Vladimir Abramov

Pilots of Baltic Fleet on airfield, hidden in the forest, 1941. Briefing - checking the waypoints on the map, just before next mission.

Vladimir Abramov was born on 14 June 1914 in Kuznetsk. When he was 3 years old he lost his parents.

He enrolled for service in the VMF in 1939 and completed his training at Yeysk Naval Flying School a year later. After completion of training he joined the 71 IAP-KBF (Baltic Sea Fleet Air Force) and he was to stay on the Baltic Front during his whole career.

He claimed his first victory during the second week of the war when he shot down one Ju88 bomber, flying in an I-153.

During the first year of the war he used a 'Tchaika' with the number 42.

In July he took part in the shooting down of a rare plane when he claimed a shared Focke-Wulf Fw200. After Abramov initial attack the German aircraft was smoking and tried to escape but was then attacked and shot down by two other famous aces, Antonenko and Petr Brinko (flying I-16s). After this claim Antonenko and Brinko claimed it for Abramov, but Abramov said the two former aces shot it down. This means that the Condor is not included in Abramov's total claims. On 18 August 1941 Abramov shot down a Bf 110 and damaged another. In this occasion his 'Tchaika' got some hits, but he managed to return to base successfully.

I-15bis of Baltic Fleet flown by Sec. Lt. V. F. Abramov in 1942.

P. Brinko and A. Antonenko were most brillant Baltic Fleet aces in first period of war. In first days of war they battled in consist of 13 IAP (equiped by I-16s and I-153s) over Hanko peninsula. After remarkable successes they both were awarded (as first soldiers in all Baltic Fleet!) on 14 July 1941 by Soviet Hero medals. Antonienko was killed in air combat on 26 July, having 11 enemy planes on his score. Petr Brinko (15 kills), was badly injured by AA fire, then he crashed during landing manoeuvre - encountering his fate on 14 September 1941...

The career of Abramov wasn't perhaps so brilliant, but certainly more lucky... However in April 1942 he was wounded twice.

In the autumn of 1942 Abramov became flight commander in the 71 IAP-KBF.

From 22 June 1941 to 22 April 1942 he flew 306 sorties of which 70 were ground attack missions and 87 were reconnaissance missions. During these sorties he claimed 2 and 7 shared victories.

On 31 May 1943 the 71 IAP-KBF was designated 10 GIAP-KBF.

He subsequently was occupied with armed reconnaissance and in early 1944 re-equipped with La-5 fighters.

On 19 March 1944 he managed to claim one of the unit's initial victories with the new fighter when he was leading five fighters against a formation of 27 enemy aircraft and downed one of them personally.

On 22 July 1944 he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.

His last sortie of the war he flew in the same area as his first one. This was very typical for Baltic Front Air Regiments. He ended the war as Kapitan and CO of an eskadrilla.

During the war he was also decorated with the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner (four times), the Order of Patriotic War 1st Class, the Order of Patriotic War 2nd Class and the Order of the Red Star (twice).

Abramov ended the war with at a total of 21 and 8 shared victories. He claimed victories over He-111s, Ju88s, Bf110s, Bf109s, Fw200, Fw190s and also a rare He177. Totally during the war he flew 600 sorties with I-153s, I-16s, Yak-7Bs and La-5s.

Abramov continued to serve for 30 years in the Air Force and was one of the first "Navy" flyers who flew with jets.

He retired 1974 and passed away on 23 May 1985.