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Hello everybody,
 
While we're making Battle of Kuban, community enthusiasts III/JG2_Gustav05 and I./ZG1_Panzerbar were also busy making the Bf 109 F-4 and Ju 87 D-3 skins even more historically accurate and adding minor details and peculiarities. In addition, I./ZG1_Panzerbar updated the Fw 190 A-5 default skin. You can see the result of their work on the screenshots below. Most of them were taken in the skies over Kuban so you could see how diverse it is. And all this is just Summer textures, while Spring and Autumn versions of the map will be included too.
 
0. Bf 109 F-4, default camo.
Stanitsa Timashevskaya fields, northern part of the map
109_00_Timashevskaya.jpg
 
1. Bf 109 F-4, default winter camo.
Winter Stalingrad map
109_01_Stalingrad.jpg
 
2. Bf 109 F-4, experimental Hungarian Pattern (three-colored, vertical stripes).
Black sea limans (lagoons) near stanitsa Blagoveschenskaya, Temryuk peninsula
109_02_Temruk_Lemans.jpg
 
3. Bf 109 F-4, Fw. Eberhard von Boremski, 9./JG3, Chuguev, May 1942.
Caucasus foothils, stanitsa Abenskaya
109_03_Abinskaya.jpg
 
4. Bf 109 F-4, Ofw. Rudolf Müller, 6./JG5, Petsamo, August 1942.
Caucasus ravines, Indyuk settlement
109_04_Induk.jpg
 
5. Bf 109 F-4, Fw. Ernst Schultz, 8./JG5, Petsamo, March 1943.
Azov sea limans (lagoons) near Tchaikino, Temryuk peninsula
109_05_Chaykino.jpg
 
6. Bf 109 F-4, Hptm. Hans Joachim Marseille, 3./JG27 commander, Quotaifiya, Egypt, September 1942.
Krasnodar southern outskirts
109_06_Krasnodar.jpg
 
7. Bf 109 F-4, Maj. Hanns Trübenbach, Stab./JG52 commander, Bukharest-Pipera, September 1941.
Tschikhskoye reservoir on Kuban river, stanitsa Voronezhskaya
109_07_Voronezhskaya.jpg
 
8. Bf 109 F-4, Lt. Hermann Graf, 9./JG52 commander, Kharkov, May 1942.
Forest patch near Ivachovskoye settlement
109_08_Ivachovskaya.jpg
 
9. Bf 109 F-4, Hptm. Hans Philipp, Stab I./JG 54 commander, Krasnogvardeysk, June 1942.
Lower Pshish river near stanitsa Bzhedukhovskaya
109_09_Bjedykhovskaya.jpg
 
10. Bf 109 F-4, Lt. Hans Beißwenger, 6./JG54, Rjelbitzi, June 1942.
Black sea coast near Gagry settlement
109_10_Gagry.jpg
 
11. Bf 109 F-4, Oblt. Max-Helmuth Ostermann, 8./JG54 commander, Siwerskaja, May 1942.
Winter Stalingrad map
109_11_Stalingrad.jpg
 
12. Bf 109 F-4, Major Gordon Gollob, Stab./JG77 commander, Oktyabrskoye, Crimea, June 1942.
Gorge near Krasnaya Polyana settlement
109_12_KrasnayaPolyana.jpg
 
13. Bf 109 F-4, Oblt. Heinrich Setz, 4./JG77 commander, Kastornoje, August 1942.
Aibga ridge
109_13_AibgaRift.jpg
 
14. Bf 109 F-4, Oblt. Kurt Ubben, 8./JG77 commander, Chaplinka, October 1941.
Mountain Tchugush
109_14_ChugushMountain.jpg
 
0. Ju 87 D-3, default camo.
Novorossiysk port
87_00_Novorossiysk.jpg
 
1. Ju 87 D-3, default winter camo.
Winter Stalingrad map
87_01_Stalingrad.jpg
 
2. Ju 87 D-3, Lt Gerhard Martens, 8./St.G.1 pilot, Velikiye Luki, December 1942.
Winter Stalingrad map
87_02_Stalingrad.jpg
 
3. Ju 87 D-3, 1./V.Kdo für Panzerbekämpfung, Bryansk, January 1943.
Winter Stalingrad map
87_03_Stalingrad.jpg
 
4. Ju 87 D-3, Hptm. Bruno Dilley, Gr.Kdr., Stab I./St.G.2, Stalingrad, Autumn 1942.
Kerch port
87_04_Kerch.jpg
 
5. Ju 87 D-3, Hptm. Ernst Kupfer, Gr.Kdr., Stab II./St.G.2, Stalingrad, Autumn 1942.
Tuapse port
87_05_Tuapse.jpg
 
6. Ju 87 D-3, Hptm. Gustav Pressler, Gr.Kdr., Stab III./St.G.2, Stalingrad, January 1943.
Winter Stalingrad map
87_06_Stalingrad.jpg
 
7. Ju 87 D-3, 2./SG 2, Nikolayev, February 1944.
Winter Stalingrad map
87_07_Stalingrad.jpg
 
8. Ju 87 D-3, Gyula Pénzes, 2/2 zb.szd., Kharkov, Summer 1943.
Sochi valley
87_08_Sochi.jpg
 
9. Ju 87 D-3, Alfons Auner, Esc. 73 Pikaj, Mariupol, August 1943.
Krasnodar at evening
87_09_Krasnodar.jpg
 
10. Ju 87 D-3, 207 Sq. 103, Gr.Aut. Tuffatori, Chilivani, May 1943.
Anapa at dusk
87_10_Anapa.jpg
 
0. Fw 190 A-5, default camo.
Kerch straight
190_00_Penisuela.jpg
 

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183
 
Hello everybody,
 
three weeks ago I promised that we'll publish an article about Soviet VVS pilots and here it is now. It is also compiled by I./ZG1_Panzerbar (216th_Lucas_From_Hell helped with the initial translation), who created the skins for La-5FN fighter that is coming to our sim.
 
