Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Kapitan Ivan Ivanovich Izbinskiy

1915 – 4 February 1943

Ivan Izbinskiy was born in Nikolayev in 1915.

He joined the Red Army in 1935 and graduated from Kachin Military Aviation School for Pilots.

Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 and on 25 June, leitenant Izbinskiy was sent to the front as deputy eskadrilya commander of 1./169 IAP. This unit was equipped with Polikarpov I-153s.

On 6 July, Izbinskiy was in combat with four Bf 109s in the Shklov area and claimed one of them shot down. In this combat, he was wounded by shrapnel in the head and in one leg.

In August 1941, he was posted to 434 IAP.

In the fall of 1941, ”for actions discrediting the rank of military men”, he was sentenced to probation for eight years but he atoned for this in combat and the criminal record was dropped.

On 11 January 1942, Izbinskiy and Vladimir Orekhov claimed a shared Hs 126 together with a third pilot over Lipovik.

On 13 June, 14 Yak-1s from 434 IAP claimed a shared Bf 109 during a mission between Shipovatoye and Sredniy Burluk. Known pilots taking part in this claim are kapitan Vasiliy Babkov, Izbinskiy, Nikolay Karnachonok, Aleksey Khol'zunov, major Ivan Kleshchov (CO 434 IAP), kapitan Aleksandr Kotov, Vladimir Orekhov, Nikolay Parfenov, Vasiliy Savel'yev, Aleksandr Yakimov and Nikolay Zakhvatayev.
All pilots claimed the Bf 109 over Shipovatoye with the exception of captain Babkov and Vladimir Orekhov, which claimed it between Shipovatoye and Sredniy Burluk.
Major Kleshchov claimed one additional Bf 109 over Shipovatoye.

434 IAP claimed four Ju 88s over Topoli station on 27 June. These were claimed by kapitan Vasiliy Babkov, Izbinskiy, Aleksey Khol'zunov and Vasiliy Savel’yev.
Major Ivan Kleshchov claimed a fifth Ju 88 between Chervona Zirka and Kutkovka.

Andrey Baklan and Izbinskiy claimed one Bf 109 each north of Valuyki on 2 July.
These were possibly claimed in combat with Bf 109s from II./JG 52 which reported that Unteroffizier Helmut Adam from 4./JG 52 made an forced-landing in Bf 109 F-4 WNr. 13225 (White 3 + –) at Valuyki due to unknown causes and was reported as missing. Unteroffizier Adam had taken off from Belyi-Kolodes and the fighter was a total loss after the forced-landing.

434 IAP was heavily involved in combat with Ju 87s and Bf 109s over Kalach on 26 July.
Eight Ju 87s were claimed by leitenant Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Yak-7B), kapitan Vasiliy Babkov (2 Ju 87s while flying a Yak-1), Izbinskiy (Yak-7B), Nikolay Karnachonok (2 Ju 87s while flying a Yak-7B) and Vasiliy Savel'yev (2 Ju 87s while flying a Yak-1).
Seven Bf 109s were claimed by Andrey Baklan (Yak-1), Izbinskiy, starshiy leitenant Nikolay Gorshkov (Ya-7B), Aleksey Khol'zunov (2 Bf 109s while flying a Yak-1), leitenant Aleksandr Shishkin (Yak-1) and major Ivan Kleshchov (Yak-1).
It’s possible that the Bf 109s were claimed in combat with II./JG 3, which lost Bf 109 F-4 WNr. 10250 (unknown pilot), reportedly due to flak.

He was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner on 11 August 1942.

On 28 September, Izbinskiy claimed a Macchi MC.200 over the southern outskirts of Stalingrad. It’s possible that leitenant Aleksandr Aleksandrov claimed a second at the same time, since it’s known that he claimed one during the day but at an unknown place.

On 22 November 1942, 434 IAP became a guard’s unit and renamed to 32 GIAP.

Twelve Yak-1s from 32 GIAP intercepted four He 111s of KG 53 escorted by the Bf 109 Rotte of Feldwebels Josef “Bazi” Brechtl and Kurt Stöber near Velikiye Luki in the morning of 6 January 1943. The War Diary of 7./JG 54 reads:

