Aviation of World War II
MiG-3. Combat Use.
MiGs from the 7th Air Corps loitering over Leningrad
For MiGs, the war began a little earlier than the official date. On April 10, three MiGs stationed in Kovno tried to intercept a German intelligence officer who was flying at high altitude. All three pilots climbed too sharply, as a result they fell into a tailspin. Inspector Kochetkov, sent from the Air Force Research Institute, established that the pilots had never flown in such conditions before and had no instructions for flying MiG-3s.
On April 15, 1941, a German reconnaissance aircraft Ju 86R-1 with civilian registration number D-APEW made an emergency landing in the Rivne region. According to some reports, the Junkers was attacked by a MiG-3, which managed to damage the reconnaissance engine. On the same day, a reconnaissance Ju 88 from 4. (F)Ob.d.L. landed near Vinnitsa due to bad weather conditions. These were two of the 152 registered violations of Soviet airspace by German aviation. But they caused a sharp deterioration in Soviet-German relations.
To rectify the situation in May, a German military delegation headed by Colonel G. Aschenbrenner, the military attache in Moscow, was invited to Moscow.
The delegation toured several facilities, including Plant No. 1. Aschenbrenner was shown not only the assembly line, but also two airfields with new aircraft. This made a great impression on the delegation.
The elegant silhouette of the MiG was the best fit for such demonstrations. Mikoyan is said to have told Ashenbrenner: “Today we showed you what we are releasing and what we have. Whoever tries to attack us will be destroyed.”
It is not known whether these words were actually spoken, or if they are apocryphal. But it is not important. The important thing is that the plane really hit the Germans. A message was immediately sent to Berlin. Hitler, having familiarized himself with him, reacted in the vein that it was no longer possible to wait any longer, the Russians had gone too far.
Although the production of MiGs went according to plan, the appearance of aircraft in units was delayed. The plans provided for equipping 22 of the 106 fighter regiments with MiGs, which were to receive new weapons. However, only 8 regiments were re-equipped, including 5 MiG-3, 2 Yak-1 and 1 LaGG-3. The last of the listed regiments was soon forced to send their vehicles to the factory, as problems in the hydraulic system of the chassis that could not be repaired in the field were discovered.
The first MiG-3s, among others, received the regiments of the 20th mixed aviation division (SAD), stationed in Moldova. But the pilots of this division continued to fly on the old I-16 and I-153, while the new MiGs were at the airfield in Balti, although on February 25, 1941, the Council of People's Commissars approved the methodology for retraining pilots for flights on new types of aircraft.
The capabilities of the new aircraft were demonstrated to the pilots by experienced pilots. In particular, in the 20th SAD, a demonstration was conducted in May by pilots P.M. Stefanovsky and V.I. Alekseenko.
The pilots of the 55th Regiment turned out to be capable students and very quickly mastered the new type of fighter. It was at this time that the future ace of Soviet aviation A.I. Pokryshkin began service in the regiment.
In other regiments, the situation did not always look so encouraging.
If the pilots had experience of flying the I-16, then it was easier for them to switch to an aircraft with a center of gravity shifted back. But biplane pilots experienced enormous hardship as they had to actually learn to fly again. The MiG had a high landing speed, while requiring the alignment of the glide path near the ground itself. In some cases, the pilots pulled the handle on themselves and fell on the wing during landing. At low altitude, a spin has always meant disaster. For this reason, many MiGs were lost in the early days of the war. The MiG was much heavier than the previous biplanes, and therefore the takeoff on it was more difficult, which also became the cause of many accidents.
As a result, the pilots flew only on old machines, while flying a little. The level of training of pilots left much to be desired. To strengthen the fighter regiments, veterans of the fighting in Spain, China and Finland were sent to them, whose task was to bring up newcomers. In this, the Soviet Air Force was fundamentally different from the Luftwaffe, where aces were assembled in elite units. The situation was further aggravated by the fact that in the winter of 1940/41. too often there was non-flying weather, so young pilots simply could not physically gain enough flight hours. In the first three months of 1941, a fighter pilot of the Baltic Military District, on average, managed to fly 15.5 hours, the Western Military District - 9 hours, and the Kiev Regional Military District - only 4 hours. During the same time there were 71 accidents and 156 accidents. But if flight training was also carried out, then with tactical training the situation was very bad.
It should be noted that before the start of the war, Soviet aviation did not have time to take into account the experience gained by participants in foreign campaigns and the first months of the war in Europe. Excellent pilots were often placed in command positions, when it was required to put excellent leaders.
After the annexation of western Ukraine and Belarus, the Baltic states and Bessarabia, the western border of the Soviet Union moved 120-250 km to the west. Those airfields that were located in the annexed territories could accommodate only a small number of aircraft. Official directives concerning the network of airfields on the western borders of the USSR were issued by the Council of People's Commissars only on April 10, 1941. The plans called for the conversion or construction from scratch of 251 airfields. In fact, throughout 1941, Soviet aviation could not conduct any active operations in the area of the western border.
The NKVD monitored the implementation of the airfield construction program. Construction work began on a grand scale - at all planned facilities at the same time. By June 22, out of 62 airfields in the Western OVO, only 16 were completed.
As of June 1, 1941, Soviet aviation was a powerful force, the size of which the enemy did not even know. There were 7469 aircraft in five European military regions, including 6430 serviceable. June 22, the number of aircraft amounted to 7133 pieces. In addition, 1,445 naval aircraft and 1,339 long-range aircraft must be added. Total 9917 aircraft, i.e. 62% of the total strength of the Soviet Air Force (total strength 15995 aircraft).
According to other sources, the Red Army Air Force had 20,978 aircraft, not counting 760 Pacific Fleet aircraft. Army aviation numbered 13,288 aircraft, long-range aviation 2,311 aircraft, naval aviation 1,445 aircraft, and aviation schools had 3,934 aircraft.
But all these huge numbers should not mislead the reader. There were only 1,347 or 1,370 "new types" aircraft in the five border districts, of which only 377 were ready to fly. The crews and ground handling of the rest of the aircraft were just mastering the new technology.
As of June 1, there were 4,727 fighters in five western districts, including 77 MiG-1s (55 serviceable) and 845 MiG-3s (786 serviceable). 196 pilots managed to get acquainted with the MiG-1, only 322 - with the MiG-3, in Odessa VO - 8 MiG-1 and 181 MiG-3.
On the day the war began, there were 4226 single-engine fighters in these districts, plus 763 fighters from the Northern, Baltic and Black Sea fleets. Total 4989 vehicles.
In the main direction of the offensive of the Wehrmacht, in the Western Military District, MiG-3s were in service with the fighter regiments of the 9th SAD, Major General S.A. Chernykh.
The 129th IAP was based at the airfield in Tarnovo (Zabladov), located just 12 km from the border. According to various sources, the regiment had from 57 to 61 MiG-3s and from 52 to 57 I-153s.
The 126th IAP was based at the Dolubovo airfield near Velsk, 22 km from the border. The regiment had 50 MiG-3 and 23 I-16s.
At the Seburai airfield near Bialystok, 50 km away from the border, there was the 41st IAP (according to other sources, the 44th IAP). The regiment had 56 or 57 MiG-3 and -1, as well as 52 I-153 (or 27 I-16 and I-15bis).
The 124th IAP was stationed in Vysoka Mazowiecke, 40 km from the border, and read 70 MiG-3s and 29 I-16s. In total, the mentioned regiments had 136 "old types" fighters.
Until June, 61 pilots in these regiments mastered the new aircraft, 57 were at various stages of retraining, and 140 were just starting to fly them.
The double fleet of aircraft in each regiment, in theory, was supposed to ensure the combat capability of the unit in any conditions. Indeed, MiG flights were stopped several times. Such an incident occurred on June 2, when one of the pilots of the 124th IAP, while trying to open fire, shot off his propeller blade. As a result, the unbalanced screw was completely torn off the shaft. Synchronizer failures were noted several more times. Worried about this, the commander of the Air Force Zhigarev agreed to leave the old aircraft in the division. Therefore, the old aircraft remained in combat readiness, it was they who participated in the first days of the war.