In Dev Diary #180 I mentioned that to understand the real price and importance of the Allied victory, it is important to know the story of their enemies as well, so that DD was about Luftwaffe aces. Today we'll tell you about the Soviet pilots, who again and again took off in their fighter planes and stood up against the highest ranking aces in the world. In spite of all the experience and skill of their enemies, Soviet and other Allied pilots slowly, but inevitably turned the tide of the war and helped USSR and Allies to win.
 
 
00. Early standard camouflage.
 
00.jpg
 
The earlier La-5FN series, produced during Summer 1943, were painted standard camouflage according to the order of the People's Commissariat of the Aviation Industry No. 547ss from June 20, 1941 (NKAP-41).
The top of the wings and fuselage were painted with protective green AMT-4 and black AMT-6. Lower surfaces were applied sky-blue AMT-7. Identification marks are painted in 6 positions, without borders.
 
 
01. Late standard camouflage.
 
01.jpg
 
All La-5FN produced from the end of the summer of 1943 carried standard camouflage according to the order of the People's Commissariat of the Aviation Industry No. 389/0133 dated July 3, 1943 (NKAP-43).
The top of the wings and fuselage were painted dark gray AMT-12 and gray-blue AMT-11. Lower surfaces were painted with the same sky-blue AMT-7 as before. Identification marks are painted in 6 positions and were slightly enlarged and got a thick white and thin red outline.
 
 
02. "White 57", 32 GIAP.
 
02.jpgSKIN02 32GIAP.jpg
 
La-5FN (board number 57) from the 1st squadron of 32 GIAP, one of the very first 12-aircraft series of La-5FN, during the front-line Summer 1943 test. on the northern facet of the Kursk Bulge. Identification marks and the onboard number is of a larger size, which became the standard for Lavochkin fighters until the end of the war. The red spinner and the front of the engine are rapid identification elements of 32 GIAP. 
 
 
03. Alexander Ivanovich Mayorov was born on 01/01/1921 in the village of Kesova Gora of the Kalinin region. Russian.
 
03.jpgSKIN03 Mayorov.jpg
 
In May 1941 he graduated from the Borisoglebsk Military Aviation School of Pilots and remained there as an instructor. In February 1942 he was transferred to 425 IAP. 03/19/1942 in LaGG-3 he won his first air victory - Me-109 (shared with another pilot). April 10, 1942 Jr. lieutenant Mayorov and 9 other pilots were transferred to 2 giap. The regiment was equipped with LaGG-3 fighters and operated as part of the Volkhov Front Air Force. 08/11/1942 the regiment was withdrawn from the front for re-training on La-5 fighters.
 
Mayorov particularly distinguished himself in the battles on the Kursk Bulge. By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on September 2, 1943 he was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (No. 1105).
 
Alexander Mayorov had to visit almost every section of the Soviet-German front - he fought in the skies of Kalinin, Steppe, Bryansk, Western, 1-st Baltic, 3rd Belorussian, 1-st Ukrainian fronts. Since the end of Autumn 1944 he flew the La-7.
 
On April 26, 1945, Guard Captain Mayorov was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Berlin. Having miraculously survided an emergency landing, he survived, but injured his spine.
 
He made more than 300 combat sorties, conducted 68 air battles, scored 13 personal (including 5 Fw190) and 6 group air victories. Member of the historic Victory Parade on June 24, 1945 in Moscow on Red Square.
 
Battle awards: Hero of the Soviet Union (02.09.43); Order of Lenin (02.09.43), two Orders of the Red Banner (19.02.1943, July 29, 1943), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (05.09.1944), the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (11.03.1985), the Order of the Patriotic War of the 2nd degree (29.05.1945), the Order of the Red Star, medals.
 
After the war, he continued to serve in the Air Force as deputy commander. In 1949, he graduated from officer training courses and became the deputy chief of staff of the air defense corps. In 1974, Guards Colonel A.I. Mayorov retired from Air Force. He lived in Odessa, worked at a rescue station. He died on October 26, 2004.
 
On this La-5FN (number 25) of 2 GIAP Guards Captain Mayorov fought on the 1st Baltic front during Autumn and Winter 1943-44. On September 25, 1943, 12 new La-5FN fighters were sent to 2 GIAP, built using the money donated by Mongolian workers. The inscription "Mongolian Arat" and the front part of the engine hood is red-orange color.
 
 
 
04. Ivan Alekseevich Vishnyakov was born on June 15, 1917 in the village of Tribunki, Lipetsk region. Russian.
 
04.jpgSKIN04 Vishnyakov.jpg
 
In 1938 he graduated from the Borisoglebsk Military Aviation School of Pilots and then served as an instructor at the Bataysk Aviation School.
 
