Biplane fighter aces

Soviet Union

General-Major Matvey Ivanovich Zotov HSU

29 November 1914 – 2 September 1970

Decorations
Date Decoration Note
06/01/42 Order of the Red Banner 1st
09/02/43 Order of the Red Star 1st
29/04/43 Order of the Red Banner 2nd
28/09/43 Gold Star of the Hero of Soviet Union No. 1097
28/09/43 Order of Lenin  
23/07/44 Order of the Red Banner 3rd
22/02/45 Order of the Red Banner 4th
23/07/45 Order of Patriotic War, 1st Class 1st
??/??/50 Order of the Red Star 2nd
??/??/56 Order of the Red Banner 5th

Matvey Zotov was born in Klekotki on 29 November 1914.

He joined the Red Army in 1935 and in 1937, he graduated from Odessa Military Aviation Pilot School.

On 13 July 1941, leitenant Zotov as posted to 8 IAP, which was equipped with I-16s.

On 20 Julyt, the I-16s from 8 IAP intercepted Do 215s over Yartsevo. Major Yakov Kurbatov, CO of 8 IAP, claimed two as shared ”in group” while leitenant Zotov claimed one as a shared with another pilot.
Major Kurbatov had claimed 8 IAP’s first victory five days earlier, on 15 July, in the same area.

In August, he was posted as CO of the fighter eskadrilya of 57 ShAP. This unit was equipped with I-153s and existed between 20 August and 15 November 1941.

In 1942, Zotov was transferred to 427 IAP where he served as eskadrilya CO. With this regiment, he flew Yak-1s.
He took part in combat on the South-Western, Kalinin and Voronezh Fronts.

On 24 June, 427 IAP was in combat in Topoli station area and Zotov claimed a Bf 110 south-west of the station while Anton Yakimenko claimed a Bf 109 north of the station and a Ju 88 west of the station.

On 28 September 1943, major Zotov was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union (no. 1097) and the Order of Lenin.

On 25 December 1943, major Zotov was appointed CO of 6 IAP.

On 2 July 1944, 6 IAP became a guard’s unit and renamed to 149 GIAP.

Podpolkovnik Zotov ended the war with 2 biplane victories and a total of 19.
These had been claimed during 265 combat missions and 60 air combats.

He continued to serve in air force after the war.
In January 1947, he left the command of 149 GIAP and was later in the same year appointed commander of the 151 GIAD. In 1953 he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff.

In 1960, major-general Zotov was placed in the reserve.

He lived in Moscow and died on 2 September 1970.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1941                
  20/07/41   1/2 Do 215 Shared destroyed I-16   Yartsevo 8 IAP
  30/07/41   1/5 Ju 88 Shared destroyed I-16   Gavrilovo 8 IAP
1 ??/??/41   1 Ju 88 (a) Destroyed I-153   Western Front 57 ShAP
2 ??/??/41   1 Bf 109 (b) Destroyed I-153   Western Front 57 ShAP
  1942                
3 24/06/42   1 Bf 110 Destroyed Yak-1   SE Topoli station 427 IAP
4 25/06/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   N Kupyansk 427 IAP
5 17/12/42   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   SW Velikiye Luki 427 IAP
  1943                
6 10/03/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   Semkina Groushka 427 IAP
7 10/03/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   Burtsevo 427 IAP
8 11/05/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   W Karyernaya Station 427 IAP
9 06/07/43   1 FW 190 Destroyed Yak-1   SE Pokrovka 427 IAP
10 07/07/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   N Luchki 427 IAP
11 07/07/43   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-1   NW Luchki 427 IAP
12 07/07/43   1 FW 190 Destroyed Yak-1   W Luchki 427 IAP
13 09/07/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   SW Prokhorovka 427 IAP
14 09/07/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   Prokhorovka 427 IAP
15 07/10/43   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-1   W Domotkan 427 IAP
  1944                
16 08/01/44   1 Ju 88 Destroyed Yak-9   Oboznovka 6 IAP
17 30/03/44   1 Ju 87 Destroyed Yak-9   E Bugulyany Station 6 IAP
18 03/06/44   1 Bf 109 Destroyed Yak-9   SE Horlesti 6 IAP
19 22/08/44   1 FW 190 Destroyed Yak-9   S Kocheshti 149 GIAP

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed.
TOTAL: 19 and 2 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed between 20 August and 15 November 1941. Victory is included only based on award material; it is not mentioned in operational and reporting documents.
(b) Claimed between 20 August and 15 November 1941. Victory is included only based on award material; it is not mentioned in operational and reporting documents.

Sources:
All aces of Stalin 1936-1953 – Mikhail Bykov, 2014
Soviet Aces 1936-1953
Soviet Fighter Pilots 1936-1953 - Mikhail Bykov




Last modified 13 April 2021