Aviation of Word War II
Yaks in the Great Patriotic War
The description of the battles involving Yakov -7 and -9 will begin on December 30, 1942. During a sortie to attack enemy positions in the Gruzin area (Leningrad Front), four Yak-7Bs from 283 IAP met two He-111 bombers and shot down one of them.
But not near Leningrad at that time the fate of the war was being decided. The main battles were fought in the south. On July 23, 1942, five Yak-7s from 296 IAP attacked a group of six Ju-88s. The strong defensive fire of the German bomber gunners did not allow the fighters to succeed for a long time. In the end, after several attacks, one of the pilots, Jr. Lieutenant M.I. Pamyatin managed to shoot down one of the bombers. However, his plane also received several hits in the radiators, and the pilot had to make an emergency landing.
It was here, on the distant approaches to Stalingrad, that the 434th IAP under the command of Kleshchev became famous. On July 26, 1942, the pilots of this regiment, armed with the Yak-7B, shot down 34 enemy aircraft in eleven air battles.
A premonition of a major success arose after the battle held by the Yak-7 family, under the command of Captain V.P. Babkov. In the Kalach area, they intercepted a group of enemy aircraft, consisting of about 50 Ju-87s, which were sent to bomb the crossing across the Don River. The task of the Soviet fighters was made easier by the fact that the Germans went without cover. In the first surprise attack, five Stukas were shot down, then four more, and finally two more. Yak-7 returned to their airfield without loss. Eight other Yak-7s under the command of Captain Izbinsky, from the same 434 IAP, achieved similar success in this area. This time the ratio of Soviet and German fighters was more equal - thirteen German bombers covered nine Bf-109s. Izbinsky divided his vehicles into two groups. The first, under his command, attacked the bombers and destroyed five of them. Another group, consisting of two pairs, which tied the Messerschmitts in battle, also managed to achieve two victories. All Yak-7s, although with significant damage, returned to their airfield. On the same day, in other air battles, pilots of the 434th regiment shot down 16 German aircraft. By the end of the day, Captain Babkov, Lieutenants N.A. Karnachenok and Savelyev had two or three downed aircraft. Only three Yak-7s were lost, but all the pilots bailed out and soon returned to their unit.
Another success was achieved by a large group of Yak-7Bs from 288 NAD - on September 5, 1942, they shot down three Bf-109s and two Ju-88s. Pilots of Lieutenant Colonel S.F. Konovalov did not suffer any losses.
Let's stay in the south. On September 16, 1942, Kleshchev's pilots replenished their collection of downed German aircraft with several more aircraft. Eleven Yak-7Bs under his command carried out air cover for troops in the area of the Kotluban railway station. Here they met a large group of German aircraft of fifty Ju-87s with a cover of several pairs of Bf-109s. The German fighters made the mistake of taking up a position at a great distance from the guarded bombers. Before they arrived in time to rescue them, Ivan Kleshchev and Dolgushin shot down one Ju-87 each. After that, a battle ensued with aggressive Messerschmitts. Kleshchev won again: he and Yakimov shot down one Bf-109 each. The Germans managed to shoot down one Yak-7. The lack of information about other downed Ju-87s suggests that the Soviet pilots still did not complete the task, allowing the bombing of their troops.
The next day, September 17, 1942, the 434th fighter again met in battle with the Ju-87 and Bf-109. This time the Yak-7B group was commanded by Captain Izbinsky. It included such experienced pilots as S.F. Dolgushin, Kotov, V.I. Garanin, Koshelev, Prokopenko and N.A. Kornashenok (an interesting list, considering that at the time the Jagdgeschwadern pilots rarely allowed young Soviet fighter pilots to fly more than ten sorties) and a few young pilots. The battle developed according to the same scenario as the day before: first, one Ju-87 was shot down by I.I. Izbinsky and Karnashenok. Then, in the ensuing battle with the Bf-109s that came to the rescue, two of these German fighters were shot down, one by Lieutenant S.F. Dolgushin, the other by Senior Lieutenant F.F. Prokopenko. Only one Soviet pilot was killed. But it was a very bitter loss - the fighter of one of the four girls who served in the 434th IAP - Claudia Nechaeva, fell in flames.
From the documents of the 16th VA it is known that on September 17, 1942, the pilots of the Kleshchev regiment completed 65 sorties and destroyed seven enemy aircraft.
On September 18, 1942, four groups of Yak-7Bs from 434 IAP provided air cover for the Kotluban railway station. In the group of A.F. Semenov were: Captain Stepan Mikoyan (son of People's Commissar A. Mikoyan), S.F. Dolgushin and Lukiy. Three other groups were commanded by: I.I. Izbinsky, A.P. Shyshkin and Baklan. This dozen Soviet fighters were attacked by nine Bf-109s, which had the task of pulling them away from the protected object. However, the German attack failed - the Germans lost one "Messer", which was shot down by V.I. Garanin.
