Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Polkovnik Nikolay Ivanovich Shmelkov HSU

5 May 1912 – 24 March 1967

Shmelkov was born was born in the Vladimir region on 5 May 1912.

He joined the army in 1930.
He graduated two years later from the Lugansk Military Air College.

In October 1936 he went to Spain (arriving on 20 October) as a member of the first group of volunteers to fly in the Spanish Civil War , using the nom de guerre ’Smelkov’.
In Spain, he served in Escuadrilla Rychagov, which was equipped with I-15s.

By 9 December, he was credited with 3 He 51s and 1 shared CR.32s. This was later corrected to four victories and two shared.

On 31 December 1936, seven Soviet pilots were decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin for their performances in Spain; Vladimir Bocharov (posthumously – KIA on 13 November 1936), Sergei Chernykh, Karp Kovtun (posthumously – KIA on 13 November 1936), Pavel Rychagov, Shmelkov, Sergey Tarkhov (posthumously – KIA on 13 November 1936), and Boris Turzhanskii.

Shmelkov left Spain on 23 January 1937.
During his time in Spain he claimed four and three shared victories flying the I-15. These were claimed in 49 combat sorties.

Completing an advanced course in 1938, he commanded an Air Brigade during the Winter War.

In June 1941, he was commanding officer of 145 IAP, flying I-16s on the Karelian Front in the early weeks of the war in the east.

He was taken off operations soon after the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War to attend the Air Academy, completing his course there during 1942.

He then commanded 234 IAD.

He retired as a Polkovnik in 1945.

Shmelkov ended the war with 4 biplane victories and a total 18.

Shmelkov died on 24 March 1967.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1936                
1 ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov
2 ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov
3 ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov
4 ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov
  ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov
  ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov
  ??/??/36   1 Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed I-15   SCW Escuadrilla Rychagov

Biplane victories: 4 and 3 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 18 and 3 shared destroyed.

Sources:
Air Aces Home Page - Jan Safarik
Air War over Spain - Jesus Salas Larrazabal, 1974 Ian Allan Ltd, Shepperton, Surrey, ISBN 0-7110-0521-4
Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces - Mikhail Maslov, 2010 Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN 978-1-84603-981-2
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2




Last modified 06 March 2017