Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Ivan Ivanovich Serbin

12 September 1911 – 8 June 1975

Vladimir Abramov (in the aircraft) and Ivan Serbin.
Image kindly via Sergey Abrosov.

Serbin was born in Obolon in the Poltava region on 12 September 1911.

He joined the Red Army in 1933 and graduated as a pilot in November 1935.

He took part in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 while serving in the 13 IAP-KBF.

At 14:00 on 5 November 1941, he claimed a Bf 109 in the Kobona area.

On 21 November, six I-16s from 5 IAP took for a ground attack mission but this could not be completed due to bad weather. Five of the I-16s returned to base while the sixth, piloted by battalion commander Serbin pressed on. Together with aircraft from 563 IAP he became involved in combat with Bf 109s and claimed one of them shot down.

In February 1942, he was posted to the 71 IAP-KBF.

Between 00:19 and 02:52 on 2 June 1942, three I-153s from 71 IAP-KBF took off to intercept enemy bombers attacking Kronstadt. They circled over Terijoki and between 00:38 and 00:45, and at an altitude of 800-900m Regimental Commissar Serbin attacked and shot down a He 111. Between 00:58-01:00 he attacked a second, which came in over the north-eastern coast of Kotlin Island at an altitude of 700-800m and shot down this as well. The He 111 crashed into the water between the western edge of Kotlin Island and the lighthouse Tolbukhin.
Kapitan Petr Biskup was led by Serbin but became separated from him due to difficult weather conditions. Between 00:19-01:10 he claimed a He 111 at an altitude of 1000-2000m.

During the night of 5 June, pilots from the 71 IAP-KBF made seven sorties against a reported 35 He 111s and Ju 88s that were attacking the southern forts of Kronstadt.
Five He 111s were claimed by the Soviet pilots when Serbin claimed one shared bomber with kapitan Petr Biskup and a second with major Aleksandr Alekseyev. Starshiy leitenant Aleksandr Baturin and kapitan Ivan Gorbachev claimed one He 111 each. The fifth was claimed by kapitan Biskup.

In 1942, he was decorated with the Order of Lenin.

Serbin ended the war with 2 biplane victories and a total of 5.
During the war he flew 158 combat missions and took part in 92 combats.

He continued to serve in the Navy after the war and retired in January 1959 to live in Sevastopol.

Serbin passed away on 8 June 1975.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 05/11/41 14:00 1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16   Kobona area 13 IAP-KBF
2 21/11/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed I-16     5 IAP-KBF
3 02/06/42 00:38-00:45 1 He 111 Destroyed I-153   Kronstadt 71 IAP-KBF
4 02/06/42 00:58-01:00 1 He 111 Destroyed I-153   Kronstadt 71 IAP-KBF
  05/06/42 night 1/2 He 111 Shared destroyed I-153   Kronstadt area 71 IAP-KBF
  05/06/42 night 1/2 He 111 Shared destroyed I-153   Kronstadt area 71 IAP-KBF

Biplane victories: 2 and 2 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 5 and 3 shared destroyed.

Airmen of World

Last modified 10 April 2021