On the same day, eight fighters sent to another area for patrol, announced the destruction of two Ju-87s. A.F. group Semenov, which was located above the Kotluban station, was pointed at the German reconnaissance FW-189 and the leader of the group shot him down.
Immediately after that, the group was forced to land, as it ran out of fuel. After refueling, thirteen Yak-7Bs, driven by I.I. Izbinsky started again. It was a period when Soviet fighters did not have to look for the enemy - there were many aircraft in the sky. Near Stalingrad, the fighters ran into a group of "Junkers" under the cover of Bf-109. Two bombers were shot down, but in pursuit of the rest, the second son of Anastas Mikoyan, Vladimir, died. The young eighteen-year-old lieutenant had only a few sorties under his belt. In his last battle, the mind managed to shoot down one Junkers, but immediately after that, his Yak-7B was shot down by two Bf-109s. On this day, 434 IAP sent 19 enemy aircraft to the ground, but, alas, several pilots of the regiment also died .
The next day, the 16th VA lost only one plane, but it was the Yak-7B of the commander of the 434th regiment, Ivan Kleshchev. The burnt pilot managed to jump out with a parachute. On the same day, that is, September 19, 1942, the Yaki-7B of this famous regiment shot down 15 enemy aircraft.
The next two days were also successful: on September 21, twelve Yak-7Bs, led by Captain A.I. Yakimov, intercepted fifteen Ju-87s with a strong escort of ten Bf-109s. Soviet pilots announced the destruction of seven enemy vehicles (information about their own losses is unknown). For tomorrow, a pair of Yak-7Bs under the command of I.I. Izbinsky shot down three bombers - M.A. Garan, A.P. Shishkin and N.A. Karnashenok distinguished themselves. Unfortunately, Karnashenok died in this battle. He was a hero of the Soviet Union, an experienced pilot who had more than a dozen downed enemy planes to his credit.
On August 20, 1942, the 288th IAD, fully equipped with the Yak-7B, was introduced into the battles near Stalingrad. Although it did not achieve such significant success as the 434th IAP, it also contributed to the victory in the skies over the Volga. The most productive of the regiments included in this division was the 4th IAP - from September 7 to 12, its pilots shot down 29 enemy aircraft, losing nine of their Yak-7Bs.
September 27, 1942, at 8 hours 50 minutes, took off twelve Yak-7B led by the commander of the 288th IAD - Lieutenant Colonel Konovalov. Northwest of Stalingrad, at 4,000 m, they met up with a group of Ju-88s under a strong escort of twenty-two Bf-109s. In the first attack, the Soviet pilots shot down two Junkers, and scattered the rest. A little later in the battle with the Bf-109, Lieutenant Colonel Konovalov, Captain Myakishev and Lieutenant Golovchinsky shot down four German fighters. About the losses on the Soviet side is unknown.
In January 1943, heavy fighting was going on not only near Stalingrad, but also in the north of the Soviet Union. On January 15, 1943, in the Velikiye Luki region, seven Yak-7s from the 653rd IAP under the command of Major G. Prokofiev carried out patrols. This flight was an exceptional event in the history of air combat described by Soviet authors. The aforementioned Yak-7Bs collided with six Bf-109s. What is unique about this, one might ask. And the fact that there were more Soviet fighters! (Usually, in the memoirs of fighter pilots throughout the war, situations were described as in Vladimir Vysotsky’s song “I am a Yak fighter”: “There are eight of them, there are two of us.”) And they used this advantage - two Messerschmitts were shot down by Lieutenant Yakub , one each captain Kapashtin and senior lieutenant Vetrov, the fifth German vehicle was counted as a group victory. Although the historian gave the time of patrol, from 13 hours 37 minutes to 14 hours 45 minutes, he did not mention anything about his own losses.
On February 23, 1943, during the battles over the Demyansk pocket, the Yak-7 squadron from the 42nd IAP, under the command of N. Tikhonov, suffered heavy losses. During an attempt to attack the German bombers, they were intercepted by fifteen Bf-109s and several FW-190s. This time it was a draw. Soviet pilots managed to shoot down two FW-190s, but they themselves suffered losses - two Yak-7s along with the pilots: A. Legachkov drowned in Lake Ilmen after a parachute jump, and Senior Lieutenant V. Safonenko was captured, from which only in July 1944.
Another air battle that took place on the same day involved seven Yak-7s and ten FW-190s. Shot down in this battle, V. Krutikov broke a kind of record: in the battles over the “Ramushev corridor”, he escaped for the third time by jumping out with a parachute.
March 15, 1943. Fierce air battles arose over crossings across the Lovat River. So eight Yak-7Bs from the 875th IAP, led by squadron commander Captain M.S. Gordeev, entered the battle with seventeen Ju-87s, covered by four FW-190s and four Bf-109s. Part of the Yak-7 attacked the bombers, and the remaining four machines grappled with the cover fighters. Soviet pilots shot down three German fighters and one Ju-87. The next day, March 16, the regiment also held several successful air battles. One of them was especially successful: eight Yak-7Bs intercepted twelve Ju-87s over the crossings and destroyed seven of them. It was an exceptionally good day for three pilots of the 875th IAP and the 271st IAP who fought on the Yak-7B - Senior Lieutenant P.I. Muravyov and Lieutenant I.A. .Vostryukhin destroyed four vehicles.