“The Rotte of Fw. Brechtl and Fw. Stöber is surprised by a myriad of enemy fighters. Fw. Stöber heard the warning in his headphones: ‘Pull up, fighters behind us,’ and as he looks around, Bazi is nowhere to be seen. He was probably shot down by the Russian fighters.”
“Bazi” Brechtl was an ace with 28 kills on his tally and his Bf 109 G-2 WNr. 13666 (black 2 + ~) reportedly crashed south of Velikiye Luki after combat with seven Soviet fighters. The pair of Bf 109 Gs had taken off from Smolensk.
When they returned to base, the Soviet fighter pilots triumphantly reported the shooting down of four Bf 109s – one each by starshiy leitenant Arkadiy Makarov, leitenant Mikhail Lepin, leitenant Aleksandr Aniskin (west of Lake Derganovskoye) and mladshiy leitenant Yuriy Rysakov.
An upset Stöber returned alone to base and reported two of the Soviet fighters shot down – one at 09:53 at 2,000 meters altitude and the second 09:55 at 1,500 meters altitude. In reality, only the Yak-1 flown by Rysakov had been hit, and the pilot made a force-landing in Soviet territory. Moreover, leitenants Nikolay Koval and Ivan Korchachenko claimed one German bomber shot down each (Koval reported his claim over Pupkovo, south of Velikiye Luki but as a Ju 88 while Korchachenko reported his west of Lake Derganovskoye). The German losses were however confined to Brechtls Bf 109, with three He 111s being damaged.
The fighter units of 3 VA reported fairly good results during the day – 210 IAD (32 GIAP and 169 IAP) reported 16 Bf 109s (including one by kapitan Izbinskiy over Kuprovo), six He 11 Is, five Ju 88s and one Ju 88 shot down, 157 and 274 IAD chalked up 15 victories – but a comparison with German loss records reveal these to be exceedingly high overclaims. In fact, 6 January proved to be a heavy day for 32 GIAP, which had three of its own fighters shot down – with the loss of two pilots. One of these was 11-victory ace starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Koshelev, acting Eskadrilya commander, who was shot down over German-held territory in combat with IV./JG 51. It might have been his Yak-1 that was recorded as 12./JG 51’s Oberfeldwebel Herbert Friebel’s 54th victory (reported as a MiG-3 claimed at 12:31 at 800 meters altitude).

On 4 February (some sources states 14 March), kapitan Izbinskiy committed suicide in an intoxicated state. He was buried in the village of Staraya Toropa (Zapadnodvinsky district of the Tver region) in a mass grave at the railway station.
At the time, he was CO of 2./32 GIAP.

At the time of his death, Izbinskiy was credited with 1 biplane victory and a total of 16.
These had been claimed during more than 400 combat missions.
During his career, he was also decorated with the Order Aleksandr Nevsky.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 06/07/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-153   Shklov area 1./169 IAP
2 02/11/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed LaGG-3   Krasnitsa 434 IAP
  09/01/42   1/2 Hs 126 (a) Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Kirishi 434 IAP
  11/01/42   1/3 Hs 126 (b) Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Lipovik 434 IAP
  28/01/42   1/2 He 111 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Kerest' 434 IAP
  13/06/42   1/14 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Yak-1   Shipovatoye 434 IAP
3 25/06/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-1   Velikiy Burluk 434 IAP
4 27/06/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-1   Topoli station 434 IAP
5 02/07/42   1 Bf 109 (c) Destroyed Yak-1   N Valuyki 434 IAP
6 26/07/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-7B   Kalach 434 IAP
7 26/07/42   1 Bf 109 (d) Destroyed Yak-7B   Kalach 434 IAP
8 31/07/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-7B   Ryushino - Krasnoyarskiy 434 IAP
9 17/09/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-7B   W Shishkino 434 IAP
10 18/09/42   1 He 111 Destroyed Yak-7B   Kotluban station 434 IAP
11 19/09/42   1 Hs 123 (e) Destroyed Yak-7B   Kotluban station 434 IAP
12 20/09/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-7B   Kuz'michi 434 IAP
13 28/09/42   1 MC.200 Destroyed Yak-7B   southern outskirts of Stalingrad 434 IAP
14 08/12/42   1 Hs 126 Destroyed Yak-1B   Samsonikha 32 GIAP
15 30/12/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1B   NE Novosokol'niki 32 GIAP
16 06/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1B   Kuprovo 32 GIAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 16 and 4 shared destroyed.
(a) Not verified with Luftwaffe records.
(b) Not verified with Luftwaffe records.
(c) Possibly claimed in combat with Bf 109s from II./JG 52, which lost 1 Bf 109 (pilot MIA). 434 IAP claimed 2 Bf 109s.
(d) Possibly claimed in combat with Bf 109s from II./JG 3, which lost 1 Bf 109. 434 IAP claimed 7 Bf 109s.
(e) Not verified with Luftwaffe records.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Black Cross/Red Star Volume 4 Stalingrad to Kuban - Christer Bergström, 2019 Vaktel Förlag, Eskistuna, ISBN 978-91-88441-21-8
Deutsche Luftwaffe Losses & Claims -series - Michael Balss
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov

Last modified 21 March 2021