In KOVO aviation, most of the MiG-3s were part of the 15th SAD. According to various sources, the district's fighter aircraft numbered from 1341 (including 455 I-16s, 515 I-153s and 62 Yak-1s) to 1238 aircraft.
Different sources give a completely different number of MiG-3s in the 15th SAD. Apparently, the division numbered about 190 of them. The 23rd IAP had 58 MiG-3s and 29 I-16s and I-153s. Some sources report that. that in the district there was the 28th IAP, which had 36 MiGs and 7 I-16s. In addition, the MiGs were in service with the 164th IAP, which also had 49 "old types" vehicles.
In the 64th IAD, MiGs received the 149th IAP. This regiment had 64 MiG-3s, as well as 67 I-16s and I-153s. According to some sources, the regiment had only 21 new aircraft. Perhaps the number 64 - all the aircraft transferred to the division, including those not assembled.
It is reported that the MiGs were also in the 257th IAP, but there was no such regiment in the Air Force.
On June 22, regiments of the 15th SAD were stationed at airfields in Lvov and Kurovitsy (60 km south of Lvov). The 149th IAP was based near Chernivtsi. It is known that there were 4 MiG-3s (and 61 I-16s) from the 87th IAP of the 16th SAD at the Bukhach airfield.
In the Odessa Military District, according to various sources, there were from 697 to 611 fighters of various types. On June 1, the district had eight MiG-1s and 181 MiG-3s.
It is known that MiG-3s from the 4th IAP were located at the Levaka airfield near Chisinau (60 pieces + 71 I-153 and I-16 at the airfield in Grigoriopol). The 55th IAP (62 MiG-3 and 54 I-153 and I-16) was located at the airfield in Balti. Both regiments were part of the 20th SAD.
In the 131st IAP at the airfield in Krivoy Rog, there were five MiG-3s and 67 I-16s. The total is 184 aircraft. Old sources mention that the Odessa Military District included the 69th IAP with five MiGs, but these data are not confirmed.
In the Baltic Military District, MiGs were supposed to receive the 6th SAD, but the plans were not destined to be realized. But at the Alytus airfield near Kovno, two regiments from the 8th SAD were deployed, which they managed to receive new aircraft. According to various sources, the 31st IAP had either 37 MiG-3s (including 24 faulty ones), or 24 MiG-1s and MiG-3s, as well as 32 "old-type" aircraft.
Information about the park of the 15th IAP is even more contradictory. Old sources report that the regiment had 54 MiG-1s, although as of June 1, there were only 31 MiGs in the entire district. According to new data, the regiment had 62 MiG-3s and 62 I-16s and I-153s.
The 10th IAP, based at the Shavli airfield, had 23 MiG-3s and 36 I-16s. The total is 621 fighters in the entire district.
In the Leningrad Military District, MiGs managed to get three regiments.
The 7th IAP of the 39th IAD at the Maisniemi airfield had 60 MiG-3s, and the 153rd IAP of the 3rd IAD at the Kexholm airfield had 58 MiG-3s and 15 I-16s. The 44th BAP had one MiG-3. In total, the district had 857 fighters, including 164 MiGs. Naval aviation consisted of only a few MiGs. The North Sea Fleet did not have aircraft of this type. In the Baltic, the 13th IAP flew 38 Mi-Gah-3s, 45 I-153/I-15bis and 8 Yak-1s. Old sources mention that only one squadron flew MiGs in the regiment. The same sources report that the MiGs were also in the 5th IAP.
In the Black Sea Fleet, only the 8th IAP had MiG-3s - 31 MiGs and 30 I-153/I-15bis. It was planned to equip the 9th and 32nd IAP with new machines, but these plans could not be realized. In total, the Black Sea aviation consisted of 69 MiG-3s.
The attack on the Soviet Union was prepared in typical German style, that is, diligently and skillfully. Some airfields were so close to the border that they were covered by artillery fire. The planes at the airfields stood openly, lined up in ranks. Even where the planes were dispersed, they did not take care of their disguise. Some aircraft were painted in silver paint.
For a long time, Soviet intelligence had been transmitting information about the impending attack to Moscow. But the Soviet leadership did everything possible to prevent provocations. Nevertheless, when on the eve of June 22 information was received that the attack would take place in the next few hours, People's Commissar of Defense S.K. Timoshenko and Chief of the General Staff G.K. Zhukov sent a directive to the border districts notifying that war could begin on June 22 or 23.
The aviation of the border districts was supposed to disperse the planes before dawn and disguise them. All units had to be in a state of full combat readiness. At the same time, they were ordered not to succumb to provocations and wait for further orders.
The Air Force Commander of the Western OVO received the directive at 00:30. The directive did not have time to reach the divisions. The first attacks on Soviet airfields were made by German aircraft simultaneously with the start of hostilities on the ground, that is, at 3:15. The Germans planned to strike at 66 airfields, including 31 airfields in the first place, where fighter regiments were located. For this task, the best crews were selected from the three bomber regiments: KG 2, KG 3 and KG 53. Each airfield was attacked by a small group of aircraft, often by one flight.
Coming to the targets, the German pilots found that the airfields were cluttered with aircraft. I didn’t even have to aim very hard - the targets were almost everywhere.
Since the directive of Timoshenko and Zhukov did not reach the divisions, they were completely taken by surprise. The heaviest blow hit the airfields of the 9th SAD: Seburchin, Vysokie Mazowiecke. Tarnovo and Dolubovo. Despite heavy losses, some of the aircraft survived. But the division commander S.A. Chernykh was unable to cope with the situation. More raids soon followed, during which the division lost the remaining MiGs. Chernykh was an experienced pilot, a Hero of the Soviet Union, he participated in the war in Spain, where he won three victories, including the first among Soviet pilots to shoot down a Bf-109. But in a critical situation, he turned out to be a worthless commander. As a result, he was soon executed by firing squad.
Separate MiGs of the division, which managed to take to the air, entered the battle along with old-type aircraft. At the beginning of the fifth hour in the morning, the planes of the 124th IAP started a fight. At 04:15, the regiment's pilot Dmitry Kokurev made the first ram, shooting down a Ju 88 (according to other sources, a Bf 110).
In general, it is generally accepted that due to the weak armament of the aircraft, MiG pilots more often than others went to ram, but this is not so. In total, 15 rams were recorded on June 22, of which only two were made on MiGs. At the same time, six rams were made by pilots flying I-16 and I-153.
The 129th IAP turned out to be the more successful regiment. The first echelon of German bombers did not affect the Tarnovo airfield. Regiment commander Captain Yu.M. Berkal, hearing the artillery cannonade, announced a combat alert and raised three squadrons into the air. At 04:05, a battle was already going on in the sky above the airfield. Three pilots of the regiment: A. Sokolov, A. Kuzhmerov and A. Nikolaev - declared one He 111 shot down each. It is not known which aircraft these pilots flew. The planes of the regiment that remained at the airfield were destroyed, and by noon the airfield was already occupied by German tanks. The surviving vehicles flew to Bialystok. Over Lomzha, Senior Lieutenant V. Tsebenko shot down a Bf 109. According to the Soviet side, the pilots of the regiment shot down a total of 6 aircraft, losing one vehicle. In the afternoon, almost all of the regiment's aircraft were destroyed during new air raids.
