Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Starshiy Leitenant Leonid Illarionovich Ivanov HSU

8 August 1909 – 28 June 1941

Date Decoration Note
22/07/41 Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union Posthumously
22/07/41 Order of Lenin Posthumously

Leonid Ivanov was born on 8 August 1909 in Kashirain the Moscow area.

After nine years of secondary school, he lived in Saratov and worked in the tram park.
From 1930, he worked as a milling machine operator in the “Red Proletarian” plant in Moscow.

After two courses in Engineering, he joined the Red Army in 1932.

He graduated from the 7th Stalingrad military aviation school pf pilots in 1935.

After graduation he served as a fighter pilots in the Far East and in the Far North.

Ivanov took part in the Winter War against Finland in 1939-40, flying Polikarpov I-15bis with 147 IAP between January and March 1940.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, starshiy leitenant Ivanov served as an eskardrilya commander of the 147 IAP. This regiment was based in the far north end of the Karelian Front, defending the harbours of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, equipped with Polikarpov I-15bis and I-153s.

On 26 June, starshiy leitenant Ivanov claimed 147 IAP’s first victory when he claimed a He 111 over Afrikanda airfield.
He also claimed a Hs 126 later in the day.

Ivanov was killed in air combat on 28 June 1941.

At the time of his death, Ivanov was credited with 2 biplane victories.

On 22 July 1941, he was posthumously decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.
According to some material, which hasn’t been possibly to verify, he had been credited with 5 and 1 shared victories and 2 damaged at the time of his death. It was reported that on 25 June, he claimed a shared Ju 88 with his wingman leitenant Yakov Filimonov (not verified with Filimonov’s claims) and another damaged Ju 88 over Kandalaksha. The next day he claimed a Bf 110 and damaged a He 111, again over Kandalaksha. On the third day of continuous combat over Kandalaksha, he alone attacked seven Bf 109s in the morning. He reportedly claimed three of them shot down before ramming a fourth in a “taran” attack and crashing to his death. These losses can’t be verified with German sources.

Ivanov is buried in Africanda Apathitsky in the Murmansk Region. In Kandalaksha there is a memory board on him and a fishing trawler also carries his name.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 26/06/41   1 He 111 Destroyed I-15bis   Afrikanda airfield 147 IAP
2 26/06/41   1 Hs 126 Destroyed I-15bis   Northern Front 147 IAP

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed.
TOTAL: 2 destroyed.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Geroi lenigradskogo neba - 1984 Lenizdat kindly provided by Vladislav Arhipov
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2

Last modified 25 March 2021