Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Major Nikolai Ivanovich Korolev

1913 –

Nikolai Korolev was born in 1913.

He graduated from the flight school in Eyskaya in 1936.

Starshii leitenan Korolev took part in the Finnish-Soviet Winter War between December 1939 and March 1940 flying Polikarpov I-153s for around 90 hours but without making any claims.

On 21 April 1940, he was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner.

When Germany attacked the Soviet Union, he served in 71 IAP-KBF, flying I-153s. In December 1941, starshii leitenant Korolyov served in the 71 IAP-KBF, which was equipped with Polikarpov I-153s.

On 13 August 1941, he was decorated with the Order of the Red Star.

Between 14:45-14:55 on 12 December, a pair of Fokker D.XXIs of kapteeni Veikko Karu’s 2/LLv 30 engaged I-153s during a combat patrol over Koivisto-Seiskari. Karu (FR-160) and kersantti Helge Krohn (FR-159) claimed a shared I-153.
They had been in combat with I-153s from 71 IAP-KBF, which claimed one Fokker shot down as a shared between starshii leitenants Ivan Tsapov and Korolev near Seiskari Island.

He was decorated with a second Order of the Red Banner on 16 December 1941.

On 13 July 1942, I-153s from 71 IAP-KBF were involved in combat with a reported group of “Severskies” north-east of Someri. One of them was claimed as a shared by kapitan Korolev, starshii leitenant Vladimir Abramov, starshii leitenant Ivan Minayev and starshii leitenant Ivan Tsapov.
It seems that they had been involved in combat with luutantti Joel Savonen’s swarm of Buffaloes from 1/LeLv 24, which reported that they intercepted eight Chaikas in the Lavansaari area between 20:20-21:20. One of the I-153s was shot down over the island by ylikersantti Reino Malin (BW-366).

On 31 May 1943, the 71 IAP-KBF became a guards unit and was renamed 10 GIAP-KBF.

Korolev continued to serve in 10 GIAP-KBF until the end of the war, flying La-5s in the later parts of the war.

He was decorated with a third Order of the Red Banner on 21 September 1944.

Korolev ended the war with 2 victories.
These had been claimed during 395 combat missions and 40 air combats.

Post-war, he was decorated with the Order of Nakhimov 2nd Class (30 August 1945) and a second Order of the Red Star (15 November 1950).

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 05/09/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF
2 22/09/41   1 Ju 87 Destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF
  12/12/41 14:45-14:55 1/2 Fokker D.XXI (a) Shared destroyed I-153   near Seiskari Island 71 IAP-KBF
  13/07/42 20:20-21:20 1/4 Buffalo (b) Shared destroyed I-153   NE Someri 71 IAP-KBF
  24/03/43   1/2 ”Fi 153” Shared destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 2 and 3 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 2 and 3 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with Fokker D.XXIs from 2/LLv 30, which didn’t suffer any losses.
(b) Claimed in combat with Brewster Buffaloes from 1/LeLv 24, which claimed one I-153 without losses. 71 IAP-KBF claimed one Buffalo and it seems that they didn’t suffer any losses.

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
Suomen Ilmavoimat part III – 1941 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-1-3
Suomen Ilmavoimat part IV – 1942 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-2-0

Last modified 02 October 2019