Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Starshiy Leytenant Alexandr Petrovich Silantyev HSU

Alexandr Silantyev was born on 23 August 1918 in Yekaterinburg (later Sverdlovsk).

He entered the army 1938 and graduated from the Stalingrad Military Air College in 1940.

In June 1940, he was a Leytenant and served near Minsk flying I-153s.

On 23 June 1941, he claimed a Junkers bomber while flying an I-153.

In August 1941, he was posted to the 160 IAP in Leningrad to fly LaGG-3s.

He claimed a Bf 109 east of Leningrad on 9 September.

On 12 September, he claimed another Bf 109.

He was promoted to Starshiy Leyitenant in October.

On 29 October, Silantyev claimed two Ju 88s from I/KG 77 over Sitomlya.
Both these losses can be confirmed with Luftwaffe losses.

In November, he was given command over an eskadrilya.

On 17 December 1941, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and with the Order of Lenin. Around this time he had flown 203 sorties, participated in 23 engagements and claimed 7 victories.

During the spring of 1942, he flew on the Volkhov Front, where he in April was shot down for the third time.

During the war he was also decorated with a second Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner (twice), the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class (twice), the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class and the Order of the Red Star (twice).

Silantyev ended the war with 1 biplane victory and a total of 8. These were claimed on 218 sorties and 48 engagements.

He continued to serve after the war and graduated from the Air Academy in 1950 and in 1957 from the General Staff Academy.

From 1969 to 1978, he was a Chief of Staff, Headquarters and First Deputy Commander of the Air Force.

He was promoted to Marshal Aviatsii in 1976.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 23/06/41   1 Junkers bomber Destroyed I-153     153 IAP
? 09/09/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed LaGG-3   E Leningrad 160 IAP
? 12/09/41   1 Bf 109 Destroyed LaGG-3     160 IAP
? 29/10/41   1 Ju 88 (a) Destroyed LaGG-3   Sitomlya 160 IAP
? 29/10/41   1 Ju 88 (a) Destroyed LaGG-3   Sitomlya 160 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 8 destroyed, 16 destroyed on the ground.
(a) Two Ju 88s from I/KG 77 shot down.

Barbarossa – The Air Battle: July-December 1941 – Christer Bergström, 2007, Chevron Publishing Limited, ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2
Stalin's Eagles - Hans D. Seidl, 1998 Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-7643-0476-3
Stalin's Falcons - Tomas Polak and Christhoper Shores, 1999 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-902304-01-2
Additional information kindly provided by Ondrej Repka.

Last modified 05 December 2011