Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Major Tikhon Vasilievich Ledenev

In late November 1939, 38 IAP was split in two parts, commanded by major N. T. Syusyukalov (1st and 4th eskadrilyas in in Pushkin/I-16 and I-15bis, and Vyskatka/I-15bis) and major Ledenev (2nd and 3rd eskadrilyas in Pushkin; I-16 and I-153) respectively.

In December 1939, 38 IAP was completely reorganized: major Ledenev’s part became a pure I-153 unit attached to polkovnik G. K. Kravchenko’s OAB in Estonia, while major Syusyukalov’s eskadrilyas were split up and dispatched in various directions.

On 16 December, major Ledenev was ordered to relocate (with I-153s only) to OAB in Sinalepa, Kuusiku (Rapla) and Klooga (near Paldiski), Estonia.
Two days later the fighters took off from Estonia. Additional I-153s were received from 3rd and 4th eskadrilyas of 25 IAP, the latter eskadrilya arrived in Estonia from 21 January 1940.

On 4 January 1940, 4th eskadrilya of 43 IAP and on 12 January, 4th eskadrilya of 2 IAP arrived with 15 I-153s each (both from VVS KOVO), which formed 1st and 2nd eskadrilyas of 38 IAP.

Base location at Klooga enabled bomber escort to southern Finland, However, after heavy bomber losses at Tampere-Hämeenlinna, the I-153 were equipped with under-wing fuel tanks, which considerable increased safe escort range.
Major Ledenev commanded this reformed 38 IAP.

On 20 January, major Ledenev claimed a Fokker D.21 at Riihimäki.
This loss can’t be verified with Finnish records and the Ilmavoimat didn’t suffer any losses on this day.

Ledenev ended the war with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 20/01/40   1 Fokker D.21 (a) Destroyed I-153   Riihimäki 38 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Can’t be verified with Finnish records.

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 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 6 December 2019