Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Starshiy Leytenant Petr Alexandrovich Kuzmin

1908 - 22 June 1941

Petr Kuzmin was born in the village of Repyvka in the Simbirsk area in 1908.

He joined the Red Army on 10 November 1930 and served as squadron leader of the 102nd rifle regiment in Kuybyshev.

He then joined the VVS and served as chief of communications of the 48 IAP in the Far East.

He took part in combat against the Japanese at Lake Khasan in 1938 and for this, he was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner.

On 13 June 1940, he was posted to the 127 IAP of the 11 SmAD. This unit at the time served in the Belarus special military district.

In June 1941, he served as deputy squadron commander.

On the German attack on 22 June 1941, he claimed two victories, both of them while flying Polikarpov I-153s.
The second was claimed during sixth sortie of the day at 13:00 and was a “taran” ramming attack over the village of Kamenka, near Grodno in which he was killed.
His victim was the 25-victory-ace and Ritterkreutz-holder Geschwader Kommodore Major Wolfgang Schellmann of Stab/JG 27. Schellmann’s was returning from his first combat mission against the Soviet airfields to the south of the Lithuanian border with his stab flight when they sighted and jumped several I-153 fighters from 127 IAP. Schellmann claimed one I-16 before attacking Kuzmin’s I-153. After a short dogfight, Kuzmin turned around and came head-on. Kuzmin’s first three tries missed the Bf 109E (WNr. 4189) but the fourth was successful and Kuzmin was killed while Schellmann managed to parachute.
Schellmann was captured but was later killed.

At the time of his death, Kuzmin had claimed 2 victories while flying biplanes.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 22/06/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-153   Grodno 127 IAP
2 22/06/41 13:00 1 Bf 109 (a) Destroyed I-153   Kamenka 127 IAP

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed.
TOTAL: 2 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in a “taran” ramming attack. Geschwader Commodore Major Wolfgang Schellmann of Stab/JG 27 became a POW but was later killed.

Aerohobby No.1'94, kindly via Alexey Andreev
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
Stalin's Eagles - Hans D. Seidl, 1998 Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-7643-0476-3
Sturmovik Technika
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka and Yuri Shakhov.

Last modified 29 November 2011