Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Polkovnik Nikolai Fedorovich Makarenko HSU

1 May 1916 –

Nikolai Makarenko was born in Sennoye, Kharkov, on 1 May 1916.

He joined the army in 1935, graduating from the Chuguyevsk Military Air College in 1938.

Posted to the 44 IAP, he took part in Winter War with Finland during which he flew 53 sorties.

In December, his unit was covering Army units. These were attacked by Finnish twin-engined bombers. Makarenko made three attacks with his I-153 on one of these, claiming it shot down.
This claim can’t be verified with Finnish losses.

On 2 January, he claimed a Finnish aircraft over the Karelian Isthmus.
This claim can’t be verified with Finnish losses.

On 27 June 1941, now a Starshiy Leytenant, he was posted to the 153 IAP in the Leningrad area, this unit being equipped with I-153s and I-16s.

In early July, he shot down a Ju 88 but was shot down himself. However, he was unhurt.

On 4 August, 2/LLv 12 lost one of two scout Fokker D.XXIs. Alikersantti Paavo Roine reported:

“The mission was to reconnoitre the roads Sortavala-Oppola-Kuokkaniemi-Latvasyrjä-Ännikänniemi-Kalattoma-Kaalamo by the river Kiteenjoki-Kiurukivenmäki-Okanmäki. Time 04:40-05:40 hours. Route Läskelä-Oppola-Kuokkaniemi-Läskelä. Weather cloudy, lower limit at 600-1,000 m. Visibility to down ahead good. The horizon was not visible due to rain… we entered the clouds at 800 metres after Kuokkaniemi station and when I came out of the clouds I saw three I-153s coming from left ahead. The lead aircraft had already seen them, since he pulled into a 60 degrees dive down to the surface. Two enemies began the dive after him while the third attempted to get behind my tail. I pulled into the clouds, which were 150-200 m away and I banked south. My aircraft climbed well and I broke off from the enemy. The lead aircraft vänrikki Savinen (FR-96) did not return to base. My plane FR-95 had no damage.”
Vänrikki Matti Savinen was killed when he was shot down by Makarenko at 05:10.

On 20 August, he was shot down again into Lake Ladoga after first claiming a Bf 109.

In June 1942, the unit converted to P-39 Airacobras and was moved to the Voronezh Front.

Here he was promoted to Kapitan and given command of an eskadrilya.

In late July 1942, he was shot down for a third time, but this time was wounded badly, spending the next seven months in hospital.

On 21 November 1942, 153 IAP became the 28 GIAP.

Makarenko re-joined his unit in February 1943. At this time 28 GIAP had moved to the North West Front.

On 10 February, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.

Makarenko ended the war with 3 biplane victories and a total of 10.
These claims were made during 325 sorties.

He remained in the Air Force after the war, graduating from the Air Academy in 1950.

He retired as Polkovnik in 1970 and lived in the town of Shchelkovo.

During his career, he was also decorated with the Order of the Red Banner (twice), the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class and the Order of the Red Star.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 ??/12/39   1 Twin-engined bomber (a) Destroyed I-153     44 IAP
2 02/01/40   1 Enemy aircraft (b) Destroyed I-153   Karelian Isthmus 44 IAP
? ??/07/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed I-16     153 IAP
? 04/08/41 05:10 1 Fokker D.XXI (c) Destroyed I-153   near Sortavala 153 IAP
? 19/08/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16     153 IAP
? 20/08/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16     153 IAP
? ??/06/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed P-39     153 IAP
? 01/07/42   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed P-39     153 IAP
? 01/07/42   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed P-39     153 IAP

Biplane victories: 3 destroyed.
TOTAL: 10 destroyed.
(a) This claim can’t be verified with Finnish losses.
(b) This claim can’t be verified with Finnish losses.
(c) Vänrikki Matti Savinen (FR-96) of 2/LLv 12 KIA.

Russian Fighter Aces of 1914-1953 years
Suomen Ilmavoimat part III – 1941 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-1-3
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
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 30 September 2007