I've got an archive of profiles of my own. Pictures collected at various sites or created by me. Mostly Soviet and German aircraft. I'll put some of them on this site. If they present any interest, I'll be adding some new each week.
Some commentaries to this pictures. All of them were drawn by me following photos and memoirs of pilots.
First - Yak -1 flown by Capt. Alexei Alelyuhin, 57 kills. 17 kills are regarded as group victories, but Alelyuhins co pilots said he gave those 17 to his wing men as gifts. Next - photo of Alelyuhin - spring 43.
Next - Bell P 39 Cobra of Fedor Shikunov. Summer 43. Order of Alexander Nevskiy on both doors. Total on tha moment - 25 kills.
Next - foto of Shikunov.
Next comes "yellow 2" P 39 Cobra of Nikolai Gulaev. September 1943. His personal badge - a falcon with a Fw 190 in claws. Gulaev finished war having 60 kills, three in group.
Next - "white 24" of Amet Han Sultan. La-7, spring 1944. He finished war with 49 kills, 19 - in group, or putting it bluntly - shared with wing man due to Russian tradition. In VVS RKKA every fifth kill was given to wingman or shared with him as a bonus. So, if a pilot had 20 kills it meant that he actually downed 24 planes, but four went to "brother in arms".
Next - photo of Amet Han.
Then - Nikolai Gulaev in his Cobra.
Next comes a study of Gulaev's Cobra nose - one of the final. First I noticed subtle cross beneath falcon and it took some time to make reconstruction.
And last - Red La-7 of Alexei Alelyuhin, March-April - May 45. There's an interesting story how this "white 14" became all red. )
One more thing - the image of the order of Alexander Nevskiy - one of the highest Soviet awards, so that you could have the idea how it looked like. It was standing higher than the order of Lenin and usually it was awarded to the high command. That's why the fact that Fedor Shikunov was awarded the order of Alexander Nevskiy is interesting. The order was painted on doors of his Cobra on both sides of the plane. Shikunov served with the 9-th Guards Fighter Regiment, ad well as Alelyuhin and Amet Han Sultan. Actually in this regiment there were no guys, who scored less than 20 victories.
The story of the red La - 7. Before becoming red, Alelyuhin's La - 7 was in the typical VVS RKKA late war camouflage: medium gray and light gray upside and light blue underneath. This plane was given to Alexei Alelyuhin as a gift from the "workers of the 41-st trest of the People's Commissariat of Aircraft Industry", or simply saying "from the workers of 41 plant of Soviet Air Industry". The corresponding inscription was underneath the cockpit of Alelyuhin's La - 7. (Sounds and looks terrific - I'll later upload this photo). In March 1945 the 9-th GIAP (Guards Fighter Regiment) was on its way to Berlin. (Actually 9-th GIAP was the best Soviet fighter unit) As Alexei Alelyuhin said in one of his interviews, one evening he was sitting at leisure and talking with his mechanic about life after the war. "In my opinion - Alelyuhin said - after the war my La deserves to be painted all red and placed somewhere in Russia as a monument to pilots of our regiment and all fighter pilots who died or survived this war." Alelyuhin's mechanic understood Alexei's words literally. Next morning came the command "scramble"! When Alelyuhin reached his plane, he was shockes: La - 7 was painted red "from head to toes". With a shout to his mechanic :"I'll kill you if return alive!" Alexei dropped into the cockpit and took off. But to his great amasement he wasn't shot down. German fighters seemed rather doutful and unlikely to get engaged with him. So the last two months of the war he sported this red La. After the war the plane was repainted gray - light gray and became a standard La - 7 as thousands others of the kind. That's the story Alelyuhin told.
As far as Cobra is concerned, I didn't quiet got the question. What banner? Where?
Something more about Alelyuhin. If you gave it any attention, his aircraft sported the symbol of the ace of hearts. The matter is that the 9-th Guards Regiment from 1941 and to the end of war often fought against JG 52 "The flying sword". Being a squadron leader, during the battle of Stalingrad Alelyuhin ordered to paint the leopard tearing the ace of hearts on all the planes of his squadron. That was done by Evgeni Dranischev - one of his best pilots. The only difference of "Red one" from others was that underneath the fuselage all the way to the air intake there was a red stripe with a swallows tail. Together with the spinner it formed an arrow. It was very convenient because pilots of his squadron could always tell which of the planes was that of the squadron leader. Later, in 1943 the 9-th Guards Regiment was equipped with Bell P 39 Aircobras, and the leopard with the ace of hearts moved to the nose of the planes. And in 1944 when 9-th GIAP was equipped with La-7, the place of the leopard took a long arrow. I believe it was done to make the drawing more compact. I attach a couple of photos of Alelyuhin's La-7 before it became all red plus another drawing of his red plane from a russian magazine.
