Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Podpolkovnik Grigory Vasilevich Boychenko

1905 –

Grigory Boychenko was born in 1905.

Boychenko took part in Khalkhin Gol where he flew Polikarpov biplanes (I-15bis and I-153s) in 70 IAP.

On 12 July 1939, Starshii Leitenant Iosef Geibo of 5./70 IAP (I-153) and Boychenko (in a Polikarpov biplane) claimed a shared Ki-27 together with a third pilot over ”Marker 704”.

Boychenko claimed two Ki-27s (reported as I-96s) in the Kama area on 21 July.

Mongolian territory was cleared of Japanese units on 31 August and the last land battles saw 27 Japanese bombers (including Ki-30s from 31st Sentai) and 70 fighters from 1st, 11th, and 64th Sentai entering battle with 126 I-16s. The Japanese claimed to have brought down 21 Soviet fighters down (eight of them by 64th Sentai) and five probables for the loss of three own aircraft and four pilots. Known losses included the 31st Sentai 1st chutai CO Captain Jiro Inoue, who was killed and the crash-landing of Captain Saito (31st Sentai 2nd chutai CO).
The Soviet side claimed to have lost a single I-16 and scored 22 victories, one against a single-engined bomber. In combat west of Lake Usur-Nur, Nikolai Viktorov of 70 IAP (I-16) claimed two shared Ki-27s while Starshii Leitenant Anatolii Nikolaev claimed one Ki-27. One of the shared Ki-27s claimed by Viktorov was probably claimed together with Boychenko (Polikarpov biplane), who reportedly claimed one and one shared Ki-27 north-west of Lake Usur-Nur.

In the afternoon on 1 September, 188 Soviet fighters (145 I-16s and 43 I-153s) from 22, 56 and 70 IAPs fought a reported 100-120 Ki-27s and Ki-30s in mixed groups pursuing diverse tactical objectives. The fight took place at between 3500 and 5000m and featured the stepped arrival of most participants. They fought for over an hour, with the spinning ball of fighters attracting reinforcements and shedding burning machines or those whose fuel had become critical.
The two sides report from the combat was very different to each other.
The returning Japanese claimed 32 destroyed and 8 probables. Of these, the 64th Sentai claimed 11 destroyed and three probables when they fought about 80 enemy aircraft over Noguchi airfield for half an hour. Sergeant Major Tokuya Sudo was seen to shoot down one (10th victory) but was then overcome by numbers and killed.
The 1st and 11th Sentais was also involved in this combat and Sergeant Takayori Kodama (Sho-3) of the 2nd chutai, 1st Sentai, who had been flying as wingman to the acting commanding officer Major Makino since the end of July was shot down and killed about 20km south of Jiangjun Miao. At the time, he had flown 46 sorties and claimed 11 victories.
Totally, the Japanese lost four aircraft and pilots; Sudo (Sho-1), Captain Shuichi Anzai (Class 44) of the 64th Sentai (CO 2nd chutai), Sergeant Kodama and First Lieutenant Yosokichi Kato (NCO41) of the 64th Sentai. It was reported that one Japanese pilot baled out, landed within Mongolia, and shot himself shortly before being taken prisoner. Captain Fumio Maruta from the 64th Sentai (CO 1st chutai) was wounded in this combat.
The Soviet pilots claimed 19 Ki-27s (mostly reported as ”I-97s”) and one Ki-30.
22 IAP (I-16) was in combat over Lake Usur-Nur and Mikhail Abzianidze claimed a Ki-27 during the day while Nikolai Arsenin claimed a shared Ki-27 together with Vasily Naydenko, Kapitan Andrey Dekhtyarenko and two other pilots. Naydenko claimed a third Ki-27 as a personal victory and a fourth Ki-27 was claimed by Leitenant Pavel Solntsev in the Lake Usur-Nur area.
70 IAP also reported claimes when Starshii Leitenant Iosef Geibo of 5./70 IAP (I-153) claimed a Ki-27 between Lake Usur-Nur and Lake Yanhu. Nikolai Viktorov (I-16) claimed one and one shared Ki-27s (together with one other pilot) in the same area while Egor Ankudinov claimed a shared Ki-27 together with three other pilots. Boychenko (Polikarpov biplane) claimed a Ki-27 in the same area. Ivan Krasnoyurchenko (I-16) claimed one Ki-27 and one shared with four other pilots over Lake Uzur-Nur.
Three I-16s failed to return along with their pilots. Two of them died in the wreckage, while M. Kulak baled out and was captured (he was later exchanged). Deputy eskadrilia CO Starshii Leitenant Fedor Cheremukhin was forced to land with a holed petrol tank in the steppe not far from Tamsag-Bulak. Leitenant Aleksandr Moshin was wounded and sent to Chita military hospital.

