Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

Podpolkovnik Konstantin Porfir'yevich Sokol

1912 – 16 October 1943

Konstantin Sokol was born in 1912.

The 145 IAP was established on 29 December 1939. The 1st and 2nd eskadrilyas (former 1st and 3rd eskadrilyas of 38 IAP, equipped with Polikarpov I-15bis) arrived between 15 and 20 December by train from Pushkin. After assembly in Afrikanda, the eskadrilyas were ready for combat in Kairala on 26 December.
Kapitan Sokol served as the CO of the 1./145 IAP.

However, already at 12:30 on 24 December 1939, Junkers K.43 JU-126 of LLv 16 was shot down in the Märkäjärvi/Salla area by kapitan Sokol of 1./145 IAP. The Junker had been on a reconnaissance mission between Rovaniemi and Salla and the pilot vääpeli Kauko Hyytiänien managed to parachute but luutnantti Erkki Alanen (observer), alikersantti Paavo Kaurto (gunner) and mechanic Mikko Majuri were killed. At this time, this aircraft was the sole Finnish aircraft in the area.

On 26 January 1940, he was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, major Sokol served in 26 IAP.

In August 1941, he was posted to 159 IAP.
This unit operated on the Leningrad Front.

From March 1943, Sokol served as CO of 159 IAP.

Sokol left the command of 159 IA on 29 June 1943.
The next day, he was replaced by guard’s major Petr Pokryshev.

On 30 June 1943, Sokol was decorated with the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class.

He was killed in a plane crash on 16 October 1943.

At the time of his death, Sokol was credited with 1 biplane victory and a total of 3.
These had been claimed during 47 combat missions and 13 air combats (as of 26 June 1943).

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 24/12/39 12:30 1 Junker K.43 (a) Destroyed I-15bis   Märkäjärvi 1./145 IAP
2 13/04/43   1 He 111 Destroyed La-5   Leningrad Front 159 IAP
3 18/06/43   1 FW 190 Destroyed La-5   Leningrad Front 159 IAP

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 3 destroyed.
(a) Junkers K.43 JU-126 of LLv 16 shot down.

All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Hart: In Combat with the Swedish Voluntary Wing F19, Finland 1940 - Mikael Forslund, 2009 Mikael Forslund Produktion, ISBN 978-91-977677-1-2
Red Stars 7 - Talvisota Ilmassa - The Winter War In the Air - Carl-Fredrik Geust, 2011 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 978-952-5877-04-5
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov
Suomen Ilmavoimat part II – 1928-40 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2006, ISBN 952-99743-0-2

Last modified 27 May 2020