Aviation of Word War II

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Boris Eremin and Yak-3

March 6, 1913 - April 4, 2005

Boris Nikolaevich Eremin, Guard Lieutenant Colonel

In WWII, Deputy Commander of the 6th Guards Fighter Aviation Division (5th Air Army, 2nd Ukrainian Front), Guard Lieutenant Colonel.

In total, during the war, made 342 sorties, shot down 23 enemy aircraft (14 of them were destroyed on two donative aircraft presented from F.P. Golovaty)

* * *

The day of March 9, 1942 will be remembered for the rest of my life. In early March 1942, the regiment was based south of Kharkov. We covered our troops, which were bombed by groups of Ju-88 and Ju-87 bombers under the cover of Me-109f. The morning was clear. It froze slightly. The pilots of the 1st squadron were already in the air, and we had to replace them in the Shebelinka area.

<…>

After the climb, I gave the command “all in a circle” to turn to the right, and with a slight descent, with gas, we went on a straight line to attack. Enemy bombers and fighters were starting to rebuild, but they were just beginning!

Each of us in this mass chose a goal for himself. The outcome of the battle was now dependent on the first attack. We attacked both fighters and bombers: we destroyed four aircraft at once, two of them bombers. Then everything got confused - we got into the general group. The main thing here is not to collide. On the left, on the right, there are trails on top. I remember a wing with a cross flashed past me. Someone ruined it, then. The volume in which everything happened is small; the battle began to be chaotic: tracks are running, planes are flashing, you can get into your own ... It was time to get out of this mess. The Germans began to leave, and in pursuit I shot down one Me-109. Since the battle took place at the maximum engine speeds, there was almost no fuel. I realized that it was necessary to gather a group - I give a signal to gather. I marked myself with deep swaying, and the rest began to be attached. Salomatin comes up to the left, I see that the configuration of the aircraft is somewhat unusual - a lantern was shot down by a shell. He himself, fleeing from the oncoming stream of air, bent down so that he was not visible. On the right - I see Animal Farm coming up - behind him is a white train, apparently, the radiator was hit by shrapnel. Then past me - one, second, third ... all ours! Can you imagine, after such a fight - and everyone is attached! Everything is fine! I felt the joy of victory, an unusual satisfaction, such as I have never experienced! The first days we were more often in the role of the vanquished.

We go to the airfield. We passed over it with a "pressurizer", the formation fanned out, we sit down one by one - Salomatin sat down earlier, it's hard to fly without a lantern.

Everyone is running to me, shouting, making noise ... Everything is very unusual: “Boris! Victory! Victory!" The regiment commander, the chief of staff - everyone ran up. Questions - how? .. what? .. And we ourselves do not really know how many planes were shot down - seven? Then everything was confirmed.

After the war, I learned from Yakovlev that on the eve of this battle, Stalin had called the aircraft designers: “Why are our" la "and" yaks "burning? What varnishes do you cover them with? " - expressed displeasure that the new materiel does not justify itself. And then - such a fight! Yakovlev says that Stalin called him later and said: “You see! Your planes have shown themselves. "

For the heroic air battle "7 against 25" as the commander of an aviation squadron, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

<…>

If in this battle we were on the MiG-1 or LaGG-3, its result would hardly be the same. "Moment", when it just takes off, it must be covered, at medium altitudes it is sluggish, you cannot accelerate, only at altitude it gives the pilot the opportunity to feel normal.

LaGG-3, frankly, we did not really respect it - it burned strongly, since it was made of deltawood, and besides, it was a heavy machine. We gave preference to "yaks" - Yak-1, Yak-7 - maneuverable. They go for gas. The Yak-9 was a bit heavy, but the armament was good. The best, the Yak-3, is the ideal vehicle for combat. Just a fairy tale! Only he had a small supply of fuel - for a 40-minute flight.

- Have pilots ever refused to take off on a combat mission due to physical or psychological fatigue?

- This is a very difficult question. It was impossible to miss their turn at Stalingrad. I myself would be a scoundrel if someone flew instead of me. And sometimes you don't feel well. The heat, the dust, the load is terrible; I don't feel like eating anything. I remember they will bring the watermelon pulp, suck it and that's it. We were fed well: both borscht and meat. But I didn't want anything. You come back from the flight, hang up your headset, lie down on a tarp in a dugout, and this whole nightmare passes in front of you. You ponder why this one went like this, the other went like this ... After 30 - 40 minutes go again. In this environment, the sense of camaraderie was very strong. I couldn't skip my turn if I was supposed to go. Therefore, we were very hostile to those who said: "I took off, but the landing gear is not retracted" - you check on the ground - it is removed ... The environment itself survived those who refused to fly. We had a pilot who returned twice, dropped the group. We stopped greeting him. It was scary. He said, "I will shoot myself." I asked the regiment commander to send him from us.


— Did you know about the Udet group?

- Yes, I heard that there is such a group. They knew that there were very strong pilots. Then I had to see, not a prisoner, but a shot down - a German ace, they usually had parachutes with multi-colored domes, so that they could be found faster, and the coherent planes helped out. He fell on the left bank of the Volga, he was found. We drove up there in a "lorry". Lies dead. We didn’t shoot them in the air, and they didn’t shoot us in the air, although there was no "gentlemanly" agreement, something unconscious ... They flew not wearing helmets, but in nets - it was convenient and their head didn’t sweat. There was a sulphidine bag under my right hand, which we used mainly for the treatment of gonorrhea. He also had a booklet, such as a calculation: "On this number the Il-2 was shot down, received - so many stamps ..." He had 30 titles, I had nine. Ametkhan Sultan has no more. In Donbass, in my opinion, they began to draw stars, and they drew something else, I don't remember ... They borrowed from the Germans - they liked to draw vipers, crocodiles ... I had a dedication instead of stars. Nobody will see such an inscription, will not read it.

