Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Podpolkovnik Nikolay Grigor’yevich Sobolev

1912 – 1996

Nikolay Sobolev was born in 1912.

He joined the Red Army in 1934.

Sobolov took part as a volunteer in Spain serving from 31 May 1937 until 28 January 1938, flying Polikarpov I-15s in 1a/26.

He claimed two biplane victories and four shared during his time in Spain.

He took part in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 as part of 38 IAP, flying 35 combat missions (other sources claim 32 missions) with Polikarpov I-153s.

When Germany invade the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, major Sobolev served as eskadrilya commander in 38 IAP still flying Polikarpov I-153s.

38 IAP was withdrawn from the front on 21 October 1941 and re-equipped with LaGG-3s.
They returned to combat on 27 December.

The LaGG-3s from 38 IAP fought with Bf 109s in the Parfino area on 22 February 1942 and Sobolev claimed one west of Parfino station as a shared together with three other pilots while Nikolay Shepetov claimed one over Parfino as a shared with another pilot.

On 19 April, Sobolev claimed a shared Ju 87 between Ramushevo and Parfino.
The same day, 38 IAP claimed a ”Me 115” as a group victory over Sychevo. Pilots included in this claim was Sobolev and starshiy leitenant Pavel Zemilansky.

38 IAP was in combat with Ju 87s over Raumushevo on 25 April. Claiming pilots included Sobolev and starshiy leitenant Pavel Zemilansk, which claimed one each.
This was to become Sobolev’s last claim.

38 IAP became a guard’s unit on 3 May 1942, when it became 21 GIAP.
At this time, they also re-equipped with Yak-1s.

In September, he became deputy commander of 304 IAD.

On 27 October 1944, 304 IAD became 23 GIAD.

He was sent to the Air Force Academy in November 1944.

Sobolev ended the war with 2 biplane victories and a total of 10.
These were claimed during 193 combat missions and 65 air combats.
During his career he was decorated with the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner (3 November 1937, 2 March 1938, 15 May 1942, 12 July 1942), the Order of Patriotic War, 1st Class (15 April 1944 and 11 March 1985) and the Order of the Red Star.

He continued to serve after the war but was dismissed after a conflict with the NKVD.

Sobolev passed away in 1996. At the time, he lived in Voronezh.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  193?                
1 ??/??/3?   1 Fiat Destroyed Polikarpov I-15   Spain 1a/26
2 ??/??/3?   1 Fiat Destroyed Polikarpov I-15   Spain 1a/26
  ??/??/3?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed Polikarpov I-15   Spain 1a/26
  ??/??/3?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed Polikarpov I-15   Spain 1a/26
  ??/??/3?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed Polikarpov I-15   Spain 1a/26
  ??/??/3?   1/? Enemy aircraft Shared destroyed Polikarpov I-15   Spain 1a/26
  1941                
  21/07/41   1/2 PZL Shared destroyed Polikarpov I-153     38 IAP
  1942                
3 20/02/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed LaGG-3   Bologizh 38 IAP
  22/02/42   1/4 Bf 109 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   W Parfino Station 38 IAP
4 08/03/42   1 Ju 52/3m Destroyed LaGG-3   W Lake Fehino 38 IAP
5 13/03/42   1 Ju 52/3m Destroyed LaGG-3     38 IAP
6 14/03/42   1 Ju 52/3m Destroyed LaGG-3   W Demidovo Pocket 38 IAP
  15/03/42   1/3 Ju 52/3m Shared destroyed LaGG-3   NE Anino 38 IAP
7 24/03/42   1 Ju 88 Destroyed LaGG-3   W Ramushevo 38 IAP
  27/03/42   1/? Ju 88 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Ramushevo 38 IAP
  27/03/42   1/? Ju 87 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Ramushevo-Lovech 38 IAP
8 27/03/42   1 ”He 115” Destroyed LaGG-3   Ramushevo-Lovech 38 IAP
9 18/04/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed LaGG-3   Mirogosh 38 IAP
  18/04/42   1/3 Ju 87 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   SW Bologizhe 38 IAP
  19/04/42   1/? Ju 87 Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Ramushevo - Parfino 38 IAP
  19/04/42   1/? ”He 115” Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Sychevo 38 IAP
  20/04/42   1/5 ”He 115” Shared destroyed LaGG-3   Ramushevo 38 IAP
10 25/04/42   1 Ju 87 Destroyed LaGG-3   Ramushevo 38 IAP

Biplane victories: 2 and 5 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 10 and 13 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 11 June 2020