In the battles of the Great Patriotic War from July 1941 he flew the I-16 of 296 IAP. In April 1942 he was transferred to 171 IAP. His first victory on June 27, 1942 was a Bf109. In Spring the regiment was part of the air defense of the city of Tula and on Bryansk front since Summer 1942. During the battle on the north of the Kursk Bulge, he declared 4 victories. Participated in air battles during operations to liberate Velikiye Luki, Pskov, and Riga (Latvian SSR). He met the end of the war in Courland.
 
He made 286 sorties, particiapted in 52 air battles, scored 20 air victories (4 Bf109, 14 Fw190, 1 Ju88 and 1 Fw189).
 
A participant in the war with Japan, Yak-9, consisting of 47 IAP, carried out 9 sorties. During one of the attack plane was hit, he hardly brought the burning aircraft to the airfield.
 
Surprisingly, during the war, despite a solid combat account, he was never awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Ivan Vishnyakov was awarded the medal "Golden Star" only three years after the war, on 23.02.1948.
 
Battle awards: Order of Lenin (23.02.1948), four Orders of the Red Banner (11/05/1943, July 18, 1943, April 30, 1944, August 29, 1945), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (February 23, 1944), two Orders of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (07.09.1943, 11.03.1985), the Order of the Red Star, medals.
 
After the end of the fighting he continued to serve in the Air Force. In 1953 he graduated from the Air Force Academy and piloted jet and supersonic aircraft. Major General Aviation I.A. Vishnyakov retired from Air Force in 1975. He worked in the aviation department of the Central Committee of the DOSAAF. He lived in the city of Moscow and died on August 2, 1992.
 
This La-5FN (number 76) was the personal aircraft of Ivan Vishnyakov in 171 IAP during Summer 1944. The number of white stars corresponds to the personal combat score of the pilot since June 6 to July 19, 1944. Aircraft camo is standard NKAP-43. The inscription "For Oleg Koshevoy" was, according to memoirs, applied to all planes of the Vishnyakov’s squadron.
 
 
05. Anatoliy Vasilyevich Ruzin was born in 1923 in the city of Moscow. Russian.
 
05.jpgSKIN05 Ruzin.jpg
 
A member of the Red Army since 1941, he graduated from the military aviation school. On July 10, 1943, junior lieutenant A. V. Ruzin of 159th IAP started his combat service on La-5 fighter. His first air victory (the Finnish Bf109G) was won on February 26, 1944.
 
Particularly distinguished in the summer battles on the Karelian Isthmus.
By November 1944, Lieutenant AV Ruzin, commander of the 2nd Squadron 159 IAP (275 IAD, 13 VA, Leningrad Front), flew more than 130 sorties, conducted 40 air battles in which he gained 11 air victories: 6 Bf109G, 4 Fw190A, 1 Ju87D.
Since November 1944 159 IAP was out of action, covering the coast of Estonia and remaining ready to strengthen the air grouping of Soviet troops in Courland). He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner (15/05/1944, July 25, 1944) and the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class (11.03.1985).
 
La-5FN (number 15) was the personal plane of Anatoly Ruzin during Summer 1944 on the Leningrad front. The inscription "For Vasjok and Zhora" is put on board in memory of two combat friends of Anatoliy - the commander of the 2nd Squadron 159 IAP Lieutenant Vasily "Vasjok" Grechka and Lieutenant Andrey "Zhora" Vasilyev, who both were killed on June 28, 1944 in the fight against Fw190As of II./JG54 over Vyborg/Viipuri (Karelian isthmus).
 
 
 
06. Konstantin Savelievich Nazimov was born on March 4, 1915 in the Volkovaya village, not far from Petrograd. Russian.
 
06.jpgSKIN06 Nazimov.jpg
 
In 1939 he was drafted into the Red Army and a year later graduated from the Chuguev Military Aviation School of Pilots.
When the war began, Lieutenant K. S. Nazimov was far from his native city: almost for 3 years Constantine served as an instructor pilot. Nazimov's mother and his stepfather, Saveliy Nikolaevich Rafekov, died in the Leningrad blockade from starvation, his half-brother Misha Rafekov, a fighter of the Leningrad militia, died in battle near Gatchina. His wife and daughter were evacuated to Kazakhstan, in the city of Chimkent. Constantin insistently wrote reports with a request to be sent to the front. Only in early 1943 he managed to achieve his goal.
 
Since March 1943, Lieutenant K.S. Nazimov, on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, as deputy commander of the squadron 254 IAP (14th Air Army, Volkhov Front), flew to La-5. A year later he became commander of the squadron, a senior lieutenant, and had 12 victories in his account.
 
By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of October 26, 1944, commander of the squadron 254 IAP (269 IAD, 14 VA, 3rd Baltic Front), captain K.S. Nazimov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal 4519).
 
In November 1944. 254 IAP was transferred to the Kharkov Military District, to the airfield Lebedin, for upgrading the new staff and re-equipping the Yak-9 fighters.
 
On December 23, 1944, Captain Nazimov was killed in an airplane crash.
 
In total, he carried out about 350 sorties, conducted more than 35 air battles, gained 19 air victories personally (11 Fw190 of them) and 2 shared with other pilots.
He was buried in a mass grave at the Myronositskoye Cemetery in the city of Lebedin, Sumy region.
 