April 21, 1943. The Yak-7 also fought as part of naval aviation. On this day, two squadrons of Il-2 flew out on a mission to destroy watercraft in the Narva Bay. Their direct protection was provided by eighteen Yak-7s. Additional cover was provided by a group consisting of twelve La-5s from the 4th GIAP. A 45-minute air battle broke out over the waters of the Baltic with German and Finnish aircraft. The Soviet pilots won it with a score of 19:6. Aviation of the Baltic Fleet lost two Il-2s, three Yak-7s and one La-5. According to Soviet sources, four Finnish Fiat-G50s and one Buffalo were destroyed, the rest were Bf-109s and FW-190s. In Finnish publications, the losses were described differently. The Finns confirm the loss of two Buffalos - one BW-354 was shot down in aerial combat, the other BW-352 by anti-aircraft fire. Surprisingly, they also claim to have shot down ten Yak-1s, five LaGG-3s and four La-5s.
Six Yak-7Bs from the 18th GIAP took an active part in the destruction of about a dozen enemy aircraft on May 5, 1943 at the Alsufyevo airfield near Bryansk. The main work was carried out by eight Il-2 attack aircraft, under the command of Captain A.Ya. Suvorov.
On May 22, 1943, six FW-190s from JG54 shot down two Yak-7s from the 21st IAP of the Baltic Fleet. Both Soviet pilots: Sergeant P.A. Zamyko and Lieutenant I.A. Chernichenko died.
May 1943 was a period of fierce air battles over the defensive line known as the Blue Line. On May 26, 1943, six Yak-7Bs from the 43rd IAP, led by the unit commander, Major A.A. Doroshenko, attacked the Anapa airfield. The source of information about the results of this raid was the prisoners captured a few days later. They confirmed the destruction or damage to nine aircraft, as well as fuel tanks.
And again we will return to the north, to the region of Leningrad. On the evening of May 30, 1943, a major air battle took place over Osipovichi. Soviet observation posts detected a group of German aircraft of forty-seven He-111 and Ju-88 bombers, escorted by twenty FW-190s and Bf-109s. The first to intercept them, at 20 hours 16 minutes, took off the group of captain S.G. Litavrin. Six minutes later they engaged the German fighters. From that moment on, both sides increased the number of aircraft involved in this battle. The Soviet side raised fighters from the 275th and 240th NAD. When six Yak-7Bs from the 86th GIAP, under the command of Captain Korotkov, approached a group of fourteen He-111s, two FW-190s blocked their path, but junior lieutenant I.K. Somov shot down one of them, a little later he managed to send He-111 to earth. The second "Heinkel" from this group was destroyed by a ram by Senior Lieutenant Gorokhov, but after this attack, his Yak-7B was so badly damaged that the pilot had to escape by parachute. Six other Yak-7Bs from the 86th GIAP, led by Senior Lieutenant A.N. Derkach, got to the Heinkels that had no cover, and the leader personally shot down two of them. In total, 79 Soviet fighters were lifted into the air, 45 of which entered the battle. They destroyed seven bombers and eleven enemy fighters. Own losses amounted to three Yaks.
On July 5, 1943, in the first days of the Battle of Kursk, the pilot of the 54th GIAP, junior lieutenant V.K. forced to save himself by parachuting out of a damaged vehicle.
One of the regiments that particularly distinguished themselves during the Battle of Kursk was the 65th GIAP. On July 12, 1943, a group of Yak-7Bs, under the command of Captain V. Kubarev, came across German Ju-87 bombers guarded by FW-190s. In the battle that unfolded in the Highmountain region above the Oka, G. Guzkov shot down a Stuka, and junior lieutenants Vershkov and Popov each shot down a Focke-Wulf. The plane destroyed by Popov crashed near Oltukhov. On this day, the pilots of the 65th GIAP destroyed five enemy aircraft in ten air battles, Captain V. Kubarev shot down two more aircraft on his Yak-7.
On the same day, eight Yak-7Bs from the 3rd GIAP under the command of Captain A. Krivushin collided with eighteen Bf-110s from ZG I, which were escorted by eight Bf-109s. The Germans lost five vehicles.
On July 14, the pilots of the 20th IAP from the 303rd IAD distinguished themselves (this is a famous division, which included the glorious 18th GIAP and the Normandie-Neman regiment). Six Yak-9s were escorted by Il-2 attack aircraft. During the flight to the target, they encountered twenty-two Ju-88s, which were covered by four FW-190s. A pair of M. Tochkov connected the German fighters in battle, another pair - junior lieutenant Zverev, remained to guard the attack aircraft, and N. Svidchenko and junior lieutenant Steblenko took up the main work. As a result of the attack, the first of them shot down two, and the second one Ju-88.
