Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Major N. V. Gavrilov

In early 1940, the regiment staff and two eskadrillias (equipped with I-153s) of 34 IAP were attached to the newly formed 148 IAP.

On 7 March 1940, luutnantti Tauno Ollikainen (GL-279) led a group of six Gladiators from LLv 14 flying top cover for ground troops at Tienhaara (west of Viipuri). Between 15:15 and 15:25 and despite being outnumbered, three Russian I-153s attacked over Tervajoki. LLv 14 reported:

“Aircraft and crews: GL-279 luutnantti Ollikainen, GL-273 luutnantti Pitkänen, GL-274 luutnantti Kuula, GL-276 vänrikki Malinen, GL-278 ylikersantti Perälä and GL-279 alikersantti Roine.
Mission between 14:35 and 16:10 hours.
When patrolling over Tienhaara, two pairs of I-16s were observed, no contact. Over Tervajoki village met three I-153s, which pulled over, turned and attacked the second pair. The first pair turned around and started the combat, which was carried out between 15:15 and 15:25 hours, from 300 metres to the surface. The wind shifted the participants west of Tervajoki. Two I-153s were shot down and they both crashed in the forest. Luutnantti Ollikainen claimed one witnessed by luutnantti Kuula. The other was claimed by vänrikki Malinen and witnessed by luutnantti Pitkänen. Alikersantti Roine made a successful emergency landing to Löytöjärvi after being hit in the fuel tank. Ylikersantti Perälä’s wing touched the wing on an I-153, breaking the starboard tip of the upper wing.”
These aircraft were claimed in combat with three I-153s from 3./148 IAP led by major Gavrilov (CO) and including starshii leitenant Ivan Rybin and mladshii leitenant Yevgenii Ivanovich Zaichikov (I-153 c/n 7325). When they returned, Gavrilov claimed two Gladiators while Rybin claimed one. Zaichikov was killed in the combat, the wreck of his fighter was located in Chulkovo (former Tervajoki) only in October 2009.
The same day, both surviving Soviet pilots were decorated with the Order of the Red Banner.

Gavrilov ended the war with 2 biplane victories.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940                
1 07/03/40 15:15-15:25 1 Gladiator (a) Destroyed I-153   Tervajoki area 3./148 IAP
2 07/03/40 15:15-15:25 1 Gladiator (a) Destroyed I-153   Tervajoki area 3./148 IAP

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed.
TOTAL: 2 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with LeLv 14, which claimed 2 I-153s while suffering 2 damaged Gladiators. 3,/148 IAP claimed 3 Gladiators while losing 1 I-153.

Sources:
All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Red Stars 7 - Talvisota Ilmassa - The Winter War In the Air - Carl-Fredrik Geust, 2011 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 978-952-5877-04-5
Suomen Ilmavoimat part II – 1928-40 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2006, ISBN 952-99743-0-2




Last modified 08 May 2017