Military awards: Hero of the Soviet Union (26.10.1944), Order of Lenin (26.10.1944), two Orders of the Red Banner (11.05.1943, 12.09.1943), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (07.06.1944), the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (18.10.1944).
 
La-5FN (number 71) of 254 IAP, the personal plane of Constantine Nazimov during Autumn 1944 on the 2nd and 3rd Baltic fronts. The number of stars (21) reflects the overall combat score of personal and group wins. There is a picture of eagle that carries a bloodied Hitler.
 
 
 
07. Yuri Mikhailovich Lubenyuk was born in 1916 in the town of Narodichi (nowadays an urban settlement of the Zhytomyr region). Ukrainian. 
 
07.jpgSKIN07 Lubenyuk.jpg
 
Since 1940 year in the ranks of the Red Army. From November 22, 1942, Junior Lieutenant Yu. M. Lubenyuk served on the front as commander for 240 IAP (302 IAD, 4 IAK), flying the La-5, fought on the Voronezh and Steppe fronts (another ace, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Kirill Alekseevich Evstigneev served under Lubenyuk’s command).
 
Since October 1943, Lubenyuk was commander of the 3rd Squadron, 813 IAP (215 IAD, 8 IAK), flying both La-5 and La-7, and fought on the 1st and 2nd Belorussian fronts. He ended the war as commander of 813 IAP in East Prussia.
 
He made 98 sorties, conducting 44 air battles in which he scored 11 personal and 1 group victory. On his account are 6 Fw-190, 2 Bf-109 and one each of Bf-110, Fw-189 and Ju-88.
 
After the war ended, he continued to serve in the Air Force, eventually retiring with the rank of Colonel.
 
His battle awards include three Orders of the Red Banner (15.05.1943, 04.09.1944, 30.04.1945), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (September 25, 1944), the Order of The Patriotic War, 1st class (30.06.1945), the Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd degree (11.03.1985) and others.
 
Yuri Lyubenyuk flew this La-5FN (board number 07) of 813 IAP, during Spring 1945 on the 2nd Belorussian Front. A wide white band on fuselage in the cockpit area is the rapid identification element for the regiment.
 
 
 
08. Pavel Kocfelda was born on June 29, 1917 in Horní Suchá, Czechoslovakia. Czech.
 
08.jpgSKIN08 Kocfelda.jpg
 
Kocfelda began his military career as an aviation mechanic, but soon began to study privately to become a pilot. After the Germany, Poland and Hungary occupied Czechoslovakia, on July 14, 1939 Kocfelda (together with many pilots) he went to Poland, then to France. In May 1940 he enrolled in an aviation school in Bordeaux. In June, after the fall of France, Kocfelda relocated to Britain where he joined the 1st DF (Delivery Flight) and was engaged in the distribution of fighters from factories to combat squadrons.
 
On January 6, 1942, Sergeant Kocfelda joined 313th Squadron RAF.
 
On June 15, 1943 in the rank of fly-sergeant Kocfelda was transferred to 312nd Squadron RAF. By February 1944 Pilot-Officer Kocfelda had performed 191 combat sorties.
 
Kocfelda arrived to the USSR in the beginning of 1944 as part of the 128th Cz. Independent Fighter Group, then moved to the 1st squadron of the 1st Independent Czechoslovakian Fighter Regiment. During Autumn 1944 he fought in Slovakia, made 47 sorties, scored 1 personal victory (Bf-109G) and 1 shared (Ju87D). In December 1944 he was transferred to the position of instructor in the 2nd Czechoslovak IAP, and until the end of the war was engaged in the preparation of Czechoslovak pilots-fighters.
 
After the war he worked as an instructor at the Aviation School in Prostějov, then in Olomouc.
In 1948-49 he served in the 3rd Division in Brno. During Operation "Hagan" he was engaged in the preparation of Israeli pilots on the S-199 (post-war conversion of Bf-109 with a Jumo 214). In the beginning of the 1950s, Kocfelda received a ban on flights and only took the skies again in Prostějov in 1955. In 1959 he was appointed head of the aviation school in Prešov and flied until the 60's. In 1990 he was promoted to Major-General.
 
He died on 6/10/1992 in the town of Prague.
 
He was awarded two Československý válečný kříž (1939), three Československá medaile Za chrabrost, Československá medaile Za zásluhy I. st., Československá medaile zahraniční armády, Hvězda 1939-1945, and Air Star a 1.6.1979 Čestný pilotní odznak.
 
Aboard the La-5FN board No. 13, Lieutenant Pavel Kocfelda flew in September-October 1944 during the Slovak National Uprising from the Tri Duba airfield. The aircraft was written off after a forced landing on October 11, 1944. Two victories were scored aboard this very aircraft: 1/2 Ju-87 ppor. P. Kocfelda on 07.10.1944, 1/2 FW-189 by ppor. L. Šrom on 08.10.1944.
 
 
09. Vladimir Alexandrovich Orekhov was born on January 8, 1921 in the city of Tula. Russian.
 
09.jpgSKIN09 Orekhov.jpg
 
In March 1940 he graduated from the Kachinskaya Military Aviation Pilots School, served in the Air Force of the Kiev Special Military District. Since June 1940 - Junior Pilot in 87 IAP.
In July 1941, was sent to the formed 434 IAP, and served in it during the whole war.
 
