Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Aleksandr Grigor’yevich Kuzmenko

On 8 February 1940, the 5./7 IAP (15 pilot led by kapitan A. Ye. Mol’bin) arrived from 18 IAP of Far East Army Corps (DVK) after a departure on 26 January to take part in the Finnish-Soviet Winter War. Later also personnel of 70 IAP and 22 IAP (which both had fought in the Khalkhin Gol-incident in August 1939) arrived.
Kapitan Mol’bin was shot down by AA-fire at Tikkola and killed on 14 February, when escorting SB-bombers. starshiy leytenant Iosef Geibo took over 5./7 IAP, which received I-153s from 17 February.

7 March 1940 was another day of heavy claiming from 7 IAP when they claimed seven bombers and one fighter.
Leytenant Aleksandr Moshin (credited to him as a single destroyed by Bykov), Sayenko and Malyshev of 2./7 IAP (I-16) claimed a shared Blenheim over Koivisto peninsula.
Viktor Skryabin of 2./7 IAP (I-16) claimed a Blenheim over Vilaniemi.
Kuzmenko of 5./7 IAP (I-153) claimed a fighter.
Golubev and Foma Tikhomirov of 5./7 IAP (I-153) claimed a shared Blenheim.
Il’ya Kaynov and Balashov of 5./7 IAP (I-153) claimed a shared Blenheim.
Kaynov later claimed a second shared Blenheim with Aleksey Rybalov (from the same unit).
Mayor Aleksandr Ketov (credited to him as a single destroyed by Bykov), Vladimir Semenishin and Vavilov of 1./7 IAP (I-16) claimed a shared Blenheim.
Starshiy leytenant Fedor Shinkarenko of 4./7 IAP (I-16) claimed a Blenheim.
To add to the confusion did starshiy leytenant Dyachenko of 25 IAP (I-153) claim a shared Blenheim at kv. 093 (28. AK sector) together with 7 IAP but it’s unclear with whom.
Two Finnish Blenheims were in fact lost in the Viborg area when LeR 4 attacked targets on the ice of the Gulf of Vyborg and on the shore on 24 sorties during the day.
Blenheim BL-144 of LLv 42 was lost at 07:30. The pilot kersantti Toivo Hyytiäinen and gunner kersantti Eelis Turunen were killed while the observer vänrikki Kauko Nykänen parachuted to become a PoW.
Blenheim BL-122 of LLv 46 was lost at 12:15. The pilot luutnantti Niilo Hakla parachuted wounded while the observer luutnantti Pekka Salokoski and gunner kersantti Arvi Pakkala both were KIA.

At the end of the war, Kuzmenko was credited with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 07/03/40   1 Enemy fighter (a) Destroyed I-153   Gulf of Vyborg 5./7 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) 7 and 25 IAP totally claimed 7 bombers and 1 fighter without losses. 2 Blenheims from LeR 4 were lost.

All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Red Stars 7 - Talvisota Ilmassa - The Winter War In the Air - Carl-Fredrik Geust, 2011 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 978-952-5877-04-5
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet airmen in the Spanish civil war 1936-1939 - Paul Whelan, 2014 Schiffer Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-0-7643-0
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Suomen Ilmavoimat part II – 1928-40 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2006, ISBN 952-99743-0-2

Last modified 03 May 2017