On 4 September, fighters clashed south-east of Shirin-Obo and overhead the Numurgin-Gol River when the Soviets flew 68 fighter sorties and the Japanese 40.
Initially, eleven I-153s and 39 I-16s from 22 IAP fought with and pursued 20 Ki-27s, and then eleven I-16s and seven I-153s from 70 IAP did the same with seven Ki-10s from 33rd Sentai led by Captain Takeo Kawada. The Japanese encountered a reported 20-30 Soviet aircraft at a height of 5,000 metres. Kawada had been personally forbidden to engage, but 2nd Lieutenant Tadashi Harada (NCO54) and Sergeant Major Akira Ishikawa (Sho-1) charged in, followed by the rest of the formation. In this combat the Japanese claimed nine and three probables, including three by Ishikawa personally, although he force-landed after suffering severe wounds, from which he died next day. Harada and Sergeant Major Seizo Hiraki (NCO66) were also killed.
The 33rd Sentai’s 3rd chutai was also engaged in combat claiming 13 victories and 13 probables.
Soviet reports were filed with claims of nine enemy fighters (at least one Ki-27 and five Ki-10s) while losing two I-16 tip 10s and one I-153.
Egor Ankudinov (I-16 in 70 IAP) claimed a single Ki-10 (reported as a ”I-95”) and two more as shared together with 15 other pilots (including Kapitan Andrey Dekhtyarenko in an I-16 from 22 IAP) at “Square 787” while Boychenko (I-153 from 70 IAP) claimed a Ki-10 over the mouth of the Numurgin-Gol River. Mikhail Abzianidze (I-16 from 22 IAP) claimed a Ki-27 during the day while Vasily Smirnov (I-153 from 22 IAP) claimed a Ki-10 over “Square 787”.

He totally claimed five biplane victories over Mongolia.

During the Second World War, he initially flew I-16s and Il-2s in ground-attack missions between June and September 1941.

From December 1941 he served in 730 IAP, flying Hurricanes, Yak-7s and Yak-9s.

Boychenko ended the war with a total of 5 biplane victories.
During his career he was decorated with the Order of Lenin and Order of Patriotic War, 1st Class.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  12/07/39   1/3 Ki-27 Shared destroyed Polikarpov biplane   Marker 704 (Moscow area) 70 IAP
1 21/07/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed Polikarpov biplane   Kama area 70 IAP
2 21/07/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed Polikarpov biplane   Kama area 70 IAP
3 31/08/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed Polikarpov biplane   NW Lake Usur-Nur 70 IAP
  31/08/39   1/2 Ki-27 Shared destroyed Polikarpov biplane   NW Lake Usur-Nur 70 IAP
4 01/09/39 p.m. 1 Ki-27 Destroyed Polikarpov biplane   Lake Usur-Nur - Lake Yanhu 70 IAP
5 04/09/39   1 Ki-10 Destroyed Polikarpov I-153   Numurgin-Gol River estuary 70 IAP

Biplane victories: 5 and 2 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 5 and 2 shared destroyed.

Air War Over Khalkhin Gol: The Nomonhan Incident - Vladimir R. Kotelnikov, 2010 SAM Publications, ISBN 978-1-906959-23-4
All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Japan Against Russia In The Sky Of Nomonhan - Dimitar Nedialkov, 2005 Propeller Publishing, Sofia, ISBN 954-9367-33-9

Last modified 01 April 2019