The 126th IAP also managed to bring several MiGs into battle. At 08:15, 9 MiG-3s 5 km north of the Dlubovo airfield collided with a group of 23 Ju 88s flying at an altitude of 800 m. Nine Soviet fighters were commanded by the deputy squadron commander st. lieutenant G. Alaev. During the first attack, the pilots claimed two Junkers shot down and one damaged. In the meantime, a group of German escort fighters appeared in the battle area, numbering 10 Bf 109 and 9 Bf 110. The Zerstöhrers attacked ground targets, and the Bf 109 started a battle with the MiGs. According to the Soviet side, the enemy lost two Bf 109s in the battle, one of which rammed Art. Lieutenant Panfil. Panfil managed to leave the damaged plane and jump out with a parachute. Another pilot, Alaev, carried away by the attack, failed to straighten the plane and crashed into the ground. V. Ushakov also died in the battle. In total, the pilots of the 126th IAP claimed 6 victories.
Pilots of the 9th SAD, according to the Soviet side, shot down 85 German aircraft on June 22. At the same time, the division lost 347 out of 409 available aircraft (including 26 Ar-2s and 29 SBs).
In the Kiev OVO, the 1st SAD managed to maintain combat readiness. Most of the planes took to the air before the first German bombs fell on the airfields. The 164th IAP even managed to intercept the bombers, although they still managed to bomb off. On the first day of the war, the pilots of the three fighter regiments of the division made 364 sorties, conducted 11 air battles, claimed 9 or 10 victories, at the cost of losing 5 aircraft. Including six victories during 157 sorties, the pilots of the 28th IAP, led by Major Demidov, declared.
Colonel Volkov's 149th IAP lost all the MiGs on the ground before noon, only some sources report that. that two MiGs were shot down.
In total, the aviation of the Kiev OVO lost 204 vehicles on the ground and 47 in the sky. 46 victories were claimed, according to other sources 77. The successes of the Luftwaffe in KOVO were more modest. The remoteness of the district from the border did not allow the Nazis to achieve surprise.
Aviation of the Odessa Military District suffered even fewer losses, while acting more efficiently. Here, the enemy of the Soviet pilots were not only the Germans, but also the Romanians.
For MiG-3s from the 20th SAD, the war began at 5:10. The pilot from the 4th IAP, Afanasy Karmanov, was performing a scheduled flight, taking off from the field airfield, where the regiment was trained, and heading for Chisinau. By chance, the pilot collided with a group of German aircraft, consisting of 27 Ju 88 and 9 Bf 109, which was going to bomb the Grosulovo airfield. According to the Soviet side, the pilot managed to take the enemy by surprise and shoot down the bomber, after which he had to fight with enemy fighters. Despite the overwhelming superiority of the Nazis. Karmanov managed to win another victory. His "five-point" MiG looked like a sieve. Other pilots of the 4th IAP managed to shoot down 20 German and Romanian aircraft in battles over Grigoriopol, Tiraspol and Chisinau.
The 55th IAP, led by Major Ivanov, began the war by taking off from the Mayaki airfield. By the beginning of the war, the main base of the regiment in Balti was undergoing reconstruction. A concrete runway was being built there, so since April the regiment's squadrons have been at field airfields. Only the understaffed 1st squadron of Captain F. Atrashkevich remained at the base. Link Lieutenant A.I. Pokryshkin was in Grigoriopol, and Figichev's link was at the very border near Ungen. There was also a link of Atrashkevich himself. The commander of the third link, K. Selivestrov, was in Chisinau. To defend the base, flight commander Mironov remained there, along with squadron adjutant Ovchinnikov and five ordinary pilots.
This handful of pilots had to repel a raid by a German group of 20 He 111s and 18 Bf 109s. During the raid, two people were killed, three MiGs burned down and, worse, a fuel depot. The pilots declared two downed He 111s and one Bf 109. Soon Mironov announced the downed Hs 126, and A. Sarov - Ju 88. Pokryshkin's link returned to base after the raid.
On the first day of the war, the future Soviet ace shot down a Su-2 from the 210th BBAP by mistake at 16:30. It is sometimes said that the Su-2 from the 211th BBAP became the victim of Pokryshkin, but this regiment entered the battle only in the evening of that day and suffered no losses.
Until the end of the day, the 55th IAP claimed 10 victories. F. Atrashkevich is sometimes credited with the victory over Wolfgang Schellman (Bf 109), although he, according to official data, died in the Grodno region, being shot down by I-153. Losses of the 55th IAP amounted to three aircraft. In the Beltsy region, Ovchinnikov and Surov were shot down, and Mironov died making an emergency landing on a plane with a stopped engine.
The 69th IAP from Odessa, which had five MiGs, suffered no losses on the first day of the war. In turn, the regiment claimed three victories in the Chisinau area. Perhaps among the successful pilots were those who flew MiGs.
In the Baltic OVO and the Leningrad Military District, hostilities involving MiGs were minimal.
On the first day of the war, Soviet aviation suffered heavy losses. Luftwaffe pilots claimed 1,811 aircraft destroyed, including 322 shot down in dogfights. According to the Soviet side, up to 900 vehicles were lost on the ground that day, but this figure does not include seriously damaged aircraft abandoned and destroyed during the retreat.
The Luftwaffe suffered relatively small losses: 57 aircraft were lost forever, 4 required major repairs. Non-combat losses amounted to 6 irretrievably lost vehicles and 11 in need of repair. The Romanians lost 14 aircraft. Thus, the irretrievable losses of aircraft of the Axis amounted to only 75 aircraft. The Soviet side first claimed 65 victories, then this number was increased to 76. Thus, it turns out that the declared victories are very close to the actual ones.
In the first days of the war, the Germans managed to capture a lot of practically intact or only slightly damaged MiGs at the airfields. In total, on the first day of the war, the Nazis captured 80 MiGs, including 27 serviceable ones. 20 requiring repair and 24 beyond repair. Most of them were MiG-3s.
The Soviet side made its first attempts to use fighters as part of air defense systems on Monday. For example, the 28th IAP participated in repelling a raid on Lvov, interacting with the 4th air defense anti-aircraft artillery division. On June 23, the regiment consisted of 36 MiG-3s and 7 I-16s. Over the following days, the pilots of the regiment claimed 14 victories. The 69th IAP, partially equipped with MiG-3, also operated as part of the air defense.
The largest grouping of air defense aviation was formed on June 20, the 6th IAK of Moscow Air Defense. The corps consisted of 175 new types of fighters. On July 31, the corps had 129 MiG-3s: 42 in the 16th IAP, 27 in the 27th IAP, 27 in the 34th IAP, 18 in the 233rd IAP, as well as 9 in the 1st UAE and 6 in 2nd UAE. In August, MiG-3s were also delivered to the 120th IAP. The 34th IAP was one of the first regiments to receive new fighters, this happened back in April.
The defense of Leningrad from the air was provided by the 2nd Air Defense Corps, which included the 7th IAK, partially equipped with MiGs. At the same time, MiGs entered the naval aviation. In July, the North Sea Fleet received 30 MiGs. In the 32nd IAP of the Black Sea Fleet, the MiG-3 was flown by the flight commander Captain E.M. Ryzhov, who on June 27 made the first ram in the Black Sea. His victim was Not 111, shot down over Sevastopol. Ryzhov jumped out of the damaged plane with a parachute, splashed down and was soon picked up by a Soviet boat. Between June 23 and July 1, Soviet aviation fought tense battles, maintaining the pace set on June 22. Losses have become smaller, although their total number has reached catastrophic numbers. According to the German side, by July 1, Soviet aviation lost 4725 aircraft, including 1392 shot down in air battles, 112 shot down by anti-aircraft artillery, and the rest were destroyed on the ground. According to the Soviet side, losses for the first three days of fighting amounted to 2949 aircraft: 973 on the North-Western Front, 1497 on the Western Front and 1452 on the South-Western Front. During the same days, Soviet losses, according to German data, were 2546 aircraft.
