Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Flyby - 19 July

Lavochkin La-9*
The global conflict that was World War II was nowhere more bitterly fought than on the Eastern Front. Soviet casualties were massive, some 8,668,400 killed or missing in action with another 22,326,905 wounded.

But the Russians could not only take it, they could dish it out. The estimate for Axis killed and/or missing in action is estimated at 5,178,000+. I couldn't find any reliable figures for Axis wounded in action on the Eastern Front, but if we assume that it was roughly three times the number of KIA/MIA then 15 million plus would be a reasonable figure.

It was a massive campaign...

Marshal of Aviation Ivan Mykytovych Kozhedub
(Іван Микитович Кожедуб)
Soviet Air Force
62 Aerial Victories
The Leading Allied Ace of WWII
1920 - 1991
Mikoyan Gurevich Mig-3*

Marshal of Aviation Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin
(Алекса́ндр Ива́нович Покры́шкин)
Soviet Air Force
59 Aerial Victories
1913 - 1985

Yakovlev Yak-3*

Major General Grigoriy Andreevich Rechkalov
(Григо́рий Андре́евич Речка́лов)
Soviet Air Force
58 Aerial Victories
1918 - 1990

Yakovlev Yak-9

Nikolay Dmitrievich Gulayev P-39 Ace
(Николай Дмитриевич Гуляев)
Soviet Air Force
57 Aerial Victories
???? - ????
P-39 Aircobra

Major General Kirill Alekseyevich Yevstigneyev
(Кирилл Алексеевич Евстигнеев)
Soviet Air Force
53 Aerial Victories
1917 - 1996

Little known in the West is Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak, the "White Lily of Stalingrad", the world's leading female ace (there are only two, both Russian, the other was Katya Budanova with 11 aerial victories). She was killed in action at the age of 21.

Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak
(Лидия Владимировна Литвяк)
Soviet Air Force
12 Aerial Victories
1921 - 1943

Polikarpov I-153*

Polikarpov I-16 Rata*

Lavochkin La-5
Lavochkin Gorbunov Gudkov LaGG-3
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-3
Polikarpov I-15bis
Yakovlev Yak-3

До следующего раза. До свидания!
За Родину!

*In the collection of the Military Aviation Museum, Pungo, Virginia Beach, Virginia


  1. Great stuff!!

    Those death and injury figures...HOLY HELL!!

    1. It is almost inconceivable the death and destruction which occurred on the Eastern Front. Soviet deaths alone, over 8 million. That's like the entire population of the New York Metro area not too long ago. And those are military deaths, the civilian deaths, Soviet alone, are over 20 million. Add in Axis dead and the numbers are difficult for the human mind to grasp.

      Truly mind-boggling.

  2. Sarge, there is a two vol set that was published in the early 70s (iirc) that had interviews with EVERY surviving WWII female Russian pilot--makes for fascinating reading. Unfortunately I don't recall the title or author. I read it at the Tulane Howard-Tilton Lib in '96. Perhaps you could call Tulane library services and get the title or get it via inter-library loan.

    1. Now you've piqued my interest. I Googled that subject matter and already see three books I must read.

      And haven't found the one you mentioned yet.

      I will find it.

      Thanks for the tip VX!

  3. OK... it's official: you do the BEST plane pr0n on the inter-tubes.

    That said, forgive me this about your last (that video): this is what they were REALLY sayin'.

    1. Thanks Buck.

      And yes, that link was hysterical! "I live in my blue jeans..."

      Bwaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa!!!

    2. Thanks Buck for the 'real' translation!

    3. Oh my word, don't encourage him!


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