Front and still used the Polikarpov I-152.
Even if their aircraft was obsolete he managed to claim several victories in aerial combat.

On 20 July, three I-152s led by Bityutskiy were returning from a strafing mission when Bf 109s bounced them. One I-152 was hit and the third Soviet pilot made a quick escape. Bityutskiy barely survived the ensuing combat, but he finally managed to shoot down one of the Bf 109s.
His opponents in this engagement probably were from Major von Maltzahn’s Stabsschwarm of JG53, which claimed three victories, including von Maltzahn’s fortieth, after an attack against Soviet aircraft strafing German troops.

On 28 July, Politruk Bityutskiy was attacked by three Bf 109s and shot down – possibly by I/JG 53’s Leutnant Werener Schöw, who submitted the only claim for a Polikarpov biplane in the area. Bityutskiy survived, but his report that he had shot down one Bf 109 and caused a second to crash while pursuing his I-152 at treetop level is not supported by German loss files.

During his 50th sortie of the war on 13 August 1941, he engaged three Bf 109s in the Kiev area. He was seen to shoot down one of them before ramming a second and he crashed to death together with his victim. This last victory brought up his total to 5.
This combat seems to have been fought with JG3, which lost seven Bf 109s while claiming 36 victories during the day.

On 5 November 1942, Bityutskiy was posthumous awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.

At the time of his death Bityutskiy had claimed 5 victories, all of the while flying Polikarpov I-152s. These were claimed on 50 sorties.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 20/07/41   1 Bf 109 (a) Destroyed I-152     66 ShAP
2 28/07/41   1 Bf 109 (b) Destroyed I-152     66 ShAP
3 28/07/41   1 Bf 109 (b) Destroyed I-152     66 ShAP
4 13/08/41   1 Bf 109 (c) Destroyed I-152   Kiev area 66 ShAP
5 13/08/41   1 Bf 109 (d) Destroyed I-152   Kiev area 66 ShAP

Biplane victories: 5 destroyed.
TOTAL: 5 destroyed.
(a) Probably claimed in combat with Stabsschwarm JG53, which don’t seem to have lost any aircraft.
(b) Possibly claimed in combat with I/JG 53. The claim isn’t verified with German records.
(c) Probably claimed in combat with JG3, which lost seven Bf 109s during the day.
(d) Claimed by ramming. Probably claimed in combat with JG3, which lost seven Bf 109s during the day.

Barbarossa – The Air Battle: July-December 1941 – Christer Bergström, 2007, Chevron Publishing Limited, ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2
Black Cross/Red Star Volume I - Christer Bergström and Andrey Mikhailov, 2000 Pacifica Military History, ISBN 0-935553-48-7
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2

Last modified 08 October 2007