Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

General Major Ivan Nikolayevic Kalabushkin HSU

Ivan Kalabushkin was born in Spudni in the Vladimir area on 23 January 1915.

He enrolled for service at the age of 21 and completed his pilot training at Voroshilovgrad (now Lugansk) military flying school between 1936-38.

At the time of the German invasion of Soviet Union, he was attached as Leytenant to the 123 IAP of 10th Combined Air Division (SmAD) in the Kobrin-Pinsk area. The unit was at the time flying Polikarpov I-153 fighters.

On the first day of the invasion on 22 June 1941, he scored five victories on three sorties, thus becoming the first Soviet World War Two ace. He shot down two Ju 88s at dawn, a He 111 before midday and at sunset two Bf 109s became the victims of his nimble "Tchaika"! During the last battle, he was wounded in both his legs when a cannon bullet exploded in the cockpit. He was able to make an emergency landing at his home field but had to be lifted out of the cockpit by mechanics and taken to hospital.

After re-convalescence, Kalabushkin was posted to the 562 IAP of the Moscow PVO.

On the night of 22-23 July, he claimed a Do215 in the Moscow area.

On 31 July 1941, he shot down a He 111 over Moscow but his own Yak-1 had sustained damage during the combat and he was forced to leave it in parachute.

On 27 November, he shot down a He 111 near Dmitrov in the Moscow region. This was a He 111H-6 from 2./KG28 (1T+GK, werk. Nr. 3960).

During November, he had claimed three additional enemy aircraft.

He claimed a Bf 110 on 18 December.

Kalabushkin rapidly rose to Starshiy Leytenant and squadron leader in the 562 IAP.

He was decorated with Gold Star of Hero of the Soviet Union on 4 March 1942 for 8 individual and 6 fractional victories as of December 1941.

In 1943, he was promoted to Kapitan and 1944 to Major.

He was also decorated with the Orders of Lenin, the Red Banner (twice), Order of Aleksandr Nevskij, Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class and Order of the Red Star (twice) during the war.

Kalabushkin ended the war with 5 biplane victories and a total of 15.

Kalabushkin remained in the VVS after World War II and graduated from the Army Flying Academy in 1949 and from the Army Flying Academy of the General Staff in 1958. He retired with the rank of General Major in 1964.

Ivan Kalabushkin passed away on 12 April 1985 in Leningrad.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
1 22/06/41 dawn 1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-153   Kobrin-Pinsk area 123 IAP
2 22/06/41 dawn 1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-153   Kobrin-Pinsk area 123 IAP
3 22/06/41 a.m. 1 He 111 Destroyed I-153   Kobrin-Pinsk area 123 IAP
4 22/06/41 sunset 1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-153   Kobrin-Pinsk area 123 IAP
5 22/06/41 sunset 1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-153   Kobrin-Pinsk area 123 IAP
? 22-23/07/41   1 Do215 Destroyed     Moscow area 562 IAP
? 31/07/41   1 He 111 Destroyed Yak-1   Moscow area 562 IAP
? ?/11/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed Yak-1     562 IAP
? ?/11/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed Yak-1     562 IAP
? ?/11/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed Yak-1     562 IAP
? 27/11/41   1 He 111 (a) Destroyed Yak-1   Dmitrov 562 IAP
? 18/12/41   1 Bf 110 Destroyed Yak-1   Dmitrov 562 IAP

Biplane victories: 5 destroyed.
TOTAL: 15 and 6 shared destroyed (it could also be 9 and 6 shared destroyed).
(a) He 111H-6 from 2./KG28 (1T+GK, werk. Nr. 3960)

Sources:
Ivan Nikolajevic Kalabuskin - Prve stihacie eso Velkej vlasteneckej vojny (Historie a plastikove modelarstvi) - Ondrej Repka, 1996
Pobedy sovetskich letcikov pervogo dnya vojny (Aerohobby No.1'94) - Nagornyj Gribkin, 1994 kindly provided by Leonid G. Bashkirov and Ondrej Repka.
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
Additional information kindly provided by Yuri Shakhov.




Last modified 23 January 2007