The first air victory - Bf109 - was won on September 12, 1941. During the combat mission on the Volkhov Front on February 4, 1942, he was wounded by fire of antiaircraft artillery.
In early June 1942, Vladimir Orekhov, as part of a reformed 434 IAP fought on the South-Western Front. On June 13, during an air battle, Lieutenant Orekhov's plane was hit, and the pilot was seriously wounded. Vladimir Orekhov returned to his regiment only in mid-August 1942.
 
May 1, 1943, for the courage and courage shown in the battles with the enemy, Vladimir Orekhov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. By the time on his battle account there were already 11 personal and 1 shared victories.
 
Soon he was appointed deputy commander of the squadron, and in 1944 - commander of the 1st squadron. In December 1944, Major V.A. Orekhov, the Guard, went off to study at the Poltava Higher Officer School of navigators of the Red Army Air Force (the city of Krasnodar).
 
In 1945, after graduation, he was appointed a navigator of 246 IAD (in Mongolia). Member of the Soviet-Japanese War of 1945, carried out 3 sorties, shot down enemy aircraft had not.
Total performed 423 sorties, conducted 102 air battles, which scored 19 personal and 3 group victories, destroyed 2 observation balloons.  His personal score includes 10 Fw190, 5 Bf109 and 3 bombers (Ju88, He111).
 
Military awards: the Order of Lenin (01.05.1943), four Orders of the Red Banner (01/01/1942, 03.02.1942, 10.07.1944, ...), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (10.09.1944), two Orders of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (09.10.1943, 11.03.1985), two Orders of the Red Star (03.09.1945, ...); medals.
After the end of hostilities, he continued his service in the USSR Air Force on navigational posts (including, chief navigator of the 1st Guards IAK of the Western Group of Forces). Since September 1968, Guards
 
Colonel V.A. Orekhov - in reserve, and then retired. Lived in the city of Minsk. Before retiring to a well-deserved rest he worked in the Civil Air Fleet of the USSR.
He died on February 4, 1997.
 
La-5FN (board number 93), a personal aircraft of Vladimir Orekhov, on which he flew in the autumn of 1943. on the Bryansk front. The asterisks indicate personal victories. Two white stripes on the tail unit and the front part of the engine hood, painted in red - tactical designations of 32 GIAP. 
 
 
10. Vitaly Ivanovich Popkov was born on May 1, 1922 in Moscow. Russian.
 
10.jpgSKIN10 Popkov.jpg
 
In the Red Army since 1940. He began his service as a cadet of the Chuguev Military Aviation Pilots School, then graduated from Bataysk Military Aviation School.
 
He fought in Kalinin (May-October 1942), South-West (December 1942-October 1943), 3rd (October 1943 - January 1944 and May-July 1944) and the 1st Ukrainian (July 1944 - May 1945) fronts.
The first victory - Ju88 - was won on June 10, 1942. He was shot down on August 3, 1942 and ejected. He got severe burns and leg shrapnel wounds. 
On June 16, 1944 during dogfight he was injured by splinters in the right arm and left leg.
 
The last victory was won in Germany on April 18, 1945, when Vitalij rammed a Fw190. Vitaly Popkov ended the war as commander of the squadron, in which 11 (!!!) pilots were the Heroes of the Soviet Union.
 
In total Vitaly Popkov made 475 sorties, conducted 117 air battles, scored 40 air victories. On his account 10 Fw190, 17 Bf109, 5 twin-engine bombers.
 
Military awards: Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (26.08.1942, September 8, 1943), three Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, two Orders of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree, the Order of the Patriotic War of the 2nd degree, two Orders of the Red Stars, the Order "For Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR" 3rd degree, the Russian orders "For Services to the Fatherland" of the 4th degree (20.05.2002) and Honor (09.05.2007); medals, foreign awards.
 
After the Great Patriotic War he graduated from the Red Banner Air Force Academy (1951), and then the Academy of the General Staff (1964). He mastered 25 types of aircraft and helicopters. Was on responsible work in the Ministry of Defense of the USSR. Since 1967, Honored Military Pilot of the USSR and  lieutenant General of Aviation since 1968. Since 1980, he was a teacher at the Air Force Engineering Academy. After retiring in 1989 he particiapted in public activities. He lived in Moscow and died on February 6, 2010.
 
The commander of the 2nd Squadron of the 5 GIAP Vitaly Popkov became the prototype of two heroes of the iconic Russian war movie "Only Old Men Are Going to Battle" – “Maestro” Titarenko, the commander of the "2nd Singing Squadron", and the young pilot "Grasshopper".
 
https://youtu.be/i8bNInTulB4
 
La-5FN (board No. 101) of 5 GIAP, a personal aircraft of Vitaly Popkov, on which he flew on the 1st Ukrainian Front in the summer and autumn of 1944. The number of stars of air victories (33) corresponds to the personal combat account of the pilot since August 13, 1944 until February 9, 1945. The spinner and the front of the engine hood are painted white - the designation of aircraft 5 GIAP.
 
 
11. Alexander Vasilyevich Lobanov was born on April 28, 1917 at the Karamyshevo station in the Pskov region. Russian.
 
11.jpgSKIN11 Lobanov.jpg
 
In 1938 graduated from Borisoglebsk aviation school of pilots. Lieutenant Lobanov served on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War since August 1941 in 40 IAP (February 9, 1943 renamed 41 giap). In 1941-43 on I-16 he fought in the Donbass, over Rostov, in the Kuban, in the foothills of the Caucasus.
The first group victory - Hs126 - was won on May 20, the first personal - Bf109 - on August 16, 1942.
In the spring of 1943. 41 giap was withdrawn from the fights and finally replaced the I-16 with La-5.
 