During the first two or three weeks of fighting, the Soviet Air Force was defeated and went on the defensive. Many experienced pilots died. For young pilots, even with flight training, things were not going well, not to mention the ability to fight. An example is the flight of 20 MiG-3s from the 49th IAP along the Raskarovo-Lebedin route on September 13. On the route, two aircraft crashed and burned out, five made an emergency landing and nosed over, and two more received less damage during landing. The few reconnaissance squadrons practically ceased to exist. I had to find a replacement for them. For reconnaissance, fighters were attracted, which had high speed and the ability to maneuver. In early August, the 38th Separate Reconnaissance Squadron (RAE) was formed for the Air Force of the Western Front. numbering 16 aircraft: 4 Pe-2, 4 MiG-3 and 8 LaGG-3. In the first days at the front, the squadron lost 2 Pe-2s and 2 MiG-3s. MiGs from the 38th RAE carried cameras installed in a container under the fuselage. The location of the camera was inconvenient, it was dangerously close to the ground during taxiing. The container itself greatly disrupted the aerodynamics of the aircraft, significantly reducing the range. Pilots also complained about poor visibility down from the cockpit. Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Malyshev proposed to move the camera inside the fuselage and equip the aircraft with external fuel tanks. The first proposal was implemented, the second one was not implemented.
In the summer of 1941, the regiments operating as part of the Southern Front were better equipped than others. On July 17, the 4th IAP consisted of 10 combat-ready MiG-3s and 13 in need of repair. The 55th IAP had, respectively, 16 and 3 MiG-3s. in the 69th IAP there were only 2 serviceable MiGs, and in the 299th ShAP - 18 and 12. In the 131st IAP there were 4 serviceable fighters and one under repair.
On June 23, in the Chisinau area, a battle took place between MiGs from the 4th IAP and Bf 109 from Stab and II./JG 77. Twenty German aircraft attacked the Soviet airfield, destroying eight aircraft on it. At this moment, the MiGs, which took to the air, intercepted the enemy. Afanasy Karmanov claimed three Bf 109s shot down. One of those shot down was sergeant major Hans Ilner of 4./JG 77. Karmanov was about to land at the Revak airfield when he spotted four Bf 109s heading towards the Soviet airfield. The Soviet pilot was almost out of gas and ammunition, but he attacked the enemy, intending to disrupt his plans. In the ensuing battle, the MiG was shot down. Karmanov left the vehicle, but his parachute did not open. Apparently, Karmanov was shot down by Oberleutnant Kurt Lase from III. JG 77. this was his fourth victory.
On the same day, A. Pokryshkin claimed his first victory - Bf 109. The next "Messer" Pokryshkin shot down on June 24th. Apparently, sergeant major Otto Köhler from P. JG 77, who was shot down in the area where Pokryshkin fought, became his victim.
On the night of June 24-25, Art. Lieutenant Konstantin Oborin from the 246th IAP in the Odessa region damaged He 111 propeller from 4. KG 27. The Heinkel made an emergency landing, the bomber crew almost immediately picked up another He 111. Oborin himself, although he survived the ram, was injured, who died on 18 August.
On June 25, a battle took place between four Bf 109s from II./JG 77, led by Lieutenant Walter Höckner. and MiGs from the 55th IAP, escorting twelve SB bombers. The escort did not cope with the task, as a result, the Germans claimed ten bombers shot down, including Höckner claimed eight.
On the same day, hostilities began on the border with Finland. On the Karelian front, there were MiG-3s in the 7th and 153rd IAP, a total of 105 aircraft.
The 55th IAP in the first days of the war proved to be the most effective fighter regiment. A.I. On June 26, Pokryshkin again increased his combat score by claiming two Hs 126s shot down in the Balti region. But in the same battle Pokryshkin's wingman Jr. was shot down. Lieutenant Dovbrya.
The next day, the regimental commander Ivanov shot down Hs 126. Ivanov's wingman followed the falling Henschel too far, and crashed into the ground with it. According to Pokryshkin, the pilot lost speed and fell into a tailspin while firing at the burning Hs 126.
Five other MiGs, flying with Ivanov, launched an attack on a column of German trucks. At that moment, eight Bf 109s from II./JG 77 appeared. When Pokryshkin turned towards the enemy, it turned out that the rest of the MiGs turned in the opposite direction. The Germans were divided into two fours. One attacked Pokryshkin, and the other went in pursuit of Ivanov. Pokryshkin skillfully maneuvered, managed to evade the attack and hide in the clouds. When he tried to leave his cover, he fell right on the Bf 109. The pilot did not lose his head and fired at the German from a short distance. But at that moment he himself was under fire. Nevertheless, Pokryshkin managed to avoid being hit, and soon the Germans had to lie down on the return course - apparently, they were running out of fuel.
At Ivanov's group, one MiG was hit and made an emergency landing. This victory belongs to Sergeant Major Rudolf Schmidt of 5./JG 77, his fifteenth victory.
Soon, three MiGs from the 55th IAP flew out to intercept a group of bombers marching on Chisinau. MiG pilots were: Pokryshkin, ml. Lieutenant Leonid Dyachenko and Jr. Lieutenant Nikolai Lukashevich.
Out of seven Ju 88s, Pokryshkin and Dyachenko shot down one aircraft each. At that moment, the Soviet pilots were attacked by four Bf 109s. It was too late to leave, Pokryshkin's group accepted the battle. Dyachenko was shot down, probably Hans Eser from 5./JG 77. In turn, Lukashevich claimed victory. He shot down Sergeant Loya, who had to make an emergency landing. During the first week of fighting, Pokryshkin shot down six aircraft: 3 Bf 109, 2 Hs 126 and Ju 88.
On Saturday, June 28, the squadron commander of the 147th IAP st. Lieutenant Leonid Illarionovich Ivanov on a MiG-3 fought with eight Bf 109s that attacked his airfield. Ivanov shot down three Messers and rammed the fourth. When ramming Ivanov died, on July 22 he was posthumously presented for the medal Hero of the Soviet Union.
On the same day, Jr. Lieutenant Nikolai Vasilyevich Yakovlev from the 55th IAP in the Kotovsk region rammed his MiG Ju 88, leading a group of German bombers.
June 29 MiG-3 Captain F.V. Atrashkevich from the 55th IAP received a hit during an attack on ground targets near the village of Costuleni in Moldova. Having no chance to leave the burning vehicle, Atrashkevich directed it to a convoy of German trucks. For this feat, Atrashkevich was posthumously presented to the Order of the Red Star. It was the first ramming of ground targets made on the MiG. On the Northwestern Front, until June 30, Soviet aviation lost 17 MiG-3s in the air.
On June 30, the 401st IAP arrived at the Zubovo airfield in Belarus. On the same day, the 402nd IAP began sorties in the Pskov region. The commanders of both regiments were experienced pilots from the Air Force Research Institute: Stepan Suprun and Pyotr Stefanovsky. In total, six regiments were formed from employees of the Air Force Research Institute. The 401st and 402nd IAP received MiGs.
In the first days of July, the pilots of the 401st IAP made five or six sorties every day. During the sorties, the pilots shot down several German aircraft, including four on Suprun's account. KG 53 "Legion Condor" is known to have lost one He 111 in the area.
On July 1, Stefanovsky announced the downed reconnaissance aircraft Do 215. Two weeks later, Stefanovsky was recalled to Moscow, where he received the post of deputy commander of the 6th IAK PVO and commander of fighter aviation in the western air defense sector of Moscow. Stefanovsky took advantage of his experience by developing a scheme for the use of MiG-3s in the Moscow air defense system.
One of the first combat operations of the 401st IAP from the Zubovo airfield located in the forest was a raid on a German anti-aircraft battery. During the raid, Kruglikov's MiG received a hit. The plane caught fire and exploded in the air. The pilot is dead. Then the pilots of the regiment repeated the raid and suppressed the battery.
On the account of Suprun himself is Bf 110. The Soviet pilot managed to impose a maneuvering battle on the vertical on the German. He waited until the Bf 110 lost speed in the hill and fell on the wing, after which he approached and shot the German aircraft.
