Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Aleksandr Petrovich Osadchiy HSU

29 May 1907 – 2 May 1981

Aleksandr Osadchiy was born on 29 May 1907 and was from Ukraine.

He attended Flight School No. 2 in Borisoglebsk.
From November 1934 to December 1936, he was a Detachment CO in 5 IAE, 36 IAB. In December 1936, he became CO of 65 IAE in the Kiev Military District.

In January 1937, Osadchiy went to Spain, arriving on 10 January and using the nom de guerre ’Boris Kazakov’.
He saw service in the Spanish Civil War as a Starshii Leitenant.

When arriving in Spain, he was promoted to command a Soviet I-15 escuadrilla; Escuadrilla Kazakov.

In December 1936 and January 1937 two more shipments of 30 I-15s arrived in Spain from the Soviet Union, making it possible to form a complete combat unit of four I-15 squadrons. It should be noted that a squadron represented the largest tactical unit within the VVS RKKA, and normally comprised 51 aircraft. In Spain, the largest unit was a group, which comprised four squadrons of ten to twelve aircraft. However, due to permanent shortages of aircraft a squadron might well comprise fewer machines, and operate independently from its parent group to meet the requirements of different field commanders. Soviet archives offer the following picture of I-15 availability, distribution and command staff as at 15 February 1937. All four squadrons were commanded by Ivan Kopets:

Unit Commander Ready/Under Repair Airfield Flight crew
Escuadrilla Zotsenko 16/- Alcazár de San Juan 16 Soviet pilots
Escuadrilla Kazakov 18/5 Almeria 12 Soviet pilots and 6 'friendly' pilots
Escuadrilla La Calle
13/4 Guadalajara 8 Spanish pilots and 4 American pilots
Escuadrilla Alonso
11/6 San Javier 13 Spanish pilots and 1 Uruguayan

Between January and March 1937, he claimed a Do 17 south of Madrid.

Starshii Leitenant Osadchiy was wounded in combat on 12 March.

On 17 April, the three Nationalist He 51 escuadrillas operated over the Teruel front with a total of 17 fighters.
2-E-2, with five He 51s, saw an enemy bomber but was unable to close with it. Shortly after they were joined by another He 51, flown by teniente Jaime Palmero Palmeta, and caught sight of ten I-15s patrolling well above their own altitude of 4,000m. They climbed to attack, determined to break off at the moment of interception, but teniente Palmero was unable to evade one I-15 that was coming down very fast in a dive, and the two machines collided. The ensuing combat ranged all over the sky, and ten more I-15s and a third fighter squadron soon joined the battle against the five remaining aircraft of 2-E-2. Capitán Ángel Salas Larrazábal made attacks on four aircraft but didn’t claim anything and arrived at Calamocha with his petrol tanks almost dry and with 18 bullet holes in the fuselage and wings. He had remained in the combat area until all the Republican fighters had disappeared. Alferéz Jorge Muntadas Claramunt, alferéz Rafael Mazarredo Trenor and alferéz Joaquín Ansaldo Vejarano had already landed at Calamocha, and only Ansaldo’s aircraft was free from damage. The fifth pilot, alférez Javier Allende Isasi was shot down by alferéz Juan Comas Borrás of 2a/16. Allende’s fighter was seriously damaged and chivalrously escorted by Comas it until Allende was able to make a forced-landing in Nationalist-held territory.
2-E-2 had alone been involved in this combat, the other two He 51 escuadrillas were unaware of the action and were patrolling peacefully over their own lines.
Nationalist observers on the ground saw seven aircraft fall, and if one discounts the two He 51s flown by Palmero and Allende, this gives the destruction of five I-15s, but the Nationalist communiqué claimed a total of seven aircraft destroyed.
It seems that 18-21 I-15s were involved since it’s known that three escuadrillas took part in the combat; 1a/16 (Escuadrilla La Calle), 2a/16 and Escuadrilla Kazakov (the two last escuadrillas operated from the same airfield near Sarrion) and five claims are known. The 2a/16 was first to engage, followed by Escuadrilla Kazakov and finally by the 1a/16.
Additional to Comas’ claim of Allende, Albert Baumler (Escuadrilla Kazakov) reported that on his second mission of the day, his group intercepted a formation of Heinkel He 51 pursuits. Giving chase to the enemy, Baumler crippled a Heinkel; as he did not see it crash, he was awarded with only a probable victory. He did, however, obtain credit for a subsequent "kill" in this same combat. Osadchiy, CO of Escuadrilla Kazakov claimed two He 51 while Frank Tinker from the 1a/16 claimed a He 51while flying in I-15 CA-058.
The I-15 that collided with teniente Palmero was flown by Alfonso Calvo Ortíz of the 2a/16, who also was killed.
It seems that Manuel Aguirre Lopez of Escuadrilla Kazakov also took part in this combat but without claiming anything.

In June 1937, he became CO of the 3a/26.

During June, he claimed two CR.32s over Huesca.

Osadchiy left Spain on 26 July 1937.
During his time in Spain he claimed 5 victories flying the I-15. During his time in Spain, he is knowed to have flown Chato #38.
Medals received for service in Spain were the Order of Red Banner on 27 June 1937 and the Order of Lenin on 15 December 1938.

From November 1937 to April 1938, he was CO of 72 IAE, 56 IAB, then went to 28 IAP, which he commanded until March 1941.
From March to May 1941, he was CO of 69 IAD.

By December 1941, he was CO of 66 IAD and from May to August 1942, he commanded 266 IAD.
In August 1942, he took command of 207 IAD, which in August 1943 became 11 GIAD. He remained with this unit until the end of the war.

On 20 April 1945, he was promoted to Mayor General.

Osadchiy was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union on 27 June 1945.
Other medals awarded for service in the Great Patriotic War were the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner three times, Suvorov 2nd Class, Kutuzov 2nd Class plus others.

He retired on 24 June 1949.

He lived in Kiev were he passed away on 2 May 1981.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 ??/??/37   1 Do 17 Destroyed I-15   S Madrid Escuadrilla Kazakov
2 17/04/37   1 He 51 (a) Destroyed I-15   Teruel Escuadrilla Kazakov
3 17/04/37   1 He 51 (a) Destroyed I-15   Teruel Escuadrilla Kazakov
4 ??/06/37   1 CR.32 Destroyed I-15   Huesca 3a/26
5 ??/06/37   1 CR.32 Destroyed I-15   Huesca 3a/26

Biplane victories: 5 destroyed.
TOTAL: 5 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with 2-E-2, which lost two He 51 without making any claims. Republican fighters claimed at least five He 51s, while losing one I-15.

Air Aces Home Page - Jan Safarik
Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces - Mikhail Maslov, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-981-2
Soviet airmen in the Spanish civil war 1936-1939 - Paul Whelan, 2014 Schiffer Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-0-7643-0
Additional information kindly provided by Miguel Ansede Fernández and Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 25 April 2016