<…>

- I would like to hear your opinion about Lev Shestakov.

- It was a wonderful pilot! I arrived from the 296th as a deputy. regiment commander. Lev Lvovich walked with a stick after being wounded. He looks at me: "Are you going to fly?" - "Yes talking. We were the same age with him and became friends. Lev Lvovich Shestakov, together with Misha Baranov, are innovators of echeloning and much of what Pokryshkin later attributed to himself. From Lev Lvovich Shestakov, I learned how to build groups, how to set up planes. Where to put Serebryakov, and where to put Novozhilov. Shestakov and Baranov set the tone for tactics. Baranov was our navigator, a calm, balanced guy. I respected him very much. And Shestakov was hot, temperamental. For example, we stand with him - someone sits down, well, with a small "miss" - he breaks flags ... I say: "Come on, stop raving!" - "No! Once I got into a special group, it means that I have to sit perfectly! " It was correct, but too much. He taught: "Do not hit for half a kilometer, but come close and beat." By this he inspired courage: he had all shot down - from short distances. I respected him very much, and I still respect him, and I think that he deserves much more attention. Novikov made him the commander of a marshal's regiment, but soon Shestakov died near Proskurov, in the Ukraine. He led the follower, showed him: "Here, look how to beat." He came closer, not 70 meters, but even closer, he exploded and covered him. He was an amazing pilot!

<…>

- Why didn't I take Litvyak and Budanova? It happened.

- I knew that they were eager to join a combat regiment. Baranov's shelves and mine walked side by side. But my regiment was specialized - a fighter-reconnaissance regiment. We were sent for reconnaissance 200 kilometers away. The division commander asked me how I would react if they came to my regiment. I replied that, in principle, I didn’t mind - they had received good training (Litvyak was especially different), but sending the girls so far beyond the front line?

He agreed. Apparently, it became known to these girls. Well, and Lilka, with her characteristic irony, remarked: "Boris Nikolaevich is simply afraid of us, they say?" My former wingman Salomatin became, in fact, Litvyak's husband, they lived openly, they knew everything. They were a good couple. But he died. She, I remember, all threw herself on the grave when he was buried, then calmed down. A few months later, she died.

<…>

- Rearmament from Yak-1 to Yak-7.

- Yak-7 - a little heavier, because BSs were standing instead of ShKAS. The main thing we had were rockets - a good thing. There were no sighting devices. They started up offhand. I then ask Sedov: "How did you manage to destroy the Ju-88?" - "I, he says, do not know - so, came closer and let him go." The fuses were both shock and remote.

* * *

In 1975, Aviation Lieutenant General Eremin retired. He was presented for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1944 and 1945. By the decree of the President of the USSR of May 5, 1990 "for courage and heroism shown in battles against the German fascist invaders during the Great Patriotic War" Boris Nikolayevich Eremin was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (No. 11605).

The second plane, Yak-3, from Ferapont Petrovich Golovaty, on which fly B.N. Eremin.

Bibliography

  • I fought in a fighter / Artem Drabkin /

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September 12, 2021
Yak-3 Eremina was kept in the museum of the A.S. Yakovlev, but in 1991 it was temporarily transferred to the Museum in Santa Monica, California.
Yak-3 is the second plane of Ferapont Petrovich Golovaty at the Santa Monica Museum, California.
In 2014, it was returned to Russia, now it, along with other exhibits from the Yakovlev Design Bureau Museum, is in the Vadim Zadorozhny Museum of Technology.

September 14, 2021
As for the low flight characteristics of the LaGG-3, it’s not news that it’s all about a weak engine. Indeed, after replacing the engine with the ASh-82, especially the ASh-82FN, the aircraft became simply the best in its class. Of course, the I-185 could have become better, but it would have been a completely new aircraft, by the way, with an engine that was never created. It was hardly necessary in the conditions of war and low qualifications of workers to master a new high-tech aircraft.
I remember that during the war a conference was held on the exchange of experience, at which Semyon Alekseevich Lavochkin spoke and urged his colleagues to figure out together how they got an aircraft in their design bureau with unprecedented survivability to damage in battle ...

September 16, 2021
IMHO. About frequent failures of leaving the hydraulic fluid and not extending the flaps, due to the poor quality of the tubes themselves. November 01, 1944 death of the Hero of the Soviet Union Alexander Klubov on the plane La-7.
However, the I-185 had even more wing loading (the wing area is 15.53 m² versus 17.5 m² for the La-5 with almost equal take-off weights for the M-82), and landing with the flaps not extended would have been even more difficult. The question remains open, would the quality of the manufacture of these pipes on the I-185 be better?

September 16, 2021
Eremin: " LaGG-3, frankly, we did not really respect it - it burned a lot, since it was made of deltawood, and besides, it was a heavy machine."
Vyacheslav Kondratyev. - The "innate" overweight of the design and the low quality of production at serial factories "ate up" all the efforts of the developers. The situation was aggravated by the fact that due to the cessation of imports of synthetic resins with the beginning of the war (note that earlier they came to the USSR from Germany), the production of delta-wood fell sharply. The pre-war reserves quickly dried up, and from 1942 this material had to be replaced with ordinary wood - Siberian pine and birch. This means that the mass of the LaGG-3 airframe has increased even more.
Among the few positive qualities of LaGG-3, we note a higher combat survivability than the "yaks" and a relatively low flammability when hit, due to the increased safety margin of the airframe and the presence of a system for filling gas tanks with inert gas. On "lags" such systems were mounted from the beginning of serial production, and on "yaks" they appeared only at the end of 1942.