Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Leytenant Konkin

In January 1940 Konkin served in the 145 IAP, which was equipped with Polikarpov I-152.

Between 12:05 and 13:25 on 23 January, four Gladiators under command of fänrik (Pilot Officer) Ian Iacobi flew a fighter-sweep over Märkäjarvi-Salmijärvi. The mission was to protect ground-forces in the area against enemy aircraft. The Finnish front and supply troops had been under a hard and constant pressure by Soviet rotes and flights, which attacked every twenty minutes.
During the first hour of the sweep, there were no enemy contacts. Around 13:10 a group of I-15bis’ of 145 IAP under the command of Leytenant Konkin was sighted on a westerly course and a dogfight begun. The Soviet pilots’ reported one “enemy reconnaissance” biplane shot down by Leytenant Konkin at Mjattijärvi. The aircraft started to burn and crashed 3-4 km south of Mjattijärvi. The pilot was killed. Three Soviet aircraft were also hit. One of them returned with 14 bullet-holes, another with one and the third with 25 bullet-holes. The Swedish pilot fänrik John Sjöqvist (born 14 March 1918) was killed when his Gladiator “B” crashed burning, west of Märkäjärvi, inside enemy lines.
After this dogfight three Soviet I-16s were sighted at high altitude and since the Swedish pilots now started to get low on ammunition and fuel they retreated back to base at minimal altitude.

Konkin ended the war with 1 biplane victory

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 23/01/40 13:10 1 Gladiator (a) Destroyed I-152   3-4km N Märkäjärvi 145 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Fänrik Johan Sjöqvist of F 19 shot down and KIA.

Red Stars 7 - Talvisota Ilmassa - The Winter War In the Air - Carl-Fredrik Geust, 2011 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 978-952-5877-04-5

Last modified 26 March 2014