When it was not possible to destroy the enemy in the usual way, Soviet pilots went to ram. This was done on July 23, 1943 by junior lieutenant I.Ya. Gorovets from the 64th GIAP, hitting the German Ju-87 bomber with the wing of his Yak-7B, and although the wing of his fighter came off, he managed to jump out with a parachute and stay alive.
July 25, 1943. More modest was the production of N. Shutt. His pair of Yak-7Bs from the 265th IAP covered the Il-2 group. When they were attacked by two Bf-109s, N. Shutt got out of the attack, and then shot down one of the enemy fighters.
August 4, 1943. Six Yak-7Bs from the 728th IAP, under the command of Captain Vorozheikin, carried out air cover for the Soviet troops in the Rakovo, Pushkarnoye, and Tovmarovka areas. Twelve Ju-87s, under the cover of eight fighters, had the imprudence to enter this area, for which they paid the price - Soviet pilots shot down eight enemy aircraft, including four - Vorozheikin. This is a rare example of the effectiveness of a pilot in one air battle even in Soviet literature.
IAP - Istrebitel'nyy aviatsionnyy polk - Fighter Aviation Regiment
GIAP - Gvardeyskiy istrebitel'nyy aviatsionnyy polk - Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment
IAD - Itsrebitel'naya aviatsionnaya diviziya - Fighter Aviation Division
IAK - Istrebitel'nyy aviatsionnyy korpus - Fighter Aviation Corps
The description of the next battle is found - and this is a rarity - in three different publications. All three descriptions are quite different from each other. There is agreement on one point: on August 30, 1943, in the Yelnya area, four Yak-9Ds from the 18th GIAP stumbled upon a large group of enemy aircraft.
Yakov's pilots were: N.K. Pinchuk paired with Lobachev and Sibirin with Arseniev. Differences: the enemy group consisted of fifty Ju-87s and FW-190s, or up to forty vehicles of the same type. All publications agree that six Yak-9s from the Normandie-Niemen regiment joined the battle. Some confusion reigns over the distribution of downed aircraft. Version one: each of the Soviet pilots shot down one Ju-87, and Pinchuk rammed another one, after which he was forced to parachute. In total, the Germans lost nine vehicles; not a word about the French. Version two: Pinchuk, Arseniev - one Ju-87 each, Captain Sibirin - one Ju-87 and FW-190, Lieutenant Lobachev - two "Things". The French from the Normandie-Niemen destroyed three enemy aircraft - a total of nine victories.
A few days later, on September 4, the pilots of the 18th GIAP were already in a completely different mood. At 1730 hours, eight Yak-9Ds led by Lieutenant B. Lyapunov took off with the task of providing air cover for the troops. Five minutes later they met up with thirty-six He-111s, guarded by two fours of FW-190s. In the first attack, B. Lyapunov and G. Khoroshev shot down one He-111 each, and three more bombers were damaged. But at that moment, two eights of FW-190s from JG54 entered the battle. Despite unequal forces, the Soviet pilots managed to shoot down three fighters with "green hearts" on the fuselages. However, their losses were heavy. The flaming and broken Yak-9Ds killed: B. Lyapunov, D. Lobachev, I. Sobolev and V. Loginov - experienced pilots, each of whom had 10-12 downed aircraft on his account.
September 18, 1943. The pilots of the 812th and AN, who fought in Ukraine, were also in a sad mood. Four Yak-9Ts from this regiment were attacked in the Vasilevka area by eight Bf-109s. Taken by surprise, they lost two young pilots - junior lieutenants A.S. Rusakov and P.I. Kondakov.
Not the best mood reigned in the same regiment the next day. Eight Yak-9Ts, which accompanied the Pe-2s returning from the mission, were attacked by a group of Bf-109s. Lieutenant G.P. was shot down. Churakov, but death overtook him already on the ground, where he was killed by German infantrymen. He probably managed to destroy two Bf-109s before that. “Probably”, since it is difficult to be sure which of the pilots inflicted mortal damage on enemy aircraft in this heated battle. Another "Messer" fell to pieces after the attack of Junior Lieutenant Struk.
It is not entirely clear why the 812th IAP was never awarded the title of "Guards". This unit, which had great merits, exceeding the achievements of many titled and repeatedly awarded units, went through its entire combat path in the rank of an ordinary fighter regiment. An example of the skill and heroism of its pilots is the battle that took place on September 21, 1943 on the southern front. At 1230 hours, ten Yak-9Ts from the second squadron took off over Bolshoy Tokmak. The forces were distributed in such a way that there were six vehicles in the group of captain Andyukinov, and the remaining four in the cover group of I.V. Fedorov. The work was found very quickly: two groups of ten He-111 guarded by Bf-109. Soviet pilots, mostly experienced veterans, knocked three bombers out of German formation. I.V. Fedorov, Andyukinov and Razumovich destroyed one "Heinkel". Follower of Fedorov - Maximov, shot down one Bf-109. After the destruction of four German aircraft, the Soviet pilots withdrew from the battle without loss.
