Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Nikolay Ivanovich Mirosnichenko

In October 1936 he went to Spain (arriving on 20 October) as a member of the first group of volunteers to fly in the Spanish Civil War.
In Spain, he served in Escuadrilla Rychagov, which was equipped with I-15s.

Two air battles took place on 6 November, at 10:00 and 14:00. In the latter, five Fiats led by capitán Ángel Salas attacked seven ”Chatos” and claimed four victories even if only two claims could be confirmed by ground observers. Salas was thought to have destroyed one machine from a patrol of three, this aircraft trailing smoke as it veered into a cloud and disappeared from sight. Sottotenente Giuseppe Cenni, Tenente Vittor Ugo Ceccherelli and Sottotenente Bernardino Serafini claimed an I-15 each over the Madrid area.
One of the aircraft destroyed was the I-15 flown by Leytenant Voronov, who died two days later in hospital from injuries suffered when he crash-landed upon his return to base.
The Nationalist bulletin claimed two aircraft destroyed, while the Government bulletin, which referred only to the earlier engagement, claimed the destruction of two Heinkels, these two most probably claimed by Starshiy Leytenant Pavel Rychagov, who claimed two enemy aircraft during the day, but it also possible that one of them was claimed by Karp Kovtun (3a Escuadrilla) who seem to have claimed a victory during the day (according to some sources this was claimed by ramming and thus probably on 13 November when he was killed). Mirosnichenko claimed a shared CR.32 during the day.
Bonomi confirmed that the Fiats had shot down two fighters, and this was also confirmed by the Air Force communiqué, which admitted the loss of a Fiat and a Junkers. This latter machine was probably flown by Captain Larrauri, who managed to reach Talavera with one engine out of action, the other developing only restricted power, and his aircraft riddled with bullet holes. Von Morau, leader of the Pablos y Pedros squadron, also had to force-land near Madrid at this time.

By 9 December, he was credited with 1 shared He 51 and 1 shared CR.32.

Mirosnichenko left Spain on 7 April 1937.
During his time in Spain he claimed four and three shared victories flying the I-15.

When the Great Patriotic War started he served in 34 IAP.

On 14 November 1941, he claimed two enemy aircraft shot down.

Mirosnichenko ended the war with 4 biplane victories and a total of 6.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 ??/??/3?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   Spain Escuadrilla Rychagov
2 ??/??/3?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   Spain Escuadrilla Rychagov
3 ??/??/3?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   Spain Escuadrilla Rychagov
4 ??/??/3?   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   Spain Escuadrilla Rychagov
  ??/??/36   1 He 51 Shared destroyed I-15   Spain Escuadrilla Rychagov
  06/11/36   1 CR.32 Shared destroyed I-15   Madrid area Escuadrilla Rychagov
5 14/11/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed     Russia 34 IAP
6 14/11/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed     Russia 34 IAP

Biplane victories: 4 and 2 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 6 and 2 shared destroyed.

Air Aces Home Page - Jan Safarik
Air War over Spain - Jesus Salas Larrazabal, 1974 Ian Allan Ltd, Shepperton, Surrey, ISBN 0-7110-0521-4
Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces - Mikhail Maslov, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-981-2
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 21 October 2012