Profile no 73. Bell P-39Q-15 Aircobra

From 16 GIAP, Ukrainian Front/USSR, June 1944

This machine was flown by Mayor Grigoriy Andreyevich Rechkalov, Commander of the 16 GIAP, Ukrainian Front/USSR, June 1944 450 combat sorties, 56 victories in air combat plus 6 shared.

The text and profile is taken from my profile book, Allied Fighter Aircraft, Profile Book Number 2

My comment is that the crack unit 16 GIAP claims, checking them against Luftwaffe loss statistics, is hard not to say impossible to confirm. Their actual kill to loss record was in fact just as poor as for a Ju 87 Stuka unit. Günther Rall told me that the Aircobra was not a fighter, it's poor balance with its aft mounted heavy engine meant that a few hits make it go into uncontrollable spin, perhaps a forbearer of the now unstable fighters. This was also confirmed by Soviet veterans who told me that the P-39 needed a substantial hight advantage to have any chance to catch a enemy. This makes one to understand in which adverse conditions VVS fighter pilots had to fight.


© Claes Sundin 2015