Starshiy Leytenant Ivan Minayev
In July 1942, Starshiy Leytenant Minayev served in the 71 IAP-KBF, which was equipped with Polikarpov I-153s.
On 13 July 1942, I-153s from 71 IAP-KBF were involved in combat with a reported group of “Severskies” north-east of Someri. One of them was claimed as a shared by Kapitan Korolyov, Starshiy Leytenant Vladimir Abramov, Starshiy Leytenant Minayev and Starshiy Leytenant Ivan Tsapov.
It seems that they had been involved in combat with luutantti Joel Savonen’s swarm of Buffaloes from 1/LeLv 24, which reported that they intercepted eight Chaikas in the Lavansaari area between 20:20-21:20. One of the I-153s was shot down over the island by ylikersantti Reino Malin (BW-366).
Later, Minayev transferred to 3 GIAP-KBF.
On 21 April, the Baltic Fleet air force’s Il-2s raided Kotka escorted by Soviet fighters. They were intercepted by all three Brewster flights from LeLv 24, which reported 37 sorties during the day. The Finnish fighters reported intercepting 35 Yak-1s, LaGG-3s and La-5s of the Baltic Fleet air forces between Seiskari and Kronstadt. Kapteeni Karhunen’s six fighters and kapteeni Iikka Törrönen’s six took of at 08:00 to meet the formation. When already in combat, kapteeni Jorma Sarvanto arrived with five more Brewsters. Kapteeni Törrönen reported:
“I took off with my flight of six Brewsters for a scramble to the Gulf of Finland. At Peninsaari I observed five Il-2s and their escort of six LaGG-3 and Yak-1 fighters. After noticing us the enemy aircraft went into a dive and by Seiskari they were already down on the deck. We chased the planes, but did not catch them until on the east side of Seiskari, were kapteeni Karhunen was already waiting for a reception. With the escort fighters ensued a fierce combat, where more enemy fighters appeared their number going up to twenty to thirty by the end of the air battle. I fired at several enemy fighters. Finally one LaGG-3 began to smoke after shooting and crashed in the forest near Lipeva village. After this I was forced into another combat over Tolbuhin-Kronstadt area. Three La-5s attacked me and vänrikki Riihikallio. I shot at a La-5, which had appeared behind the tail of vänrikki Riihikallio, so that it begun to pour smoke and it crashed on the shore of the north-west tip of Kronstadt Island. The enemy fighters carried out well their escort duty. La-5 proved to be rather agile and completely superior in both speed and ability to climb compared to the Brewster.Luutnantti Hans Wind reported:
My plane was BW-380.”
“I shot at one Yak-1 from straight behind, pulled off after which lentomestari Kinnunen shot at the same plane. After this I shot it from a close range. It began to smoke and dived in about 45o angle to the sea. Soon after this I got behind another Yak-1. I shot, the plane began to smoke instantly going vertically in the sea. The battle shifted over the Oranienbaum encirclement, where after a short curve battle with two Yak-1s I got to fire at one from 20 m at 600 altitude. The plane went vertically in the forest.Totally, LeLv 24 claimed 19 Soviet aircraft destroyed. Between 08:00 and 09:30, vänrikki Olavi Puro claimed a LaG-5 in a big and violent dogfight 12 km from Oranienbaum when he shot it down in a vertical climb. The Russian aircraft crashed fiercely burning into the sea. Later in the same combat, he claimed a LaGG-3 over Kovenskajan järvi. The other Finnish claimants were:
Combat altitude 10-6,000m.
My plane BW-393.”
“… The enemy attacked us and shot at us from the distance of 20-30 metres. We retreated and continued to fight as a pair for 15-20 minutes because no other friendly aircraft were in sight. In the combat we tried to avoid becoming under the fire of the enemy. I attacked only when I could aim my fire. One Fiat got behind my tail, I turned steeply to the left. The Fiat passed me and ended in front of me. I turned to the right after it and fired two bursts. The plane began to smoke and fall. I did not observe its falling because behind me came all the time enemy planes from all directions. We were chased all the way to Gory Valdai Lake.”At 09:49-10:52, four I-16s of 71 IAP-KBF protected returning Il-2s and their landing. At 10:30, they entered combat near Shepelevskiy with four Fokkers, of which one was shot down at Krasnaya Gorka. This was Ylikersantti Tauno Heinonen’s BW-354.
Minayev ended the war with 1 shared biplane victory and a total of 2 shared.
|Kill no.||Date||Time||Number||Type||Result||Plane type||Serial no.||Locality||Unit|
|13/07/42||20:20-21:20||1/4||Buffalo (a)||Shared destroyed||I-153||NE Someri||71 IAP-KBF|
|21/04/43||08:44-10:01||½||Fiat (b)||Shared destroyed||LaGG-3||Seiskari area||3 GIAP-KBF|
Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 2 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with Brewster Buffaloes from 1/LeLv 24, which claimed one I-153 without losses. 71 IAP-KBF claimed one Buffalo and it seems that they didn’t suffer any losses.
(b) The Russians claimed 12 and 1 probably shot down while losing one La-5 from 4 GIAP (Serzhant Arkadiy Stepanov). The Finnish claimed 19 and 1 probably shot down while losing two Brewsters from LeLv 24 (Ylikersantti Tauno Heinonen and Lentomestari Eero Kinnunen).
Suomen Ilmavoimat part IV – 1942 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-2-0
Suomen Ilmavoimat part V – 1943 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-3-7