Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Podpolkovnik Vladimir Alexandrovich Mikhalev HSU

15 July 1914 - 31 May 1990

Vladimir Mikhalev was born in Rtishchevo on 15 July 1914.

Before the war, he lived in Moscow and joined the Navy in 1936. He graduated from the naval air school in 1938 and was posted to the Baltic Fleet.

He took part in the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939-1940.

When the Great Patriotic War started on 22 June 1941, he served as a Leytenant and flight commander in the 71 IAP-KBF, which was equipped with Polikarpov I-153s.

During the first combats, he claimed two victories for which he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

On 18 July I-153s from 71 IAP-KBF patrolled over the Narva River in Estonia. When returning to their base they where immediately scrambled to intercept enemy Henschel Hs126s. Over the city of Narva, Mikhalev intercepted one of the enemy aircraft. He attacked it twice but didn’t succeed in shooting it down. After running out of ammunition, he decided to ram it. His propeller chopped off the tail on the enemy aircraft and it crashed to the ground. The crew of the German aircraft managed to parachute but was taken POW.
Mikhalev managed to return his damaged fighter to his airfield and land.

On 13 August, he was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin for this combat.

He claimed an enemy aircraft on 29 April 1943.

He continued to serve in the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets during the war as deputy squadron commander and squadron commander.

On 12 February 1944, he claimed two Junkers.

Mikhalev ended the war with 3 biplane victories and a total of 6.

He continued to serve in the Navy after the war before retiring as a Podpolkovnik in 1954.
During his career, he was also decorated with a second Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class and the Order of the Red Star.

He lived in Khoste (Sochi) before passing away on 31 May 1990.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 ??/??/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF
2 ??/??/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-153     71 IAP-KBF
3 18/07/41   1 He126 (a) Destroyed I-153   Narva 71 IAP-KBF
4 29/04/43   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed       71 IAP-KBF
5 12/02/44   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed       10 GIAP-KBF
6 12/02/44   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed       10 GIAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 3 destroyed.
TOTAL: 6 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in a “taran”-attack. The crew was taken POW.

Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 24 January 2009