On new fighter planes, since May 1943 Lobanov fought on the Voronezh front, took an active part in the battles in the southern part of the Kursk bulge. As part of the 2nd Air Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front, he took part in the liberation of the cities of Kiev, Chernivtsi, Lvov, Krakow, and the assault of Breslau. In April 1945 commander of the squadron 41 giap Guard Captain Lobanov on the fighter La-7 participated in the battles over Berlin.
 
He made more than 600 combat sorties, gained 24 personal and 13 group victories. Among his personal victories are 4 bombers (Do-217 and Ju88A), 3 Fw189A, 7 Ju87D, 6 Bf109 and 3 Fw190.
 
Military awards: Hero of the Soviet Union (28.09.43); Order of Lenin (28.09.1943), three Orders of the Red Banner (27.07.1942, 09.09.1942, 22.10.1944), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (22.02.1945), the Patriotic War 1st Step. (11/03/1985), medals.
 
After the war he continued his service in the Air Force. In 1949 he graduated from the Higher officer flight tactical courses. Since March 1952 he commanded 968 IAP. Since April 1953 the Guard Lieutenant Colonel A. V. Lobanov was in reserve and later retired. He lived in the city of Minsk and worked as an instructor of the flying club. In 1959 he became the director of production workshops at the Belorussian Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture. He died on October 4, 1986.
 
La-5FN (board number 30) from 41 GIAP, the personal aircraft of Alexander Lobanov during Summer 1944 on the 1st Ukrainian Front. The picture "Eagle on top of Elbrus" reminds of the fighting in the Caucasus in 1942. The red heart on the hood of the engine is the designation of the regimental commander.
 
 
12. Kirill Alexeyevich Yevstigneyev was born on February 17, 1917 in the village of Khokhly, now Shumikhinsky district of the Kurgan. Russian.
 
12.jpgSKIN12 Evstigneyev.jpg
 
In the army since September 1938, he graduated from the Biysk Military Pilots School in 1941, where he stayed to work as an instructor pilot.
 
At the end of 1942, Evstigneev was sent to Moscow to the main air force headquarters for the evaluation of American P-39 Airacobra aircraft delivered to the USSR by Lend-Lease from America. In Moscow, Sergeant Evstigneev was able to meet with the commander of 240 IAP, Major I. S. Soldatenko, who was going to the front with a replenishment. Evstigneev made a favorable impression, and Soldatenkov took him to his regiment.
 
He started combat as part of 240 IAP, 302 IAD, 4 IAK, 2nd Air Force of the Voronezh Front on March 13, 1943, flying the La-5. In less than 8 months of combat work, he promoted from an ordinary pilot to a squadron commander.
 
His first victory was a Bf-109G, scored on 28.03.43. By the beginning of the Battle of Kursk on the account of Sergeant Evstigneev there were already 4 victories – a Bf-109, two Bf-110 and one Ju-87D. In battles over the southern part of the Kursk salient, Evstigneev added to his account five more personal and two group victories, including 3 Ju-87 in one battle on 8th July. On July 23, 1943 240 IAP was transferred to the 5 Air Force of the Steppe Front.
 
On August 5, 1943 as part of a group of 8 La-5, Evstigneev flew to provide cover to Soviet troops in the outskirts of Belgorod. In the ensuing air battle he was shot down and wounded in both legs. In the medical battalion, he dissuaded the doctor from amputating one of his feet, and on the ninth night Evstigneev ran away from the hospital on crutches! He made the thirty-five kilometers walk to the nearest airfield, and from there it was transferred back to his unit. A month later, Evstigneev performed his first combat mission since returning, and during it he flew with his crutches to get in and out of the aircraft.
 
After the Battle of Kursk, and the liberations of Belgorod and Kharkov, Evstigneev took part in the air battles over Poltava (against Fw-190 from I./JG54), the Dnieper and Kirovograd.
 
By November 19, 1943, he had made 144 sorties, participated in 53 air battles and scored 27 air victories (24 individual and 3 in a group).
 
After the winter battles in the area of Pervomaisk and Konstantinovka, 240 IAP took part in the fierce fighting during the Iasi-Chisinau operation in the spring of 1944. In battles against JG 52 and SG2 Evstigneev scored another 15 victories.
 
On 07/02/1944, for the exemplary performance of combat missions and the courage and heroism shown, by the order of the USSR NKO No. 0178 former 240 IAP he was given the title of 178th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, and at the same time 302 IAD were converted into the 14th Guards Fighter Aviation Division.
 
By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 2, 1944, Kirill Evstigneev was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin (No. 19094) and the "Gold Star" (No. 4039).
 
Afterwards came the fighting in Romania against the German and Romanian Air Force. After Romania sided with the Allies, Guards Captain Evstigneev managed to make an in-flight flight to IAR-80.
 
Continuing to conduct effective combat work in the regiment, Guards Captain K. A. Evstigneev carried out 227 sorties by October 20, 1944, participated in 97 air battles and scored 50 air victories (47 personally and 3 in a group). In the winter of 1944-45 Evstigneev fought in the skies of Hungary.
 
By Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of February 23, 1945, Kirill Evstigneev was awarded the title of twice Hero of the Soviet Union with the second "Gold Star" (No. 2284).
 
On March 26, 1945 over Budapest, using a head-on attack Evstigneev scored his last victory - a Fw-190. He finished the war in Czechoslovakia as the deputy commander of the 178 GIAP for flight operations, in the rank of Guards Major. He ended the war with a total of 283 sorties, participated in 113 air battles, and scored 55 air victories (52 personally and 3 in a group). Among his personal victories are 13 Ju-87, 14 Fw-190 and 16 Bf-109. Evstigneev is one of the highest scoring pilots of Ju-87s among all Allied pilots.
 
Battle awards: twice Hero of the Soviet Union (02.08.44, 23.02.45); Order of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner (30.09.1943, 28.10.1943, 22.02.1945, unknown), Order of Suvorov 3rd Class (02.10.1943), Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class (11.03.1985) 2nd class (30.04.1943), Order of the Red Star, and foreign medals including the Order of the British Empire of the 5th class (1944).
 
After the war, Evstigneev remained in the Air Force. In 1949 he graduated from the flight-tactical courses, and in 1955 from the Air Force Academy in Monino. In 1960 Evstigneev finished the Military Academy of the General Staff and was promoted to Major-General of Aviation in 1966. Since 1972 Evstigneev was in the reserve. He lived in Moscow and died August 29, 1996, and was buried in the Kuntsevo Cemetery.
 
This La-5FN (board number 14) of 178 GIAP, the second such aircraft in the regiment, was built with funds provided by worker V. Konev. During Summer 1944, Ivan Kozhedub flew on this fighter plane. When Kozhedub was transferred to 176 GIAP, the aircraft was assigned to his friend Kirill Evstigneev. Besides the two famous aces, a number of combat sorties on this La-5FN were made by Lieutenant P. A. Bryzgalov.
 
 
13. Ivan Savelievich Kravtsov was born on February 19, 1914 in the village of Novgorodka in the Kirovograd region. Ukrainian.
 
13.jpgSKIN13 Kravtsov.jpg
 
In 1939 he graduated from the Yeisk Naval Aviation School and was left in it as an instructor pilot. In November 1940, he was transferred to the same position in the reserve of the Air Force KBF.
Since November 1941, Junior Lieutenant I. S. Kravtsov served as a pilot of the 1st Squadron of the 5 IAP VVS KBF (on January 18, 1942, it was reorganized to 3 GIAP VVS KBF) and flew the Hurricane fighter until the end of 1942, LaGG-3 until Autumn 1943, and then La-5.
 
On September 29, 1942, during his 104 combat sortie in Hurricane, Ivan Kravtsov won his first air victory. In a pair with the leading V.I. Teryokhin, he shoot down a Ju-88 bomber.
 
On October 1, 1942 in a heavy fight with 6 Me-109, which occurred in the area of Kolpino, Kravtsov's plane was hit in the engine and gasoline tanks. Hurricane started to burn and the pilot ejected. Having received burns to his face and back, I.S. Kravtsov was sent to the hospital in a severe condition. Ivan Kravtsov returned to his unit at the end of December 1942.
 
From June 17, 1943 to January 14, 1944 he studied at the Courses for the Improvement of the Command of the Navy. After returning to the regiment, he became the flight leader in an La-5. 07/22/1944 for 13 personal and 4 group wins he awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Since November 1944, the Guards Captain I.S. Kravtsov commanded the 1st squadron of the 3rd IAP CBF and piloted La-5 and La-7 fighters.
 
Ivan Kravtsov ended the war with the most successful pilot of Soviet naval aviation: 375 combat sorties, 104 air battles, 31 personal (25 of them Fw190) and 3 air victories in a group.
 
Military awards: Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of Lenin (22.07.1944), four Orders of the Red Banner (21.10.1942, 12.06.1944, 18.07.1944, 04.04.1945), Order of Nakhimov 1st degree (15.05.1946), two Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (10.11.1945, 11.03.1985); medals.
 
After the war ended, he continued to serve in naval aviation. Since September 1950, the Guard Major Kravtsov was in reserve, he worked in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). In 1965 he moved to the city of Gelendzhik (Krasnodar region). He died on January 29, 2005.
 
La-5FN (board number 69) of 3 GIAP VVS KBF, personal plane of Ivan Kravtsov, on which he flew during Summer 1944. The number of victory stars with a white stroke (23) corresponds to the personal combat score of the pilot in mid-August 1944. Sprockets without strokes show group wins. The aircraft is painted in NKAP-43 standard camouflage, the white spinner is a rapid identification symbol of the Baltic Fleet Air Force aircraft.
 
 
14. Georgiy Nikolayevich Urvachev was born on August 20, 1920, in Moscow region. Russian.
 
14.jpgSKIN14 Urvachev.jpg
 
In 1939 he entered the Borisoglebsk Military Aviation School of Pilots. 
 
His first victory (Bf110) was won on October 5, 1941. From Autumn 1941 until Spring 1942 Georgiy Urvachev served in Moscow air defense and flew ground support sorties. Among his aircraft were MiG-3, Yak-1 (in 1942), Yak-9 (Summer 1943), P-39 (at the end of 1943), La-5FN (from Spring of 1944 to the end of the war).
 