On July 2, seven MiG-3s piloted by Pokryshkin escorted nine SBs. The group was attacked by three Bf 109s of Oberleutnant Kurt Lasse, Oberfeldwebel Erwin Riehl and Sergeant Major Wilhelm Baemgartner from 9./JG 77. Baemgartner shot down the jr. Lieutenant Stepan Komlev, the Soviet pilot jumped out with a parachute. Subsequently, the Germans claimed three SBs shot down, although in fact they managed to shoot down only two. Pokryshkin claimed an unconfirmed victory over the Bf 109.
On 4 July at 05:00 Ju 88s from KG 76 and KG 77 attacked the Soviet airfields of Opochka and Idritsa. At the first airfield, the Germans managed to destroy part of the planes stationed there. On the second, the Nazis could only damage the runway. MiGs tried to prevent the raid, according to the German side, one fighter was shot down.
To the north of Opochka and Idritsa was the Dno airfield, which was attacked by Bf 110s from ZG 26. Ml. Lieutenant Alexander Lukyanov from the 159th IAP shot down one Zerstöhrer on a MiG. On July 4, the commander of the 401st IAP died. Lieutenant Colonel Suprun flew out for reconnaissance in the Tolochin area. Suddenly, four Bf 109s from JG 51 and a pair of Ju 88s from KG 3 appeared in front of him. Suprun attacked the Junkers and shot him down. At that moment, the lieutenant colonel was attacked by "Messers". Leaving the pursuit, he did not calculate the height and crashed into the forest. On July 22, he was posthumously presented with the second star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. Suprun's place was taken by another famous pilot - K.K. Kokkinaki. who commanded the regiment until it was disbanded. On July 4, Captain G.Yu. began his combat journey. Bakhchivandzhi. which in the future will have to fly around the first Soviet missile fighter BI. Already on his first day at the front, he shot down two German aircraft, and soon doubled his combat score. In forty days, he made about 70 sorties, shooting down Bf 109s, Bf 110s, Ju 88s and Hs 126s.
On July 5, Lieutenant Heinz Baer claimed one downed MiG-3 (and two DB-3s), and Lieutenant Colonel Werner Mölders claimed two MiG-3s (and two SBs).
On July 7, Art. Lieutenant Anatoly Morozov from the 4th IAP. This pilot, in combat with a group of He 111s from I./KG 27 and eleven Bf 109s from III./JG 77, shot down one Heinkel. and then, having used up the ammunition, rammed the Messerschmitt. Then Morozov jumped out with a parachute, and, once on the ground, captured the German pilot Ober-Sergeant Georg Bergman. Until the end of July, Morozov claimed seven individual and two group victories. In addition, he destroyed eight aircraft on the ground.
On the same day, Lieutenant Kuzma Selivestrov from the 55th IAP attacked six Bf 109s and claimed one victory.
July 10 st. Lieutenant Mikhail Chunosov of the 402nd IAP shot down a Do 17 from Stab./KG 2.
On July 10, a battle took place in which Soviet-made fighters fought on both sides. On the Finnish side, two captured I-153s took part in the battle, and on the Soviet side, I-153s and MiG-3s. One of the Finnish aircraft was shot down (VH-lh), Lieutenant Kallio was killed.
On the night of July 21-22, when repulsing the first raid on Moscow, the pilot of the 41st IAP st. Lieutenant I.D. Chulkov shot down a He 111 bomber on a MiG-3, which crashed in the Podsolnechnaya area.
On July 24, two MiG-3s from the 55th IAP attacked a pair of Bf 109s from JG 77, escorting Hs 126 attack aircraft. The battle took place over Balti, by that time already occupied by the Wehrmacht.
Oberleutnant Erich Friedrich shot down Jr. Lieutenant Leonid Dyachenko, who died at the same time. A few hours later, the pilots of the 55th IAP and JG 77 again met in the air. Four MiG-3s and a pair of I-16s accompanied a Su-2 group that bombed the bridge across the Dniester in Mogilev-Podolsky. German fighters shot down two Su-2s and one I-16. One of the downed Su-2s made an emergency landing, the pilot managed to repair the damage, take to the air and return to base.
Pokryshkin's plane was damaged, the pilot had to make an emergency landing. This was already the second landing of Pokryshkin in the territory controlled by the enemy. The first time he was shot down in the Yass region, when he and his wingman were escorting a MiG flying on a reconnaissance mission. During landing, the plane crashed, and the pilot made his way to his own for four days.
During the second forced landing, Pokryshkin's plane received only minor damage. Nearby was a group of Soviet infantrymen leaving the encirclement. They had a truck. The plane was hitched to a truck, the wing panels were removed, and in this form the group began to make their way to their own. But soon the plane had to be unhooked and burned, as it severely limited the speed of the vehicle.
On July 26, during the counter-offensive near Smolensk, seven Pe-2s from the 50th SBAP flew out accompanied by MiG-3s from the 122nd IAP. The Soviet group was intercepted by twelve Bf 109s that came in from the direction of the sun. As a result, six bombers and one MiG were shot down.
On the night of July 29, Lieutenant P.V. Eremeev from the 28th IAP rammed a German bomber near Moscow, which he identified as a Ju 88. In fact, it turned out to be He 111 (1H + GS) from III./KG 26. Interestingly, this ram was seen by the German side, then as in the Soviet Union, Yeremeev's act did not receive much resonance.
On the evening of July 30, the new commander of the 401st IAP, Major K. Kokkinaki, flew out with two wingmen to free hunt in the front line area. Three MiGs were attacked by a group of German Bf 109s, one MiG was shot down, its pilot was killed. Two other pilots managed to break away from the persecution.
The next day, the 401st IAP claimed two downed Bf 109s. Losses of the regiment: two damaged MiGs and one wounded pilot.
At the end of July, the Central Front was disbanded, and its aviation was divided between the Western and Southwestern Fronts. As part of the Air Force of the Western Front, among others, the 129th IAP, flying on the MiG-3, entered.
On the night of August 10, the pilot of the 34th IAP, Lieutenant V.A. Kiselev rammed He 111. The next day, the pilot of the 27th IAP, Lieutenant A.N. Katrich, who shot down the Dornier. walking at an altitude of 8000 m.
On August 16, the Bryansk Front was formed. The front aviation had 138 aircraft, including 30 MiG-3s.
On August 20, Lieutenant Meshcheryakov from the 129th IAP led a squadron of MiGs, whose task was to intercept German Junkers that were going to bomb airfields in the Yartsevo area. The attack of the Soviet fighters took the Nazis by surprise. The bombers hastily dropped their bombs and turned back. One of the bombers lagged behind and became a victim of Meshcheryakov. At that moment, when the fate of the Junkers seemed to be decided, the Soviet pilot ran out of ammunition. Not wanting to miss the victory, Meshcheryakov rammed the bomber, breaking the tail of the German aircraft with a propeller. Meshcheryakov then landed the damaged vehicle on Soviet territory.
The next day, nine MiG-3s from the same regiment, led by the commander of Art. lieutenant Peter Simonovich Kovacs, accompanied by a group of IL-2. In the Potylica area, there was a collision with eleven Bf 109 and Bf 110. Kovacs shot down one Bf 110 in battle, and when he ran out of ammunition, he rammed two Bf 110s flying nearby. Kovacs died in the process, and on April 12, 1942 he was posthumously awarded title of Hero of the Soviet Union. During his career, he made 78 sorties on the MiG-3, participated in 28 battles, claimed 7 victories.
On August 21-23, MiGs and LaGTs from the 129th IAP made 69 sorties, mainly escorting the Ily-2, which stormed the German tank columns in the Dukhovshchina area and on the Tsarevich River.
On August 25, Oberfeldwebel Stefan Litjens of III./JG 53 claimed five victories in one battle, including over four MiGs.
