Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Polkovnik Semen Ivanovich Lvov HSU

3 February 1917 – 5 July 1997

Semen Lvov was born in Yagunino on 3 February 1917 (alternatively 16 February).

He joined the Navy in September 1935 and graduated from Eysky Military Aviation School of Marine Pilots in October 1937.

He served in the Pacific Fleet Air Force and was posted to 44 IAE in November 1937 before going to 1 AP in May 1938.

With 1 AP, he flew two combat missions during the Lake Khassan incident.

Starshiy leitenant Lvov took part in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War from December 1939 to March 1940, serving in 12 OIAE-KBF. In this unit he flew Polikarpov I-15bis and I-153s.

Lvov flew 35 combat missions during the Winter War.

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

In May 1940, he was posted to 5 IAP-KBF before being posted to 71 IAP-KBF in September the same year.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, starshiy leitenant Lvov still served in 71 IAP-KBF, flying Polikarpov I-16s.

In August 1941, he was posted as deputy eskadrilya commander in 2./5 IAP.KBF. This unit was at the time equipped with LaGG-3s.

He claimed a shared Ju 86 over Dachnoye on 17 September together with another pilot and it’s possible that this was leitenant Aleksandr Miasnikov.

Lvov claimed a shared Bf 109 between Shlisselburg and Lipki together with another pilot on 26 November. It’s possible that this was kapitan Aleksandr Miasnikov.

On 18 January 1942, 5 IAP-KBF became a guards unit and renamed to 3 GIAP-KBF.

He was decorated with the Order of Lenin on 2 May 1942.

Between 16:08-17:38 on 17 August, eight Hurricanes from 3 GIAP-KBF escorted six Il-2s from 57 ShAP on the way to attack enemy vessels and barges outside Lahdenpohja. When the detachment approached the target at 16:35, the Hurricanes began an 8-minute combat against six Fokkers (with retractable landing gear) in the Valaam area. The report from the detachment leader major Aleksandr Miasnikov informed that when one enemy aircraft was shot down with cannan and heavy mg fire, the remaining ones formed into pairs and almost without co-ordination made attacks from the clouds. As a result of the combat another Fokker was shot down. The two “Fokkers” were shared among six pilots including major Miasnikov and Lvov.
In fact they had been in combat with Fiat G.50s from LeLv 26, which reported that between 16:30-16:55, luutnantti Olli Puhakka’s pair from 3/LeLv 26 flew top cover on Lake Ladoga for Italian motor torpedo boats, when four Il-2 ground attack aircraft escorted by six Hurricanes attacked the vessels. Over Konevitsa, Luutnantti Puhakka (FA-25) claimed one Hurricane shot down while vänrikki Nils Trontti damaged a second. Both fighters returned without damage.

On 21 October 1942, he was decorated with a third Order of the Red Banner (he had received a second on an unknown date in 1941).

In November 1942, Lvov became CO of 2./3 GIAP-KBF.

On 15 January 1943, the LaGG-3s from 3 IAP-KBF fought with Bf 109s over Shlisselburg. Ivan Tsapov (CO 3 GIAP-KBF) claimed one shared together with serzhant Petr Prasolov while kapitan Lvov (CO 2./3 GIAP-KBF) claimed a second.

Kapitan Lvov claimed a shared Bf 110 north-east of Rabochiy posolok No.7 together with another pilot on 24 January. It is possible that this was serzhant Petr Prasolov since it’s known that hew claimed one shared Bf 110 together with another pilot over Rabochiy posolok No.7. Prasolov also claimed a second Bf 110 as a shared with two other pilots south of Ivanovskiye rapids.

On 24 July 1943, Lvov was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union (no. 1043) and a second Order of Lenin.

From February 1943 he served as a fighter aircraft instructor in the 1st Division of the General Directorate of Combat Training of the Navy.

From June 1944 he has been an inspector-pilot of the Navy’s Air Force Flight Inspection.

He participated in the Soviet-Japanese War in August 1945.

Lvov ended the war with 2 shared biplane victories and a total of 9.
These had been claimed during 365 combat missions and 91 air combats.

He continued to serve after the war and received a medal for ”Combat Merit” on 10 November 1945.