September 25, 1943. Almost all of September, the 812th IAP participated in intense battles, but on September 25 they reached an exceptional intensity. First, a group of Yak-9Ts attacked about twenty Ju-87s in the Melitopol area, accompanied by Bf-109s - here Junior Lieutenant Maksimov shot down one "Thing", and Lieutenant Shishkin chalked up Bf-109s. And after that it went ... When Martynenko's group was in the air, he shot down a Bf-109, another pilot - Ju-88. In the airspace over Bolshoy Tokmak, a group of Yak-9Ts under the command of I.D. Fedorova at an altitude of 4000 m met several Ju-88s. Fedorov and Kalugin destroyed one bomber each. Two groups of Yak-9T captain I.F. Popov attacked the Stukas and Lieutenant Dergunov ensured that one of them completed its flight in the land of Ukraine.
Already at the end of the day, when the Soviet pilots were celebrating a good day, a dozen Yak-9Ts, led by I.V. Fedorov, were lifted into the air. When they were already running out of fuel and had to return to the airfield, they found fifty-four He-111 nines marching in formation. There was only one chance left for an attack, and Fedorov decided to use the powerful weapons of his Yaks, firing a simultaneous volley from all barrels. Six Yak-9Ts attacked the lead nine of the He-111 and the effect of this attack was stunning: shells fired from a distance of about 100 m tore three bombers to pieces. The fourth, damaged "Heinkel" was finished off by Fedorov. The power of the fire of the NS-37 gun was so great that the wing of the Non-111 fell off - it fell to the west of Bolshoi Tokmak. Probably the only loss on this day full of victories was A. Mashenkin's Yak-9T fighter, shot down by fire from the shooters of another group of He-111, over Shcherbanovka, this pilot was captured. In total, on September 25, fighters from the 812th IAP destroyed 13 German aircraft, mostly bombers that were very valuable to the Germans.
On the same day, Hungarian pilots entered the battle with the Yak-9. In the morning, First Lieutenant Debrodu and Sergeant Kovacs received an order to escort the German He-111s, which were heading towards the front line, to the Kiev region. The Hungarians immediately started and flew below the gray clouds at an altitude of 4000 m. The bombers did not arrive at the meeting point at the appointed time, but several Yak-9s appeared instead. After the Soviet pilots noticed the Bf-109, they attacked. Two fighters disappeared into the clouds above, the other two dived, and then went into climb, going across the Messers. During the attack of the lead fighter, Debrodu maneuvered up and to the left, the Yak-9 turned, giving the enemy an opportunity to open fire - a burst of Bf-109 cannons hit the wing, cockpit and engine of the Yak. At that very moment, Debrodu also received a hit. He tried to turn his plane away, but the engine lost power, and flames appeared from under the hood. He was pursued, it was too much for a parachute jump, the Hungarian had to make an emergency landing 15 km from the front line, on Soviet territory. His plane crashed, but Debrodu escaped captivity, and after two days of wandering full of adventures, having crossed the Dnieper, he returned to his unit.
After this short break, let's return to the success of the main characters of the publication.
October 15, 1943. 12 Yak-9s from the 18th GIAP were launched to take part in the air combat. At the head of this group was the commander of the regiment A. Ya. Golubev. From the ground, they were directed at two groups of enemy aircraft, twelve Ju-88s each, which covered two groups of FW-190s. Golubev, sent a group of Zapaskin to the German fighters, deployed his own eight to the front line of the Junkers. He managed to shoot down one bomber and damage two. The Germans could not withstand the attack and turned back. Now it was time for the rearguard. In further attacks, G. Khosroev and I. Selivanov also won, but the Yak-9 of the latter, having received hits from the defensive fire of the bombers, exploded, and the pilot died. In the battle with fighters, the group of V. Zapaskin also achieved success. Zapaskin and V. Balandin shot down one FW-190 each.
When tired Soviet pilots landed on their airfield, the next twelve Yak-9s from the same 18th GIAP taxied to the start. The group was led by K.F. Fedorov. Twenty-seven He-111s, accompanied by eight FW-190s, became the opponents of the Soviet pilots. The distribution of forces was approximately the same as in the previous battle - a group from the second squadron was directed against the FW-190, and two fours of Yak-9 from the third squadron took up the bombers. The groups were headed by K.F. Fedorov and V. Seregin. Soviet fighters usually tried to shoot down the leading bomber in the first place, in this case they succeeded: Fedorov and G. Yaskevich shot down two He-111s flying ahead.
Another group took care of a dozen "Heinkels" flying in the tail. This time, three aircraft fell in flames. N. Zamkovsky and N. Danilenko destroyed one each, the third was recorded as a group victory. N. Danilenko added one more FW-190 to his downed ones. In total, in these two battles, the Germans lost eleven vehicles, and the Soviet side confirmed the loss of only one Yak-9.
