Soviet Naval Aerial Kills in August 1945
by George Mellinger, Twin Cities Aero Historians
It seems the Soviets generally met little opposition in the air during their brief war against Japan in August 1945, Operation Autumn Storm, and suffered most of their losses to anti-aircraft fire and to non-combat causes.  There has been mention of one incident when an Army pilot, Jr. Lt. Miroshnichenko, of the 17 IAP flying the P-63 Kingcobra shot down a Ki-43 or K-27 fighter, while operating on the Transbaikal Front out of Mongolia..  Undoubtedly at least a few other Soviet Army Air pilots managed to score air victories, but no details are known.

The situation regarding activity by the Soviet Pacific Ocean Air Flotilla has just become a bit more clear.  The navy took a major role in the seizure of Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, and the push down the coast to seize northern Korea.  The Soviet naval air arm flew a total of 474 sorties and lost 57 aircraft, 37 to enemy action, and 55 men - 23 pilots and 32 crew members.   There were no losses known to be due to enemy aircraft.  Several individuals wee awarded the HSU, leading to one immediate post-war scandal.  A shturmovik pilot who had been awarded the HSU after his heroic death during an anti-shipping strike, was discovered very much alive and healthy in the capitalist American zone of occupied Korea.  He had survived the crash at sea and rowed himself to shore in his liferaft.  The Comrades were not glad to see him.

In a torpedo strike, Major G. D. Popovich, flying an Il-4 twin-motor torpedo bomber of the 4 MTAP sank the only Japanese naval vessel sunk during the campaign, a 740  ton “Type D Frigate”, hull number 82. (Maybe one of you Japanese specialists can better clarify the vessel class  - top speed 17.5kts, 2 120mm & 6 25mm guns).  

The Soviet naval pilots scored a total of 4 aerial victories, details of three being available.

On August 10, 1945 Junior Lieutenant Korshunov of the 50 OMRAP (Ind. Naval Reconnaissance Air Regt.), flying a Yak-9 encountered and shot down a Kawanishi H6K Mavis over Rasin (later Najin) in the Northeastern-most corner of Korea.
On August 15, 1945, at 13:30 hours, 29 Pe-2 dive bombers of the 55 BAP bombed the railroad station at Ranan (later Nanam).  A Pair of J2M fighters tried to intervene and an escorting Yak-9 of the 19 IAP shot down one of them, the other escaping.
At 17:18  hours that same day, 34 Pe-2s of the 33 BAP, again escorted by the Yak-9s of the 19 IAP, attacked the station at Funei (late Nuren).  Again there was token opposition, and once again a J2M was shot down; this time the pilot was identified as a Lieutenant Grib.
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