On August 27, the pilots of the 35th IAP of the 7th IAK claimed three downed Bf 110s, and two days later six more. In both cases, the losses of the Soviet side amounted to one fighter.
On August 29, nine MiG-3s from the 402nd IAP escorted six Pe-2s from the 514th PBAP and four Ila-2s from the 288th ShAP, targeting the II./JG 52 airfield in Saltsy. Major Konstantin Gruzdev attacked and shot down one Bf 110. Apparently, the Major's victim was Sergeant Major Karl Grinniger of 4./ZG 26. Until February 1942, when Gruzdev returned to the Air Force Research Institute, he claimed 17 victories, including 13 to the end August 1941.
The 126th IAP distinguished itself in defensive battles in the Kiev direction. On August 24, the pilots of the regiment claimed 17 victories. The regiment claimed 36 victories during the first seven weeks of the war, losing 27 MiG-3s and I-16s. The best pilots of the regiment were Lieutenant Stepan Ridny and Jr. Lieutenant Vladimir Kamenshchikov.
On August 30, the Air Force of the Bryansk Front had 16 MiG-3s, and the Air Force of the Reserve Front had 9 MiG-3s.
At the end of August, the 177th IAP received the first MiG-3, and by the end of September, half of the regiment's pilots had already switched to this type of aircraft. The first pilot to complete retraining was the battalion commissar N.L. Khodyrev.
In early September, the German units surrounded Leningrad. The blockade of the city began, which lasted 900 days. In the first period of the city's defense, MiG-3s were actively used.
On September 5, the Air Force of the Bryansk Front had 12 MiG-3s. The 1st RAG (reserve air group) had another 15 MiGs.
On September 6, Oberleutnant August-Wilhelm Schumann from 5./JG 52, who by that time had 30 victories to his credit, fell victim to a MiG from the 159th IAP. The winner of the German ace was Jr. lieutenant Athanasius Coverage. The Soviet pilot escorted the downed German plane too far to make sure it fell, that he himself did not have time to get out of the dive and crashed into the ground.
On another sector of the front, on September 11, a battle took place between MiG-3s from the 402nd IAP and Bf 109s from 7./JG 54. Lieutenant Max-Helmut Osterman claimed two victories. The German side lost Lieutenant Peter von Malapert. The German pilot landed on Soviet territory and unsuccessfully tried to get away from the patrol pursuing him for the whole day. Having been taken prisoner, Malapert soon agreed to cooperate with the NKVD and wrote a text calling on his comrades to go over to the side of the Red Army. Later, this text was scattered in the form of leaflets over the airfield of JG 54.
On September 15, far to the north, the 72nd SAP had several engagements with German aircraft. Two MiG-3s piloted by 3. Sorokin and D. Sokolov took part in one of the battles. Each of the two pilots claimed one victory.
On September 17, Major Johannes Trautloft of JG 54 went on a so-called "free hunt" in the Leningrad region. During the relegation, Trautloft claimed several victories. Lieutenant Max-Helmut Osterman and non-commissioned officer Johann Halfman, who accompanied him, each claimed two downed MiGs. MiG-3s from the 6th IAK PVO often acted in their original role - high-altitude fighters. But at high altitudes, weapon failures often occurred, which simply froze. In such conditions, many pilots went to ram. For example, in a similar situation in September 1941, the pilot of the 34th IAP A.N. Katrich. In the area of Solnechnogorsk at an altitude of 9800 meters, he intercepted a German bomber. He managed to suppress the German gunners when his own machine guns failed. Then Katrich cut down the tail of the German aircraft with his propeller, and he did it so skillfully that he only slightly bent the blades. Katrich already had ramming experience when he served in the 27th IAP. The ram ended successfully for Lieutenant T. Belonosov. which shot down a German aircraft at an altitude of only 900 m.
On September 24, a pair of Bf 109s, piloted by Lieutenant Rall and Sergeant Koeppen, attacked a detachment of nine SBs and four MiG-3s. Köppen shot down a MiG flying with its landing gear extended and one SB.
At the beginning of October, three IAPs flying MiGs were transferred to the disposal of the Western Front: the 519th IAP, equipped with aircraft with PC, the 41st IAP, also equipped with PC, and the 28th IAP. The first two regiments were stationed at the airfield Tusheno, and the third - at the airfield in Stalinogorsk. The 519th IAP began sorties on 6 October, the 41st IAP on 7 October, and the 28th IAP on 8 October.
Also in early October, the 62nd IAP, partially equipped with MiGs, began combat sorties in the Black Sea Fleet.
On 2 October the pilots of II./JG 54 claimed twelve MiGs shot down with no casualties on their side. The MiG, shot down at 16:35 by Oberleutnant Shpete, proved to be JG 54's thousandth victory since the start of the war with the Soviet Union.
On the evening of October 3, six MiG-3s from the 129th IAP escorted three Ila-2s from the 15th ShAP, which stormed a German convoy near the village of Karpov. One Il was lost during the operation.
On the evening of October 3, the 509th IAP, staffed by inexperienced pilots, was forced to take to the air, as German troops broke into the airfield area. The flight from Kran to Livny was without loss. Until October 22, the regiment made 213 sorties, losing 13 of the 18 MiG-3s available.
On October 7, an aviation group was formed from four regiments subordinate to the command of the Western Front. The group, among others, included two regiments on MiG-3s.
On October 8, in a battle with two MiGs over Perekop, JG 77 ace Kurt Lasse, who had 41 declared victories, was killed.
On October 10, the Reserve Front was disbanded, and its aviation was transferred to the Western Front, which by that time had two IAPs on MiGs: the 28th and 519th IAP. On the same day, 60 aircraft from the 27th IAP and the 120th IAP participated in attacks on ground targets in the Belyi area. The next day, the raid was repeated by the forces of the 34th and 120th IAP.
On October 11, six MiG-3s from the 42nd IAP escorted twelve Il-2s. the purpose of which was the airfield near Orel. During the attack, three MiGs, led by Captain Morozov, covered the raid area, and the troika of Captain Georgy Zimin provided direct escort for the attack aircraft. At the time of the attack on the airfield, the MiGs spotted four Bf 109s trying to take off. All four German aircraft were destroyed. At that moment, five Ju 52s appeared above the airfield, marching at an altitude of 200 m. The MiGs attacked them too, declaring victory over all five German transport workers.
On the same day, Lieutenant N.G. Zabolotny shot down a Ju 88.
On October 11, Soviet bombers escorted by MiG-3s. attacked the positions of the LSSAH brigade. Pilots from II./JG 77 intercepted Soviet aircraft and claimed four bombers and one MiG shot down.
On October 12, Dmitry Kokorev, the author of the first battering ram on the Eastern Front, died. Before his death, he managed to shoot down the fifth plane.
On the same day, a battle took place between MiGs from the 16th IAP PVO and Bf 109 from I./JG 52, led by Captain Karl-Heinz Leesmann, whose task was to escort the Ju 88. Ml. Lieutenant Ivan Zabolotny shot down one German plane, but he himself was shot down, but survived and returned to the regiment three days later.
On October 12, the 126th IAP began sorties on R-40V aircraft. By this time, 26 MiG-3s had been put in order in the workshops of the regiment. also on October 12, the 120th IAP was attached to the air group of Colonel N.A. Bytov, supporting the actions of the 5th Army.
On October 13, the commander of the 180th IAP, Captain A.P. Snegirev, together with the adjutant of the regiment Art. Lieutenant Khlusovich landed by mistake on the airfield occupied by the Germans Mikhailov Khlusovich was the first to understand the mistake and managed to take off, while Snegirev died while trying to take off.
On October 14, the commander of the 55th IAP st. Lieutenant Konstantin Ivashov and his wingman. The next day, Kuzma Selivestrov, a veteran of the 55th IAP, who by that time had five personal and two group victories, died in a battle with Bf 109 in the Taganrog region.
