Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Starshiy Politruk Andrey Stepanovich Danilov

Andrey Danilov was born in 1910.

He trained at the Orenburg military aviation school.

In June 1941, Danilov served as senior political deputy in the 127 IAP of the 11 SmAD.

On 22 June 1941, he scrambled together with five more I-153s at 05:00 and intercepted three Ju 88s. He attacked the leading one and claimed this in the Grodno-Lida area.
During his second mission of the day, he claimed a shared German bomber in the Krapivino area together with eight other pilots.
Around 10:00, he flew a third mission of the day in the Cherliany airfield area when he spotted a German Do215 and shot it down on his first pass. With fuel getting low he turned for home and ran into nine or ten Bf 110s, claiming to have shot down one and successfully rammed a second after that his aircraft had been damaged and he had run out of ammunition.
In this last combat, he was wounded in the face and an arm and he made a forced landing with his I-153 near the village of Cherlena. He was taken to a hospital and received two months of medical treatment at Voronezsh hospital.

The 127 IAP made claims for 20 enemy planes on 180 sorties on the first day of the German invasion. In fact German losses had been quite low that day, amounting to perhaps a tenth of the total Soviet claims, the general chaos and heat of combat leading to some disproportionate overclaiming.

On 8 July, he was awarded the Order of Lenin.

He was shot down the next day, on 9 July, and wounded.

After convalescence, he flew combat missions with 18 GIAP (6 IAP until 7 March 1942).

In June 1943, he was commander of 168 IAP.

This unit took part in the Kursk, Minsk and Berlin battles before being sent to the Transbaikal Front to take part in the war against Japan.

During the war, he was also awarded with the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd grade.

Danilov ended the war with at least 4 biplane victories and a total of 9. These victories were claimed during 134 combat missions.

After the war, Danilov was a pilot in an airborne photo geological expedition in Karelia.

He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel

On 1 July 1964, he became honourable citizen of Grodno

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 22/06/41 05:00 1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-153   Grodno-Lida area 127 IAP
  22/06/41   1/9 Enemy bomber Shared destroyed I-153   Krapivino-Lida area 127 IAP
2 22/06/41 10:00 1 Do215 Destroyed I-153   Cherliany airfield area 127 IAP
3 22/06/41 10:00 1 Bf 110 Destroyed I-153   Cherliany airfield area 127 IAP
4 22/06/41 10:00 1 Bf 110 (a) Destroyed I-153   Cherliany airfield area 127 IAP

Biplane victories: 4 and 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 9 and 1 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in a "taran" ramming attack.

Aerohobby No.1'94, kindly provided by Alexey Andreev
Na grani vozmozshnogo, 1990 Znanie, Moscow kindly Yuri V. Shakhov
Protiv obshchego vraga - V.I.Lukashin 1976 Politizdat, Moscow kindly provided by Yuri V. Shakhov
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
Sturmovik Technika
Additional information kindly provided by Mikhail Bykov, Jan Safarik and Yuri V. Shakhov.

Last modified 26 January 2010