Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Leitenant Aleksandr Lavrent'yevich Piskunov

1913 – 4 September 1939

Decorations
Date Decoration Note
17/11/39 Order of the Red Banner  
17/11/39 Medal ”for bravery”  

Aleksandr Piskunov was born in 1913.

He graduated from Borisoglebskaya flight school in 1937.

During the summer 1939, he saw action in 22 IAP, flying Polikarpov I-15bis and I-153s against the Japanese over the Khalkhin Gol River in Mongolia.

On 21 August, kaptain Aleksandr Nikolayev claimed one Ki-27 destroyed, one shared with another pilot and a third ”in group” while leitenant Piskunov claimed one Ki-27.

Around 08:00 on 22 August, I-16s from 22 IAP was in combat with enemy bombers (reported as a ”SB-96s”) over Dzun-Khan-Ula and leitenant Ivan Krasnoyurchenko claimed one while a second was claimed by starshiy leitenant Viktor Rakhov together with two other pilots.
Leitenant Nikolai Baranov claimed a shared enemy bomber with another pilot at an unknown time.
East of shiren-Obo at an unknown time. a Ki-27 was claimed as shared among four pilots including kapitan Konstantin Kuzmenko and starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Murmylov.
Leitenant Piskunov (I-153) claimed a shared Ki-27 together with another pilot during the day.

The 22 IAP was in combat on 25 August and leitenant Mikhail Abzianidze (I-16) claimed a shared Ki-27 together with three other pilots north-east of the source to Orshun Gol River. Starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Yakimov (I-153) claimed two shared Ki-27s with four other pilots south of Lake Kuhun-Hu. Leitenant Ivan Krasnoyurchenko (I-16) claimed one shared Ki-27 north of Lake Usur-Nur together with seven other pilots. South of Lake Kuhun-Nu, he claimed another shared Ki-27 and a shared bomber (reported as a ”LB”) together with twelve other pilots (including major Vasily Naydenko). Major Naydenko claimed a second Ki-27 together with four other pilots south of Lake Kuhun-Hu. Kapitan Konstantin Kuzmenko (I-16) claimed one destroyed over Dzhinzhin, one shared with another pilot north-east of Lake Uzur-Nur and a third shared with four other pilots south of Lake Kuhun-Hu (shared with Naydenko?). Major Grigoriy Kravchenko (I-16) claimed a Ki-27 north of Lake Yanhu. Mladshiy leitenant Aleksandr Smirnov claimed one shared Ki-27 north of Lake Usur-Nur together with another pilot, a second shared Ki-27 south of Lake Kuhun-Hu together with ten other pilots. Finally he claimed a shared bomber (reported as a ”LB”) south of Lake Kuhun-Hu together with ten other pilots. Leitenant Pavel Solntsev (I-16) claimed a shared Ki-27 with seven other pilots north of Lake Usur-Nur. Starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Kostygov claimed two shared Ki-27s during the day. Starshiy leitenant Vasiliy Trubachenko (I-16) claimed one Ki-27 and one enemy bomber south of Kuhun-Hu River together with twelve other pilots. These claims are included among the claims above. Leitenant Piskunov (I-153) claimed one Ki-27 and two shared ”in group” during the day.

On 30 August, the 9th Hikodan flew missions against 29 artillery regiment forward positions. The bombers set 14 vehicles on fire, yet the 40-odd escorting Ki~27s from 1st, 11th, 24th and 64th Sentai failed to withstand the pressure of the numerous enemy patrol (88 I-16s and 25 I-153s) and, though claiming 28 destroyed (seven by 64th Sentai) and 5 probables, in reality lost the initiative and allowed two 31st Sentai Ki-30s to be shot down. They lost two fighters and one pilot when Sergeant Major Katsutoshi Kato (NCO67) of the 1st Sentai was killed. Bomber gunners claimed another seven confirmed and one probable victories.
A Ki-30 (s/n 99) from 16th Sentai was shot down by enemy fighters 3 km north of Lake Abutara and the crew was KIA; pilot Staff Sergeant Makoto Itô and gunner Sergeant Tomie Ishizuki.
VVS claimed to have shot down 19 Ki-27 while losing one I-16.
Leitenant Nikolai Grinev of 22 IAP (I-16) claimed a shared Ki-27 north-west of Lake Buir-Nur together with three other pilots while leitenant Pavel Solntsev (I-16) claimed a single Ki-27 and a second as a shared with four other pilots (including Vasily Naydenko) west of Lake Usur-Nur. Vasiliy Smirnov (I-153) claimed one Ki-27 and a second shared Ki-27 together with another pilot in the Lake Usur-Nur area. Leitenant Ivan Krasnoyurchenko (I-16) claimed two shared Ki-27s west of Lake Uzur-Nur. One with another pilot and one with four other pilots. Starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Kostygov (I-16) claimed a shared Ki-27 together with another pilot. Leitenant Piskunov claimed one Ki-27.
Leitenant Pavel Dolzhenko from 56 IAP (I-16) claimed one Ki-27.
Platon Smolyakov of 70 IAP (I-16) claimed a Ki-27 northwest of Nomunhan-Burd while major Sergey Gritsevets (I-153) claimed a shared Ki-27 north of Lake Buir Nur together with two other pilots. Eskadrilya commander starshiy leitenant Mitrofan Noga (I-16) claimed a shared ”LB” north-west of Lake Uzur-Nur probably together with leitenant Aleksey Gudkov, who reportedly claimed a two-seater. Major Aleksandr Mochalin (I-16) claimed a Ki-27 over Nomunhan-Burd. Nikolay Zheredev also claimed a Ki-27 but at an unknown place.

On 4 September, leitenant Piskunov was wounded in air combat and killed when his fighter overturned on landing back at his airfield.

At the time of his death, Piskunov, was credited with 3 biplane victories.
These had been claimed during seven air combats.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1939                
1 21/08/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP
  22/08/39   1/2 Ki-27 Shared destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP
2 25/08/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP
  25/08/39   1/? Ki-27 Shared destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP
  25/08/39   1/? Ki-27 Shared destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP
3 30/08/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP
  02/09/39   1/? Ki-27 Shared destroyed I-153   Nomonhan 22 IAP

Biplane victories: 3 and 4 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 4 and 4 shared destroyed.

Sources:
All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov




Last modified 27 October 2020