In Autumn 1943, there were no military operations since the activity of the Luftwaffe over Moscow practically ceased. Until May 1945, the regiment pilots performed training and instructor flights mostly. In May 1945, the regiment was transferred to the Far East, and in August-September took part in hostilities against Japan.
 
In total Georgiy Urvachev made 472 combat sorties, conducted 22 air battles, scored 4 personal and 7 group air victories. Except for one Bf109, all air victories are recon planes and bombers Bf110, Ju88 and He111.
 
When the war ended, he continued to serve in the Air Force. In HQ of 147 IAP, Colonel G.N. Urvachyov took part in an armed conflict in Korea from 1950 to 1953 and flew until 1964. After leaving for the reserve, he worked at the Flight Test Station of a helicopter plant. He died in 1997.
 
Battle awards: the Red Banner (4.03.1942), the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (1.09.1943), medals.
 
La-5FN (No.25) of 34th IAP air defense, on which Captain Urvachev flew during Winter 1944-45. It is interesting to note that the number of asterisks denoting personal victories (6) does not coincide with the official score of personal victories (4). Probably, several victories, marked in the pilot's flight book as personal, were indicated in the regimental documents as group ones.
 
 
15. Rashit Nursultanovich Beketov was born on 01.07.1922 in the Kazakh ASSR. Kazakh.
 
15.jpgSKIN15 Beketov.jpg
 
He arrived at the front in January 1943 as a Junior Lieutenant of 721 IAP of 286 IAD. During that Winter, the unit fought as part of the effort to free Kastornoe, in the Voronezh theatre of operations.
 
Starting in March, the regiment was sent to the 16th Air Army of the Central Front, and participated in the Battle of Kursk during Summer. From Autumn 1943 until Spring 1944, 721 IAP fought in the liberation of Ukraine’s western borders by Dnepr river. From June 1944, Lieutenant Beketov flew for the 1st Belorussian Front over Belorussia and Poland. On 12.01.1944 he was wounded during a dogfight, suffering wounds to his back, but returned to his unit after recovering and took part in the Berlin operation. During May 1945, Lieutenant Beketov became a flight leader of 721 IAP.
 
Throughout the war, Beketov completed over 100 sorties and scored 4 aerial victories – all Fw-190s. Among other medals, he was awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War 2nd Class, and the Order of the Red Banner.
 
After the war Beketov briefly served in Germany, but quit military service in the early 1950s due to consequences of his injuries and lived in Shymkent until his death on 25.11.1995.
 
Lieutenant Beketov flew this La-5FN built with donations from Kazakh millers during Autumn 1944. At the end of the year, once the battle of Visla ended, 721 IAP handed over this and the rest of their La-5FN aircraft to 165 IAP, and went to the rear to receive the new La-7.
 
 
 
16. Anatoly Panteleevich Trefilov was born on June 15, 1921 in the village of Yuberki, Yaremsky district of the Saratov region. Russian.
 
16.jpgSKIN16 Tryefilov.jpg
 
He served as Jr. Lieutenant in the 33 OAE flying the U-2 and R-5 in the Air Force of the Red Army since September 1940. Since August 31, Jr. Lieutenant Trefilov became the flight commander, and on 18.12.41 he became the appointed deputy commander of 33 OAE with the rank of Lieutenant.
 
In December 1943, Captain Trefilov arrived in 303 IAD and was sent to re-training in the training center of the division. Since April 1944 he became a pilot the 1st squadron of 139 GIAP, led by the commander Udovitsky. The regiment was equipped with Yak-1, Yak-7 and Yak-9 fighters and fought on the 3rd Belorussian Front during Spring and Summer 1944. It was distinguished in the battles of Orsha (Belorussian SSR), Vilnius and Kaunas (Lithuanian SSR).
 
In November 1944, Captain Trefilov was transferred to 523 IAP to be flight commander again. At the final stage of the war, he participated in the fighting in East Prussia. On 08.05.45 Captain Trefilov was appointed deputy squadron commander in 523 IAP.
 
Captain Trefilov did not have any air victories. This was due to 523 IAP’s specialisation as a "reconnaissance" regiment – for example, of 3,333 combat sorties flown in 1944, 2,773 were reconnaissance flights. The pilots in the regiment flew mainly with as pair and sometimes as a flight. Trying to avoid dogfights, they occasionally strafed targets they located in the rear of the enemy.
 
After the war, Trefilov remained in the air force. In 1951 he became part of the Soviet special mission in Korea. During the air battles in that war he scored three victories – two F-86s and one F-84. He served as squadron commander, commander-in-chief of the regiment for air tactics, chief of staff of 153 IAD, and head of the air gunnery service 1218.
 
His battle awards include three Orders of the Red Banner (30.11.41, 20.01.45 and 19.04.45), the Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, 3rd class (1945), the Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd class (18.08.43), and other medals. He lived in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) after the war.
 
Captain Trefilov flew this La-5FN (number 44) during Fall 1944 on the 3rd Belorussian Front. On the side of the fuselage is an arrow - a rapid identification element of the fighter aircraft in 303 IAD.
 
 
 
In addition, here are several screenshots of La-5FN cockpit, its entire 3D model is complete. The only thing left for this plane is to finish its flight model.
 
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Cpt_3.jpgCpt_4.jpg
 

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