Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Major Ivan Viktorovich Podgorny

1911 – 5 October 1943

Date Decoration Note
29/08/39 Order of the Red Banner  
26/11/41 Order of the Red Star  
14/05/65 Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class  

Ivan Podgorny was born in 1911.

Starshiy politruk Podgorny took part in Khalkhin Gol where he flew Polikarpov I-15bis in 22 IAP.

On 8 July 1939, fighters from 22 IAP were heavily involved in combat and starshiy politruk Podgorny (I-15bis) claimed a Ki-27 between post nos. 92-93 as did starshiy leitenant Viktor Rakhov while starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Murmylov (I-16) claimed two more. Kapitan Konstantin Kuzmenko (I-16) claimed two shared at the same place, one shared with another pilot and one shared with two other pilots. Starshiy leitenant Samson Andreyev (I-15bis) claimed a second Ki-27 at an unknown place. Andreyev was then wounded and he was evacuated to a hospital in the Soviet Union. Starshiy leitenant Viktor Chistyakov (I-16) claimed one shared Ki-27 with another pilot (Kuzmenko?). Starshiy politruk Vladimir Kalachev, leitenant Aleksandr P’yankov, starshiy leytenant Mark Shpan and starshiy leitenant Vasiliy Vuss claimed one Ki-27 each.
Starshiy politruk Nikolai Bibik from the same unit was shot down in combat in his I-16 in the Nomon-Khan-Burd-obo area.

This was Podgorny’s only claim in the Nomonhan Incident.
During his time in Mongolia, he flew 50 combat missions and took part in 8 air combats.

Starshiy politruk Podgorny took part in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War between February and March 1940, flying I-153s in 15 IAP.

When Germany attacked the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Podgorny served in 15 IAP, flying MiG-3s with this unit.

He left the unit in December 1941 and was posted as a eskadrilya CO at 1 ZAP.

From 28 August 1942, he worked as a as a ferryman on the ALSIB track. He was convicted by a military tribunal and sent to the front.

He seems to have been somewhat rehabilitated and in July 1943, he was posted to 163 IAP, flying Yak-7s and Yak-9s with this unit.

Podgorny was shot down and killed in air combat on 5 October 1943.

At the time of his death, Podgorny was credited with 1 biplane victory and a total of 6.
These had been claimed during 38 combat missions and 14 air combats (as of 27 August 1941).

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 08/07/39   1 Ki-27 Destroyed Polikarpov I-15bis   Posts nos. 92-93 22 IAP
2 26/08/41   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed MiG-3   Spasskaya Polist' 15 IAP
3 26/08/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed MiG-3   Spasskaya Polist' 15 IAP
  14/10/41   1/2 Bf 109 Shared destroyed MiG-3   Osinovets area 15 IAP
4 13/11/41   1 ”He 113” Destroyed MiG-3   NW Tosno 15 IAP
5 04/08/43   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak   Popovo - Khlyustovka 163 IAP
6 04/08/43   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak   Krasnaya Yagoda 163 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 6 and 1 shared destroyed.

All aces of Stalin 1936–1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Remember the winged heroes of Khalkhin-Gol! – Oleg Kaminsky kindly provided by Michael Meyer
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov

Last modified 17 August 2021