Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Polkovnik Aleksey Ivanovich Nikitin HSU

13 October 1918 – 20 September 1954

Aleksey Nikitin was born in the Kalinin village of Lyskovo on 13 October 1918.

He entered the army in 1937, graduating the following year from the V. Chkalov Military Air School at Borisoglebsk.

Nikitin served during the Finnish-Soviet Winter War belonging to the 3rd eskadrilya of 7 IAP. This unit was initially equipped with Polikarpov I-15bis but between 25 December and 20 January 1940, the 3rd eskadrilya converted from I-15bis to I-153s.

Between 14:01-16:06 on 5 March 1940, three I-153s from 3./7 IAP flown by kapitan Aleksandr Semenov, mladshii leitenant S. B. Myasnikov and mladshiy leytenant Nikitin intercepted three Finnish fighters identified as “Bulldogs”. Two of these were claimed by mladshiy leytenant Nikitin over Kantola and Suurpälä and the third was claimed by kapitan Semenov over Kantola.
These claims can’t be verified with Finnish losses.

Soviet troops pressed closer to the city of Vyborg on 9 March and the fronts bent but didn’t break. LeR 1 kept a close watch of the enemy ground movements while LeR 2 and LeR 3 kept on the strafing and bombing of the troops in the invasion area and attacked the supply columns.
At 12:20, vänrikki Jouko Myllymäki (Morane MS-330) of LLv 28 claimed an I-16 over Uusikirkko.
At 16:30, two I-153 were claimed shot down over Viipurinlahti. These were claimed by vänrikki Kauko Linnamaa (Fiat G.50bis FA-20) of LLv 26 and Danish luutnantti Mogens Fensboe (Morane MS-320) of LLv 28.
Morane MS-322 of LLv 28 was shot down over Vilalahti at 17:00 and luutnantti Erkki Lupari was wounded.
7 IAP was heavy involved in the combat during the day and was the only VVS units claiming victories during the day when they claimed eight fighters and one bomber.
Starshiy leytenant Vladimir Kurochkin and Franchuck of 1./7 IAP (I-16) claimed two shared enemy fighters.
Kapitan N. M. Kidalinskii of 4./7 IAP claimed an enemy bomber.
Starshiy leytenant Georgii Zhuikov of 3./7 IAP (I-153) claimed two enemy fighters.
Nikita Doletskiy of 3./7 IAP (I-153) claimed one enemy fighter.
Viktor Karpukhin of 3./7 IAP (I-153) claimed one enemy fighter.
Georgiy Glotov and mladshiy leytenant Nikolay Ivanov of 3./7 IAP (I-153) claimed a shared fighter.
Mladshiy leytenant Nikitin claimed one unconfirmed enemy fighter.
No VVS fighters were lost during the day.

Nikitin ended the Winter War with 2 biplane victories and was decorated with a Medal ”for Combat Merits”.

At the time of the German attack on the Soviet Union, he still served in 7 IAP, flying MiG-3s. He was part of a group of pilots stationed at Gorelovo airfield.

On 29 July, he shared a Ju 88 with K. N. Murga.

In late July 1941, he was posted to 19 IAP (MiG-3) on the Leningrad Front and in October the same year, he was posted to 153 IAP flying MiG-3s and Airacobras with this unit.

By December 1941, he had taken part in 66 engagements during 147 sorties.

On 3 July 1942, the Airacobras of 153 IAP were in combat west of Turovo and Viktor Karpukhin and Nikitin claimed a Bf 109 each.

On 21 November 1942, 153 IAP became 28 GIAP.

On 10 February 1943, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union (no. 922) and the Order of Lenin.

He left 28 GIAP in November 1943.

Nikitin ended the war with 2 biplane victories and a total of 11.
These had been claimed during 238 operational sorties and 73 air combats.
During the war, he was also decorated with the Order of the Red Banner (20 December 1941 and 13 September 1942), a second Order of Lenin, the Order of the Patriotic War (1st Class on 19 October 1944 and 2nd Class on 29 February 1944) and the Order of the Red Star.

He remained in the Air Force after the war and graduated from the Air Academy in 1951 and was promoted to Polkovnik.

Nikitin was killed in an air crash on 20 September 1954.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 05/03/40 14:01-16:06 1 Bulldog (a) Destroyed I-153   Kantola 3./7 IAP
2 05/03/40 14:01-16:06 1 Bulldog (a) Destroyed I-153   Suurpälä 3./7 IAP
  09/03/40   1 Enemy fighter (b) Unconfirmed destroyed I-153   Gulf of Vyborg 3./7 IAP
3 20/07/41   1 Bf 110 Destroyed MiG-3   Zapolye 7 IAP
  25/07/41   1/3 He 111 Shared destroyed MiG-3   Klotitsy 7 IAP
  29/07/41   1/2 Ju 88 Shared destroyed MiG-3   Luga 7 IAP
4 10/08/41   1 Bf 110 Destroyed MiG-3   Volosovo 19 IAP
  10/08/41   1/2 Bf 110 Shared destroyed MiG-3   Volosovo 19 IAP
5 10/08/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed MiG-3   Likovsky 19 IAP
6 14/08/41   1 Ju 88 Destroyed MiG-3   Leningrad area 19 IAP
7 03/09/41   1 Do 215 Destroyed MiG-3   SE Novo Lisino 19 IAP
8 03/09/41   1 Do 215 Destroyed MiG-3   SE Novo Lisino 19 IAP
9 09/09/41   1 Hs 126 Destroyed MiG-3   Volosovo 19 IAP
10 30/06/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Airacobra   Volovo 153 IAP
11 01/07/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Airacobra   Voronezh 153 IAP
12 03/07/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Airacobra   W Turovo 153 IAP
13 03/07/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Airacobra   Semiluki 153 IAP

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed, 1 unconfirmed destroyed.
TOTAL: 13 and 3 shared destroyed, 1 unconfirmed destroyed.
(a) Not verified with Finnish records.
(b) 7 IAP claimed 8 fighters and 1 bomber during the day without losses. Finnish fighters claimed 3 Soviet fighters during the day while losing 1 Morane.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Red Stars 7 - Talvisota Ilmassa - The Winter War In the Air - Carl-Fredrik Geust, 2011 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 978-952-5877-04-5
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2
Suomen Ilmavoimat part II – 1928-40 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2006, ISBN 952-99743-0-2

Last modified 04 December 2021