Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Podpolkovnik Grigoriy Vasilevich Boychenko

1905 –

Grigoriy 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, starshiy leitenant Iosef Geibo of 5./70 IAP (I-153) and Boychenko (from 70 IAP in a Polikarpov biplane) claimed a shared Ki-27 together with a third pilot over ”Marker 704”.

On 21 July, TASS reported that in the area east and south-east of Lake Buir-Nur, the Japanese again violated the border with their aircraft. An air battle took place over the territory of the Mongolian People’s Republic in which up to 120 Japanese fighters assembled from different regions of Manchuria participated. On the part of the Soviet-Mongolian aviation, about 100 fighters participated in the battle. The battle lasted about an hour and ended on the Manchurian territory with the pursuit of Japanese-Manchu aviation. In this air battle, Mongol-Soviet aircraft shot down 14 Japanese aircraft, of whose crews two Japanese pilots were captured alive. It seems that the battle took place between 09:45 and 11:00, involving 22 and 70 IAPs.
Kapitan Boychenko of 70 IAP (I-15bis) claimed two Ki-27s (reported as ”I-96s”) in the Kama area while major Aleksandr Mochalin (I-16), kapitan Vasiliy Gaugashin (I-16) and leitenant Nikolay Zherdev (I-16) claimed one Ki-27 each over Kama district-No.9-No.22.
Starshiy leitenant Fedor Golub from 22 IAP (I-16) claimed one Ki-27 (reported as a ”I-97”) while starshiy leitenant Pavel Mityagin claimed a shared Ki-27 together with another pilot (probably leitenant Aleksandr P’yankov since it’s known that he claimed a shared with another pilot).
The I-15bis fighter flown by mladshiy leitenant Dmitry Artemyev and mladshiy leitenant Petr Varfolomeev (both 22 IAP) were shot down in combat in the Buir Nur area and the pilots were killed.

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). Saito had been attacked by enemy fighters and made an emergency landing at the vicinity of Chiangchunmiao. His gunner, 2nd Lieutenant Takeo Hidaka was KIA.
The Soviet side claimed to have lost a single I-16 and scored 22 victories, one against a single-engined bomber.
Kapitan Aleksey Kovalev from 22 IAP (I-153) claimed a Ki-27 between Uzur-Nur and Lake Yanhu while starshiy leitenant Petr Grayevskiy claimed one destroyed.
In combat west of Lake Usur-Nur, Nikolay Viktorov of 70 IAP (I-16) claimed two shared Ki-27s together with another pilot while starshiy leitenant Anatoliy Nikolayev claimed one Ki-27. Starshiy leitenant Konstantin Bukhtiyarov 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. Starshiy leitenant Semen Levin claimed one Ki-27 shared ”in group”.
Kapitan Mikhail Dolbyshev from 56 IAP (I-16) claimed four shared Ki-27s (”in group”) while starshiy leitenant Yakov Kurbatov claimed two.

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 quite 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 were 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 1st 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 21 Ki-27s (mostly reported as ”I-97s”) and one Ki-30 in combat between 14:20-15:30.
22 IAP (I-16) was in combat over Lake Usur-Nur and Mikhail Abzianidze claimed a Ki-27 while Nikolay Arsenin claimed a shared Ki-27 together with Vasily Naydenko, kapitan Andrey Dekhtyarenko, leitenant Ivan Krasnoyurchenko and starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Kostygov. 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. Leitenant Krasnoyurchenko claimed one Ki-27 as an individual claim as did starshiy leitenant Nikolay Tochkov and starshiy politruk Leonid Kolesnikov. Batalyonnyy komissar Ivan Golyshev, leitenant Rostislav Govorukhin and starshiy leitenant Mark Shpan each claimed a shared Ki-27 ”in group” while kapitan Vasiliy Gugashin claimed a shared with another pilot.
From 56 IAP (I-16) claims were made by leitennat Vasiliy Dmitriyev, who claimed one destroyed Ki-27 and two more as shared (in group) while kapitan Mikhail Dolbyshev and starshiy leitenant Dmitri Kuzovoi claimed six shared Ki-27s (in group). Starshiy leitenant Kuzovi also claimed one individual Ki-27. Starshiy leitenant Yakov Kurbatov claimed two shared Ki-27s ”in group”. Starshiy leitenant Stepan Baranov claimed two shared Ki-27s over Lake Usur-Nur (one together with another pilot and the second in group). Leitenant Nikolay Zakhvatayev also claimed two shared Ki-27s over Lake Usur-Nur (one together with another pilot and the second in group) while starshiy leytenant Pavel Ankudinov claimed a shared Ki-27 together with three other pilots in the same area.
70 IAP also reported claims when starshiy leitenant Iosef Geibo of 5./70 IAP (I-153) claimed a Ki-27 between Lake Usur-Nur and Lake Yanhu. Nikolay Viktorov (I-16) claimed one and one shared Ki-27s (together with one other pilot) in the same area. Kapitan Boychenko (I-153) claimed a Ki-27 in the same area. Major Aleksey Slutskov (I-153) claimed one Ki-27 destroyed as did leitenant Fedor Vasil’yev (I-16) while kapitan Petr Glebov (I-16) claimed one shared with another pilot (these claimed at an unknown place).
Leitenant Aleksandr Moshin (flying an I-16 from an unknown unit) claimed two shared Ki-27s over Lake Usur-Nur. He was wounded in this combat and sent to Chita military hospital.
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 eskadrilya CO starshiy leitenant Fedor Cheremukhin was forced to land with a holed petrol tank in the steppe not far from Tamsag-Bulak.

On 4 September, fighters clashed south-east of Shirin-Obo and overhead the Numurgin-Gol River in the morning 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 (one Ki-27 and the remaining Ki-10s) in the morning while losing two I-16 tip 10s and one I-153.
Seven of the claims can be identified when starshiy leitenant Pavel Ankudinov (I-16 from 22 IAP) claimed a single Ki-10 (reported as a ”I-95”) and two more as shared together with 14 other I-16 pilots (including kapitan Andrey Dekhtyarenko (22 IAP), starshiy leitenant E. E. Evkudinov (22 IAP), starshiy leitenant Vasiliy Vuss (22 IAP), starshiy leitenant Fedor Golub (22 IAP), leitenant Aleksandr Mel’nikov (56 IAP), starshiy leitenant Mark Shpan (22 IAP) and leitenant Pavel Solov’yev (22 IAP)) at “Square 787” while kapitan 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 while Vasiliy Smirnov (I-153 from 22 IAP) claimed a Ki-10, both over “Square 787”. Two I-16s from 22 IAP piloted by starshiy leitenant Fedor N. Cheremukhin and an unknown pilot (possibly Georgiy Marchenko) shared a Ki-10 in the Khalkhin Gol area in the morning. Leitenant Ivan Rybkin (I-16 from 22 IAP) claimed two shared Ki-27 ”in group”.
Leitenant Aleksandr Piskunov from 22 IAP (I-153) was wounded in air combat and killed when his fighter overturned on landing back at his airfield.

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 09:45-11:00 1 Ki-27 Destroyed I-15bis   Kama area 70 IAP
2 21/07/39 09:45-11:00 1 Ki-27 Destroyed I-15bis   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 14:20-15:30 1 Ki-27 Destroyed I-153   Lake Usur-Nur - Lake Yanhu 70 IAP
5 04/09/39 morning 1 Ki-10 Destroyed 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
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov

Last modified 18 January 2022