The pilots of the 55th IAP by the end of 1941 made a total of 3583 sorties, conducted 400 air battles and claimed 82 victories. In addition, the regiment's pilots destroyed 133 tanks, 379 vehicles and 56 guns. Also on October 14, the pilots of the 16th IAP, Zabolotny and Mityushin, shot down a Ju 88 by joint efforts. In October, the pilots of the regiment made 172 sorties against ground targets. The destruction of 231 aircraft, 18 tanks and 6 bridges was declared. MiGs had to be used in the role of fighter-bombers due to the shortage of IL-2s.
On October 15, a group of 22 Do 17s from KG 2 attacked the Torzhok railway station. During the raid, German bombers intercepted MiGs, but not a single aircraft was shot down.
On the morning of October 18, Captain Gollob announced two downed MiGs. These were his 62nd and 63rd victories. Around 10:00 am, Gollob claimed five victories in one fight. and after dinner, two more.
October 18 st. Lieutenant I.P. Unrumpled rammed a Bf 110 A few days later he engaged two Bf 110s and shot them both down. On the way back, he was attacked several times by German aircraft. As a result, Nemyaty's vehicle caught fire, and the pilot had to make an emergency landing. On the same day, six MiG-3s from the 27th IAP took part in a raid on a German airfield near Kalinin. Regiment pilot V.N. Matakov shot down one Bf 109. Although Matakov's plane was also seriously damaged, the pilot managed to make it to the base.
On October 19, during raids on airfields in the Kalinin area, three pilots of the 27th IAP were killed: S.A. Rogozyansky, I.E. Loginov and A.A. Potapov.
On October 22, Lieutenant Yu.S. Seldyakov of the 34th IAP shot down a Ju 88 from I./KG 3.
In October, the pilots of the 34th IAP distinguished themselves. On October 22 alone, they carried out 59 sorties, despite difficult weather conditions, conducted 24 air battles and shot down 12 German aircraft.
On October 23, during the battles for the Crimea, German pilots from II./JG 3 and III./JG 77 claimed 11 MiGs, eight I-152s and three I-16s without losses on their part. October 23 Lieutenant A.V. Kupriyanov, making a reconnaissance sortie in the Mozhaisk area, intercepted two Ju 52s and shot them both down.
In the Moscow region on October 24, six MiG-3s from the 16th IAP attacked a group of enemy aircraft, consisting of eighteen Ju 87s and ten Bf 109 escorts. Among the Soviet pilots was I.F. Golubin, who skillfully used unguided rockets. In total, in October, the 16th IAP shot down six German aircraft using PCs. Here are Golubin's progress for the five days of October:
October 24 at 14:20 6 MiG-3s are fighting against 10 Bf 109s and 18 Ju 87s near Narofominsk. 6 victories were claimed, including Golubin claimed 2 Ju 87s. The regiment lost two MiGs, another fighter was seriously damaged. Pilots from Stab./JG 3 claimed five MiGs shot down.
October 25 at 12:40. 8 MiG-3s against 7 Ju 87s, 5 Ju 88s and 10 Bf 109s in the Kamenka area. Claimed 7 victories, including Golubin claimed 1 Bf 109.
On the same day at 16:45. 7 MiG-3s against 18 Bf 109s and 25 Ju 87s in the Kamenka area. Claimed 5 victories, including Golubin claimed 1 Bf 109.
October 29 at 9:50. 8 MiG-3s against 12 Ju 87s and 8 Bf 109s in the Narofominsk area. Claimed 7 victories, including Golubin claimed 1 Bf 109 and 1 Ju 87.
Same day at 12:10. 9 MiG-3s against 16 Bf 109s in the Vyrobov area. 6 victories are claimed, including Golubin claimed 2 Bf 109s. Until December 15, Golubin shot down 10 Luftwaffe aircraft: 7 Bf 109s and 3 Ju 87s, and also participated in two group victories over Bf 109s.
On October 24, MiGs from the 27th and 28th IAP escorted Pe-3s from the 95th IAP and 208th IAP, which attacked the airfield near Kalinin. Five Pe-3s were lost during the attack. Escort MiGs managed to shoot down a Bf 109F that was trying to take off.
The 34th IAP lost Lieutenant A.I. Shcherbatykh, shot down by Major Lyuttsov. On the same day, the younger brother of Stepan Suprun, Alexander Pavlovich Suprun, an experienced pilot who served in the 16th IAP, got into a very difficult situation. In a battle with a group of Ju 87s and Bf 109s, Suprun Jr. used rockets. Later, his plane was fired upon at low altitude. The pilot managed to make an emergency landing. Mechanics counted 118 holes in the MiG skin, and part of the propeller blade was also shot off.
On October 25, SAP 3 pilots Sorokin and D. Sokolov engaged four Bf 110s. Sorokin shot down one and rammed another German. Then he made an emergency landing in the tundra and got out to his own for six days until he was picked up by a rescue team.
On October 27, 3 MiG-3s and 3 I-153s from the 120th IAP escorted 5 Il-2s from the 65th ShAP, which attacked German tanks in the Spas area. The raid took place at 8:52. On the same morning, an hour before, in the Serpukhov area, a raid was made by a group consisting of 5 MiGs and 3 I-153s accompanying 3 Il. The raid at 8:52 was especially successful, the attack aircraft managed to catch the German tanks at the time of refueling.
On October 29, a Bf 110 from 3./ZG 26 was shot down in an unusual way. Jr. Lieutenant Boris Kovzan from the 42nd IAP. The Soviet pilot cut off the tail of the German plane with a propeller, and then landed his damaged vehicle on the field near the collective farm. The malfunction was eliminated and the pilot reached his airfield. There it turned out that Kovzan's weapons were in order and there were enough cartridges for machine guns. When Captain Georgy Zimin asked Kovzan why he did not shoot, but went to ram, Kovzan honestly answered that he did not know how to shoot. Indeed, Kovzan was a courier aviation pilot who had undergone retraining and mastered the piloting of the MiG, but he did not undergo small arms training. Subsequently, Kovzan became a specialist in ramming, successfully shooting down four German aircraft in this way.
On the same day, Bf 110s from II./SKG 210 captured the 423rd IAP at the moment when the regiment was relocated to the Volintsevo airfield near Tula. V.I. died in the battle. Dovgiy, A. Denisenko and N.G. Zabolotny. The Germans lost one Bf 110.
In the third decade of October, the 10th IAP, numbering 17 MiG-3s, entered the Air Force of the Kalinin Front.
The MiG-3 was highly survivable, and its modular design facilitated repairs. Repair of the aircraft was usually carried out by the forces of the regimental workshops; there was no need to send damaged aircraft to the rear.
For example, in the 27th IAP in November they carried out a general overhaul of 19 vehicles, current repairs of 16 vehicles. Engines were replaced on 12 aircraft. Only MiG Captain V.N. Makatova received such severe injuries that he had to be sent to the factory.
Since the planes were worth their weight in gold, they tried to evacuate all the machines that needed to be repaired.
On November 1, the commander of the 27th IAP ordered the regiment's technicians to evacuate the MiG-3, which had made an emergency landing near the village of Suvorovo near Volokolamsk. The rescue team worked in difficult conditions, in close proximity to the front line. The plane lay in the middle of the swamp. It got dark early, so all the work had to be done at night. Within two days, the plane managed to be pulled out to a dry place and taken to the rear.
Sometimes mechanics were able to return to service aircraft that were to be decommissioned. In October, the mechanics of the 16th IAP managed to assemble a serviceable aircraft from several broken MiGs.
In the same regiment, they managed to restore the broken MiG. found on a railway platform. A group of mechanics led by A.P. Markova, in search of boards, discovered a train of 12 broken MiGs, destined for scrapping, standing on long-distance routes. Mechanics worked on these machines and managed to return eleven of them to service. In total, 34 seriously damaged aircraft were repaired in the 16th IAP. Some of the MiGs were repaired 5-6 times.
