Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Leitenant Emelyan Filaretovich Kondrat

In October 1936 he went to Spain (arriving on 20 October) as a member of the first group of volunteers to fly in the Spanish Civil War, using the nom de guerre ’Konrad’.
In Spain, he served in the 1a Escuadrilla, which was equipped with I-15s.

By 9 December, he was credited with 1 shared He 51.

In January 1937, two Chato flights commanded by Evgeniy Erlykin and Anton Kovalevskii flew south to Malaga. A third Soviet pilot, Kondrat, was also a member of one of the flights, but the remaining five pilots were Spanish.

On 2 February 1937, five remaining I-15s of the detachment from the Escuadrilla Rychagov (I-15) at Malaga flew out to explore the roads in the Roda-Burgo area. During the flight, they noticed three enemy fighters, identified as He 51s, flying from Seville to their airfield of Antequera (30km north of Malaga). They chased after them, catching them over the airfield. One of the Nationalist pilots turned towards the Republican fighters but all three were quickly shot down. The Nationalist pilot turning on them was shot down as a shared between Leitenant Kondrat and Viktor Matyunin. Leitenant Nikolay Artemyev claimed the second in flames while the third was claimed by Evgeniy Erlykin, who reported that the combat started at 6,500 meters. Erlykin’s I-15 was damaged in the combat.
The fifth pilot in the patrol was a Spanish pilot, who attacked one of the Heinkels head-on but his I-15 was seriously damaged with one of the cylinders in the engine destroyed. He managed, however, to return to base.

Later on the same day, a shared SM.81 was claimed by Leitenant Kondrat and capitán Alfonso Jiménez Bruguet over Malaga.

In mid-February, Evgeniy Erlykin and Kondrat were recalled from Malaga to the central theatre near Madrid, and the Spanish pilot Emilio Galeta was promoted to detachment commander.

Kondrat left Spain on 7 April 1937.
During his time in Spain he claimed 3 and 3 shared victories flying the I-15. He took part in 180 operational sorties in Spain.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 ??/??/36   1 He 51 Destroyed I-15   Spain 1a Escuadrilla
2 13/11/36 14:00-15:00 1 SM.81 Destroyed I-15   Alhaurin de Grande (Malaga) 1a Escuadrilla
3 01/02/37 12:00 1 He 51 Shared destroyed I-15   Antequera Escuadrilla Rychagov
  02/02/37   1/2 He 51 Shared destroyed I-15   Antequera Escuadrilla Rychagov
  02/02/37   1/2 SM.81 Shared destroyed I-15   Malaga area Escuadrilla Rychagov
  05/02/37   1/2 He 59 Shared destroyed I-15   Malaga Escuadrilla Rychagov

Biplane victories: 3 and 3 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 3 and 3 shared destroyed.

Air Aces Home Page - Jan Safarik
Air War over Spain - Jesus Salas Larrazabal, 1974 Ian Allan Ltd, Shepperton, Surrey, ISBN 0-7110-0521-4
Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces - Mikhail Maslov, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-981-2
Soviet airmen in the Spanish civil war 1936-1939 - Paul Whelan, 2014 Schiffer Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-0-7643-0
Spanish Republican Aces – Rafael A. Permuy López, 2012 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84908-668-4

Last modified 22 May 2019