On October 23, 1943, the pilots of the 821st IAP had a rather rare opportunity to hunt the Hs-129. In the Danilo-Ivanovka area in Ukraine, four Yak-9Ts, driven by I.V. Fedorov, met three enemy aircraft flying at an altitude of 100-150 m. The first "Henschel" was torn apart by the Yak-9 Fedorov shells. At that moment, eight more Hs-129s were in the area. Of these, Soviet pilots shot down two - Shishkin and Maximov achieved success. The third "Henschel" damaged by Fedorov went to an emergency landing on its territory.
Thanks to the publication "Hs-129 - Soviet Tank Destroyer" you can check this information. Three Hs-129s were lost that day, all in Ukraine. Vehicle #140759 belonged to (Pz)Sch.G9, its pilot was killed, and the pilot of aircraft #140748 from 14.(Pz)Sch.G was also killed. The third attack aircraft No. 141271 belonged to the Romanian Air Force. The planes were probably shot down by anti-aircraft artillery fire, it is possible that they fell victim to Yaks from the 812th IAP.
Two days later, on October 25, 1943, a group of Yaks from the 812th IAP under the command of I.V. Fedorova provided air cover for the troops. In its course, Soviet pilots managed to destroy several German aircraft of various types, so Fedorov and Kalugin shot down one Ju-88 on their Yak-9Ts.
On the same day at 11:40, six Yak-1s under the command of Lieutenant Martynenko destroyed one Ju-88 and one Bf-109. Almost at the same time, three more air battles took place with the participation of six Yak-7s, led by I.V. Fedorov. When meeting with the Bf-109, Soviet pilots shot down one fighter. Finally, at 13:08, six Yak-7s intercepted two Hs-129s west of Akimovka. One of them ended his career by being shot down by Lieutenant Maximov; the second escaped.
Let's return to the work of Martin Pegg: "On this day, two Romanian Henkels, No. 140739 and No. 141239, damaged in the air over their own troops, landed on an emergency landing." Perhaps this time the pilots of the familiar 812- th IAP.
On November 3, 1943, one of the pilots of the 519th IAP, senior lieutenant V.A. Bashkirov, achieved unusual success. During a flight in his Yak-7A, with a mechanic sitting in the rear cockpit, he ran into a Ju-88 and shot it down. But this was not what brought him fame, later he was attacked by four FW-190s, and he managed to shoot down three of them! So it is written in the work "Tactics in Combat Examples". True, the second one, shot down by the FW-190, crashed into its neighbor and destroyed it, but the fact remains that the Luftwaffe lost three Focke-Wulfs.
Air skirmish between eight Yak-9Ts from the 148th IAP with Focke-Wulfs, probably belonging to JG54, ended with a score of 8:3. On February 15, 1944, Yaki-9Ts were escorted by Il-2 attack aircraft, which attacked the Nevedrits airfield. Pilots Shcherba and Ordin shot down four fighters, one each was recorded on their accounts: Lutsenko, Savchenko, Parada and Dronov. I. Karpenko, N. Pashkov and Dronov crashed in their vehicles.
Three days later, on February 12, the pilots of JG 54 defeated a group of Soviet aircraft, which included six Yak-9Ds from the 66th GIAP and several Il-2 attack aircraft. In the area of Staroye Selo (Baltic), they were intercepted by twelve FW-190s. The Germans shot down three Yaks and three more were badly damaged. There is no information about the losses of attack aircraft, but you can guess what the Focke-Wulfs could do with unguarded Ils. The Germans lost only one vehicle.
An unusual task was performed by Yak-9 from the 3rd IAK (Fighter Air Corps). On March 17, 1944, an Il-2KR was shot down, but it did not crash, and its secret equipment turned out to be intact. The Soviet command could not allow it to fall into the hands of the enemy. The extent to which this task was considered important can be judged by the composition of the group that was entrusted with the destruction of Ila: the corps commander General Savitsky, the commander of the 812 IAP I.V. Fedorov and two experienced pilots who went with them as wingmen. Obviously, the task was completed.
On April 4, 1944, eight Yak-9s from the 195th IAP under the command of Captain V.A. Makarov were ordered to prevent the bombing of thirty-three Ju-87s guarded by twelve FW-190s. Makarov, at the head of the group, attacked the bombers, and they, together with their wingman, Lieutenant I.N. Savelyev, shot down one "Thing". When four FW-190s attacked Savelyev's plane, Lieutenant B.N. Karamyshev came to the rescue, causing damage to the German fighter. Another FW-190 was shot down by Saveliev, who took advantage of the confusion in the ranks of the enemy. A group of Yak-ninth lieutenant N.P. Besedin added another FW-190 to this, so the Germans lost five vehicles. The Soviet pilots landed without loss.