November 6 st. Lieutenant Ivan Zabolotny of the 16th IAP entered into a difficult battle with the Ju 88 and declared a probable victory. MiG received 127 holes.
On November 14, the pilots of the 28th IAP made 51 sorties and conducted 26 air battles. Eight Bf 109s were claimed, although only two victories were confirmed (aircraft Nos. 8985 and 12755). The regiment lost two MiGs (Nos. 3409 and 5064), destroyed during a forced landing. Five more aircraft (Nos. 5001, 5047, 5061, 5070 and 5072, that is, all of the same series) crashed. Two pilots survived, one died when descending by parachute, the other crashed along with the vehicle. The fate of the fifth pilot is unknown. The opponent of the 28th IAP during this period was I./JG 52.
Also on November 14, the pilots of the 34th IAP fought with a group of German Bf 109E and Bf 109F fighters, accompanying a group of He 111, who were going to bomb the Vnukovo airfield. Only six MiGs were in the air, ten more were on the ground at a gas station. Soviet pilots claimed eight downed fighters (7 Bf 109 and 1 Bf 110) at the cost of one MiG. The actual losses of the Luftwaffe that day were two Bf 109s and one Bf 110.
From November 28, the pilots of the 519th IAP, which, together with the 312th ShAP, was part of the 47th SAD from the airfield in Tushino, used special anti-tank missiles RBS-82 and RBS-132, as well as high-explosive fragmentation missiles ROFS- 132. Despite the fact that the combat tests of the missiles were successful, they did not receive mass use.
On November 30, in the area of Solnechnogorsk, seven MiG-3s from the 180th IAP, led by Captain V.V. Novikov-Ilyin, entered the battle with nine Bf 109F. Each side lost one aircraft. MiG-3 Lieutenant SV. Makatova made an emergency landing behind the front line at a German airfield near Klin. A MiG jr immediately landed next to the damaged aircraft. Lieutenant S.F. Dolgushin, who picked up Makatov, took off and returned safely to base. In turn, the downed German Messerschmitt No. 12756, piloted by O. Milbauer, landed on Soviet territory. The German pilot was picked up by a Storch.
In November, in raids on the airfields of the 6th IAK, German aviation managed to destroy only one MiG from the 519th IAP and damage three more aircraft.
On December 5, MiG-3s from the 129th IAP intercepted a group of Ju 88s and claimed five victories.
On December 6, the 129th IAP, led by Major Berkal, one of the first fighter regiments, received the rank of Guards and became known as the 5th GVIA.
On December 7, the 120th IAP participated in the attack on ground targets. The regiment performed similar tasks in the following days. As a rule, MiGs covered the attack area, and ground targets were attacked by "seagulls".
On December 30, an attack on ground targets was carried out by a group of five MiG-3s of the 16th IAP, piloted by N. Dunaev. N. Buyan, A. Semenov, I. Zabolotny and A. Mityushin. The last pilot barely made it to the front line on his plane and made an emergency landing. The next raid also involved five MiGs. In the third sortie, I. Zabolotny, who died at the same time, and I. Shumil were shot down. who, despite his burns, returned to the regiment the next day.
On January 1, 1942, seven MiG-3s were in the Air Force of the Kalinin Front, and in the air group of General I.F. Petrov is seven more. On February 22, there were no more MiGs in the aviation of the front.
On June 4, the pilot of the 16th IAP I.P. Shumil made a ram on his MiG. Three days later, the pilot again engaged in combat with a group of Ju 87s and Bf 109s. Using rockets, he shot down two Ju 87s.
At the beginning of 1942, the second squadron of the 7th IAP, equipped with MiG-3s, was deployed near Chersonesus.
On February 8, Captain Meshcheryakov from the 5th GVIAP died near Rzhev. On that day, he and his wingman attacked a train at the Rzhev station. At that moment, Meshcheryakov's vehicle was hit by an anti-aircraft shell. Seeing that it would not be possible to pull the plane out, Meshcheryakov sent it to the train with fuel. For his feat, the captain was presented posthumously to the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Sergeant Leonid Ivanovich Sevryukov fought on the Black Sea as part of the 7th IAP. In the three months since December 1941, when he joined the regiment, he flew over 150 sorties in chest weather and shot down four Ju 88s.
On February 12, Sevryukov took off on his MiG to intercept four Ju 88s flying in the direction of Anapa. Attacking the enemy in the forehead. he shot down one Junkers, and turning around, shot down the second. On February 28, he flew out to intercept a group of He 111 and Ju 88. In battle, he shot down one Ju 88. and, having used up ammunition, rammed the second. At the same time, Sevryukov died. On October 23, 1942, he was posthumously presented with the Hero's Star.
On February 21, the 122nd and 519th IAP, equipped with MiGs, were part of the aviation of the Western Front. On February 28, only the 519th IAP continued to operate as part of the front.
On February 27, the pilots of the 120th IAP. led by captain V.M. Tomilin. 4 Bf 110s were shot down in the Medyn area, including one victory on the captain's account. At the same time, Lieutenant Rybtsov's squadron intercepted five German bombers, identified as Do 215s, escorted by fighters. In a bold attack, Soviet pilots shot down three Dorniers. Mechanics of the 120th IAP repaired 11 MiGs in February, and another 23 aircraft underwent routine repairs in the workshops of the regiment.
On March 7, the 120th IAP received the rank of Guards for its merits and became the 12th GVIAP. Prior to this date, the regiment made 5,700 sorties, including 1,293 to attack ground targets.
8 Aviation of the Northern Fleet at the beginning of 1942, there were only 4 MiG-3s in the 72nd SAP. During the fighting in the Crimea and Ukraine, MiG-3s were used in limited numbers. For example, the famous 55th IAP still flew MiGs. At the beginning of July, the regiment still had one squadron of MiGs, while the other two squadrons were already flying Yak-1s. MiG-3s were still in the first line in the summer of 1942. There were 409 of them, they were assembled mainly as part of air defense regiments. A year later, there were 215 of them, and in 1944 - only 83, mostly in flight schools. In 1945, the Air Force no longer had MiG-3s.
In the European part of the Soviet Union, the 7th IAP of the Black Sea Fleet flew MiGs longer than others. Back in the spring of 1944, one of the squadrons of the regiment flew MiGs.
The situation in the east was quite different. Aviation of the Pacific Fleet received 57 MiG-3s by the end of 1942. On January 1, 1944, the fleet aviation consisted of 51 MiGs. Together with 44 Yakami-7B and one LaGG-3, they were the only representatives of a new type of fighter in the region. Three of the MiGs operated in the winter of 1943/44 arrived as early as July 1941.
Not a single MiG-3 has survived to this day. For many years, the MiG-3 stood in the premises of the Aviation Academy in Monino, along with allied aircraft and captured equipment. In the fifties, the vehicle was sent for scrap. At present, only a mock-up is located in Monino, which is a kind of cross between the I-230 and the MiG-3.
In addition to the Soviet Union, the MiG-3 was in service with two more countries. In 1944, after Finland's withdrawal from the war, the Soviet government handed over several serviceable MiGs to Finland. But the Finns did not have time to receive these aircraft, since the vehicles prepared for dispatch were accidentally destroyed during the Allied raid.
Romania became another user of MiGs. In 1941, at least one serviceable MiG, about which there is confirmed information, fell into the hands of the Romanians. On December 3, 1941, a MiG landed at the airfield in Melitopol, which drove a Ukrainian deserter across the front line. The aircraft was included in the 19th reconnaissance squadron, where one I-16 was already located. The MiG was assigned the tactical number "2" (the number "1" was carried by the I-16). The Romanians flew this MiG for a long time, the plane waited for the “liberation” by the Soviet troops in September 1944. By this time, the aircraft was wearing a spotted camouflage characteristic of Romanian aviation.