Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Leitenant Aristotel’ Stepanovich Kavtaradze

Aristotel' Kavtaradze was born in 1913 in Tbilisi.
Initially, he chose a teaching career and in 1930 he graduated from a pedagogical technical school, after which he worked as a teacher.

In 1935, on a Komsomol ticket, Kavtaradze entered the Kachin aviation school.

After graduating he consecutively served in 7 ShAP and 2 IAP before being posted to 38 IAP in the Leningrad military district.

Kavtaradze took part in the Soviet-Finnish Winter war and was decorated with the Medal "For Courage".

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, leitenant Kavtaradze served as a flight commander in 2./38.
At this time, the regiment had 52 I-153s and eight I-16s.
The 2 eskadrilya was equipped with Polikarpov I-153s and fully staffed with 12 experienced pilots with night flying training.

On 13 July, he was killed when he rammed a Bf 109 in a head-on “taran” attack over Soltsy airfield.
The German aircraft was a Bf 109 flown by Oberleutnant Gerhard Ludwig of I./JG 54, who also was killed. The German fighters were escorting Ju 88 against the airfield in the Novogorod region near Lake Ilmen.
It seems that the “taran” was performed in the evening, since Oberleutnant Ludwig claimed an I-15 at 17:45.
Leitenant Ivan Balyuk claimed an Bf 109 over the airfield in the same combat.

At the time of his death, Kavtoradze was credited with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 13/07/41 p.m. 1 Bf 109 (a) Destroyed I-153   Soltsy area 2./38 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in a “taran” ramming attack against Oberleutnant Gerhard Ludwig of I/JG 54, who also was killed.

All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Black Cross/Red Star Volume I - Christer Bergström and Andrey Mikhailov, 2000 Pacifica Military History, ISBN 0-935553-48-7
Germanskiye asy na vostochnom fronte 1 (1941-43) – Dmirtiy Khazanov kindly provided by Ondrej Repka
Luftwaffe Claims Lists - Tony Wood
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 17 January 2022