Another couple of profiles from my collection. Yak-9 of Ivan Stepanenko from 4-th Fighter Regiment. He finished war with 41 kills, 8 of them shared with his wingman. The drawing ont the left side of his plane depicts a tiger running after Dr. Goebbels with a microphone in his hand. I don't know what was the reason for Stepanenko's special disliking of Dr. Goebbels, but still the picture looks funny. Next profile is a Yak-9 flown by Vahtang Gugridze. The inscription under the cockpit reads "For brother Shota !" And the one on the arrow : " To the West".
Another addition - LaGG - 3 of Yuri Shipov. He was a pilot of 9-th Black sea fleet fighter regiment. By the moment this photo was made he had 8 victories.The lion's head against the ace of hearts most distinctively tells that Shipov was engaged in dog fights against 9/ JG 52 which operated in this area.
The camouflage scheme that I placed on the profile of his LaGG - 3 is the only one possible. I saw some pictures of Shipov's LaGG in medium green and brown colours. It is totally absurd. Soviet fighters NEVER (!) were painted in brown colours. After the war against Finland russian fighters were painted following finnish pattern - black and medium green, or dark green - medium green. Later in 1943 following fighters of Luftwaffe soviet fighters started to paint in medium grey - light grey colours.
The only fighter aircraft wearing green - brown scheme in the Soviet fighter aviation were Spitfires, Hurricanes or P-40s supplied by Great Britain or the United States.
And besides the common sense says: what can there be brownish on the surface of the sea? ))
Modest marksman. This La - 7 "White 18" belonged to Alexandr Kumanichkin - a pilot of 176 Guards fighter regiment. He made his firest combat flight at the end of summer 1942. By the end of war his score was around 50 downed aircraft + 5 given to his wingman, but officially they admitted only 35 kills + 5 "in a group combat". That was a typical situation fo the Soviet fighters - anything you shot down behind enemy lines wouldn't be added to your account. Only those planes which were so to say touched by the hands of Soviet infantry and an infantry officer confirmed the kill ( very often they were even asked to send a plate with a W.Nr) a pilot could plus it to his score. The most famous Soviet ace - Alexandr Pokryshkin was officially credited with 59 kills. While in reality the figure was close to one hundred. This was the result of the Soviet system of confirmation plus none of nearly twenty planes shot down by Pokryshkin in 1941 was added to his score. The reason was simple - all the papers of his regiment were lost during the hasty retreat in 1941.
Neither Kumanichkin, nor Pokryshkin and hundreds of other Soviet pilots ever arqued about the system of kill confirmation or the tricks of the Soviet military bureaucracy. Modest marksmen, I would say.
Another prominent pilot - George Rechkalov. His personal score - 61 kills, 5 of them shared with his wingman. He served in the 16 Guards Fighter regiment where also served Alex Pokryshkin. Thus all the victories Rechkalov had obtained in 1941 (nearly ten) were not included in his kill-list due to the fact that during retreat all the papers of the regiment were lost. He was engaged in 122 combats getting a kill every second mission. Rechkalov's plane is often being mistakebly presented as the one of Pokryshkin. It's totally wrong. Only two pilots of the 16-th GFR (Guards Fighter Regiment) put their victory marks on the nose of their planes - Rechkalov and Clubov. (Clubov had 50 kills, perished in 1944 in a crash landing.) Alex Pokryshkin didn't paint any kill marks on his planes.
And here is a photo of Alex Clubov who also placed his victory markings on the nose of his Cobra. He had 31 personal kills and 16 shared with his wingman. Clubov perished in a crash landing during a test flight on a La - 7 in April 1944. The plane ran into a bomb hole during the landing and went over killing the pilot instantly. Actually a typical death of the majority of experienced pilots - not in combat but in an accident.