A pair of Yak-9Ts from the 812th IAP: I.V. Fedorov and Sukhorukov, May 6, 1944 showed an example of well-aimed fire, over the place where a large number of Soviet pilots were brought up - over Kacha. These pilots discovered a pair of Bf-109s during a free hunt. A few shells from the NS-37 cannon were enough to smash the Messer to pieces.
Operation "Bagration" was a period of hot air battles. On June 26, 1944, twelve Yak-9s from the 18th GIAP patrolled the air over the battlefield. They were commanded by V.I. Zapaskin. When two groups of nine Ju-88s and sixteen FW-190s appeared, Zapaskin divided his forces into two parts: six Yak-9s went to the bombers, and the remaining six engaged in combat with the fighters. Despite the fact that the shooters of the Junkers opened fierce fire, A. Zakharov and V. Zapaskin shot down one bomber each. Ju-88 Zapaskin exploded in the air. The German bombers could not withstand the onslaught and turned back. Now it was possible to deal with the second nine "Junkers". However, here the production was more modest, M. Abramishvili shot down one Ju-88. Six Yak-9s, which grappled with German fighters, added two more FW-190s to the total score. Thus, the Soviet pilots were able to report the destruction of six enemy aircraft.
Obviously, all these descriptions of successful battles involving Yaks must be approached very carefully. The following example may serve as a basis for such skepticism. Six Yak-9s from the 195th IAP flew out to intercept twelve Finnish Blenheime and fourteen Curtiss P-36s. After landing, the Soviet pilots reported the destruction of one bomber and four Curtiss. However, this could not happen. The Finns not only did not lose a single Blenheime or Curtiss, but on that day - July 28, 1944, not a single Finnish aircraft was shot down at all.
On the same day, another battle took place over the territory of Lithuania. Four Yak-9s from the 65th GIAP, under the command of Lieutenant V.V. Kiselnikov, flew out for reconnaissance in the Jelgava region. Over the airfield that was the target of their reconnaissance mission, they encountered six patrolling FW-190s. In a frontal attack, Soviet pilots shot down two of them, and later a third. A new four FW-190 appeared, and after 9 minutes of battle the result was 7:0 in favor of the 65th regiment. At the thirteenth minute, another FW-190 received damage, thereby bringing the score to seven destroyed and two damaged. Having completely exhausted their ammunition, the Soviet vehicles returned to their airfield.
On August 20, 1944, ten Yak-9s from the 150th GIAP, led by the regiment commander, Lieutenant Colonel A.A. Oboznenko, attacked sixty Ju-87s near Yassy, flying under cover of 20 fighters. The Germans lost seven aircraft, three of which were destroyed by the regimental commander. No worse were the successes of the other two groups of Yak-9 fighters of the same regiment. The group of senior lieutenant N.S. Egorov was supposed to put up a barrier of twenty-seven Ju-87s and twelve FW-190s. Six Soviet vehicles turned towards the Junkers, while the other two received the task of tying up the Focke-Wulfs in battle. Soviet pilots shot down five planes, two of them were on account of Yegorov. The power of Yak-9K fire was experienced by one of the pilots of JG54. August 27, 1944 V.M. Fedorov and senior lieutenant Sukhorukov from the 812th IAP during an air battle over Lithuania managed to approach the FW-190 unnoticed and a shell fired from a 45 mm cannon tore off the wing of a German fighter.
Fifty-four Il-4 bombers from the 113th BAD, pilots of the 29th GIAP, who flew in the protection of fifty-four Il-4 bombers, also achieved success. A powerful escort consisted of twenty-two Yak-9s, commanded by Major A.F. Dvornik. Not far from the Luostari airfield, they were attacked by eight Bf-109s and six FW-190s. The attack was repulsed without loss, and junior lieutenant I.S. Street cleaner.
On November 16, 1944, a group of German fighters, in which Hungarian pilots from 101/1 FS and 101/III Fs were sitting, flew on a mission to the Budapest area. At an altitude of 6000 m, they met La-5. One of the pairs of Bf-109 G14s immediately carried out a frontal attack by Soviet fighters, during which one of the La-5s was hit by a projectile fired from the cannon of First Lieutenant Debrod, and fell engulfed in flames. The leader of another pair, Lieutenant Tibor Tobak, also opened fire, and when his plane passed the enemy, La-5 became an excellent target for his wingman, Lieutenant Guli Pinter, who shot him down with a short burst. A group of Hungarians flew in the direction of Hatvan, where they were attacked by a group of Yak-9s. The Messers gained altitude, and soon a battle with the Yaks began over Nagukata. Debrodu and the Soviet Yak-9 simultaneously opened fire on each other on a collision course. As a result, Yak disappeared in a large ball of fire. Veger was badly injured and had to make a belly landing because of this. Immediate medical attention saved his life, but he was no longer able to fly. Here is a list of aircraft shot down by 101/3FS pilots that day:
First Lieutenant Georgi Debrodu - 1 Yak-9, 1 La-5
Lieutenant Guli Pinter - 1 La-5
Lieutenant Tibor Tobak - 1 La-5
Corporal Laszlo Baldishar - 1 La-5
On January 18, 1945, pilots of the 10th GIAP won an outstanding victory over the territory of Northern Poland. Ten Yak-9s, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Petukhov, intercepted a group of twenty FW-190s with suspended bombs, which were guarded by twelve Bf-109s. Let's say briefly: ten minutes later the result was 10:0 in favor of the Soviet pilots. As often happened, the leader, S.M. Petukhov, turned out to be the most productive, he shot down two planes on his own and one together with his wingman, G.Ya. Evstigneev. The rest of the pilots are Lieutenants B.N. Gavrilov, V.F. Seregin, Ya.M. Anokhin, V.M. Voronyuk, N.Ya. Ivantsov, P.P. Kolesnikov, M.I. Elagin was recorded on their combat accounts for the next aircraft.