From December 1945, he served as the Chief Inspector-Pilot of the Flight Inspection of the Air Force of the Navy.
He became Senior Pilot-Inspector of the Air Force Division of the Navy Aviation Service in May 1947 and between October 1949 and May 1954, he studied at the Air Force Academy (in Monino).
From June 1954 he was been a senior lecturer in the Department of Air Force of the Military And Political Academy.

On 30 December 1956, he was decorated with a fourth Order of the Red Banner. He was also decorated with the Order of the Red Star on an unknown date in the 1950’s.

In December 1963, the guards polkovnik Lvov was placed in the in reserve.

Between 1964 and 1971, he worked as a senior lecturer in engineering at the University of Friendship of Nations, and from 1971 he was a senior researcher and senior engineer at the Automotive Information Research Institute, living in Moscow.

He was decorated with the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class on 11 March 1985.

Lvov died on 5 July 1997 and was buried in Kalitnikov Cemetery.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1940                
  15/02/40   1/8 Fokker D.XXI Shared destroyed I-153   Lappeenranta 12 OIAE-KBF
  19/02/40   1/? Fokker D.XXI Shared destroyed I-153   Simola station 12 OIAE-KBF
  1941                
1 10/08/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-16   SW Veymarn station 2./5 IAP-KBF
2 23/08/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed LaGG-3   Kotly 2./5 IAP-KBF
  11/09/41   1/3 Hs 126 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Krasnoye Selo 2./5 IAP-KBF
  16/09/41   1/2 Ju 87 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   S Strelna 2./5 IAP-KBF
  17/09/41   1/2 Ju 86 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Dachnoye 2./5 IAP-KBF
  29/09/41   1/3 He 111 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Kronstadt 2./5 IAP-KBF
  29/09/41   1/5 Ju 88 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Kronstadt 2./5 IAP-KBF
  26/11/41   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Yak-1   Shlisselburg - Lipki 2./5 IAP-KBF
  03/12/41   1/3 Fokker D.XXI Shared destroyed Yak-1   Gogland Island 2./5 IAP-KBF
3 03/12/41   1 Fokker D.XXI Destroyed Yak-1   Gogland Island 2./5 IAP-KBF
  1942                
  02/01/42   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Bugry 2./5 IAP-KBF
  21/01/42   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   W Lodva 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  28/01/42   1/5 Bf 109 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Zhikharevo 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  28/01/42   1/5 Bf 109 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Zhikharevo 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  14/08/42   1/3 Caproni Shared destroyed Hurricane   Seiskari 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  17/08/42 16:35-16:43 1/6 G.50 (a) Shared destroyed Hurricane   Valaam Island/outside Lahdenpohja 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  17/08/42 16:35-16:43 1/6 G.50 (a) Shared destroyed Hurricane   Valaam Island/outside Lahdenpohja 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  18/08/42   1/8 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Hurricane   Borki airfield 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  18/08/42   1/8 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Hurricane   Borki airfield 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  02/09/42   1/4 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Hurricane   Voskresenskoe 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  11/09/42   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Hurricane   Nevskaya Dubrovka 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  11/09/42   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Hurricane   Sinyavino 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  29/09/42   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed Hurricane   Annenskoye 2./3 GIAP-KBF
4 29/09/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Hurricane   Annenskoye 2./3 GIAP-KBF
5 01/10/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Hurricane   Annenskoye - Moskovskaya Dubrovka 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  1943                
6 13/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed LaGG-3   Maryino 2./3 GIAP-KBF
7 15/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed LaGG-3   Shisselburg 2./3 GIAP-KBF
8 23/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed LaGG-3   Lobanovo 2./3 GIAP-KBF
  24/01/43   1/2 Bf 110 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   NE Rabochiy posolok No.7 2./3 GIAP-KBF
9 26/01/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed LaGG-3   Sinyavino 2./3 GIAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 2 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 9 and 23 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with G.50s from 3/LeLv 26, which claimed 1 and 1 damaged Hurricane without losses. 3 GIAP-KBF claimed 2 “Fokkers” without losses.

Sources:
All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Suomen Ilmavoimat part III – 1941 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-1-3




Last modified 15 May 2020