March 9 was a difficult day for the Hungarian pilots. From the very morning we had to repel the attacks of the Soviet attack and bomber aircraft. Fighters from 101/I FG and 101/III FG were taken into the air. A group of Bf-109s in the Gardon area at an altitude of 3500 m collided with ten or twelve La-5s and La-7s. Lieutenant Toth shot down one of the Soviet fighters, it was his 22nd victory.
Another group of eight vehicles under the command of First Lieutenant Mathe at 10:15 flew out for a free hunt. At the moment these Bf-109s took off, sixteen Boston A-20s were bombing the Warpalot; among other targets, he received hits, and a German hospital in which there were 140 wounded. The Hungarians overtook the Bostons south of Xor; Ens Ashtalos and Lieutenant Malik shot down two of them. The La-5s that appeared managed to send the Bf-109, tail number W-1 + 71, piloted by Malik, to the ground. It fell southeast of Oska. The slightly wounded pilot returned to his airfield on foot.
At 1310 hours, eight aircraft from 101/III FG started to intercept twenty-five A-20s, escorted by sixteen Yak-9s, which were bombing targets between Igel and Tab. Bf-109s began to climb and when they reached the northern shore of Lake Balaton they were already at an altitude of 3000 m. The Bostons began to turn south and over Igal were intercepted by the Hungarians. Lieutenant Pinter, flying the Blue One, shot down a Boston in the first attack, but was hit on the right wing by a Soviet fighter. One Yak-9 was shot down by Lieutenant Daniel and Captain Ferek Shute.
Eight planes that took off later than 101/III FG engaged in combat over Kalnes. The forces were equal, and Enz Szentfyuorgi brought the number of aircraft shot down by him to 24 - destroying one Yak-9, which crashed northwest of Sarbogad. On this day, Hungarian fighters made 56 sorties.
Hungary, March 11, 1945. All aircraft from the groups that were fighting two weeks earlier completed a total of 40 sorties. The first skirmish took place in the area between Seregelis and Adona. Six Il-2s collided with eight Bf-109s. The fighters at the time of the discovery of Ils were at an altitude of 6000 m, and Soviet aircraft at an altitude of 2000 m. Two Ils were shot down in the first attack. From the hits of Lieutenant Daniel, one of them exploded right in the air.
Two days later, on March 13, at 1304 hours, four of the 101/1 FG set off for the mission, but failure pursued them. First they met with six Yak-9s over Simontornui and six more over Ozora. Soviet pilots shot down two Bf-109s: W-1+99
Enza Ashtalos sat on his belly, and Sergeant Baranu on W-1 + 15 was gone. Ashtalos did not return to the unit, but two days later Baranu, who was considered dead, appeared at the airfield. Ens Bela Suru put his "white unit" on his belly after an engine failure and returned on foot the same day.
The record for all types of Yaks was April 18, 1945. Armed with Yaks, the 3rd IAK shot down 76 enemy vehicles in 84 air battles! Senior Lieutenant I.G. Kuznetsov and Captain S.N. Morgunov sent four aircraft each to aviation heaven (and maybe into hell). During the fighting over Germany, the Yak-9U made their debut; On April 30, 1945, V.V. Isaev from the 42nd GIAP shot down an FW-190 over Berlin on this plane.
The Yak-9 was the last Soviet fighter to be lost, and at the same time the last to win an aerial victory in World War II. On August 15, 1945, ten Yak-9s from the 19th IAP, part of the 10th ADPB (Dive Bomber Division) of the Pacific Fleet Naval Aviation, fought an air battle with two J2M Raiden, and at 13:33, Senior Lieutenant Zhivotovsky shot down one of them.
Four hours later, at 5:08 pm, twelve Yak-9s from the same unit again engaged two other Raidens and shot down one. The reasons for the loss of two Yak-9s from the Pacific Fleet Air Force are still not clear. On August 13, 1945, they did not return from a reconnaissance flight over the Sea of Japan. The last to be lost was the Yak-9 aviation of the Northern Squadron of the Pacific Fleet. He was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery fire over Sakhalin three days later.