Innokentyi Kuznetsov





Kuznetsov flew 356 sorties, shooting down 15 enemy aircraft.

Innokentyi Kuznetsov was born on the  12th of  December 1914 in Duma.He started his aviation adventure in an aeroclub, then he completed the flying training at Bataysk military flying school in 1938. Kuznetsov was certified as a military pilot and junior commander of VVS RKKA. In his first sortie he shot down a HE 111, in that time any success from Soviet side was very difficult. In 1942 Kuznetsov's unit re-equipped with Hurricanes, during just one month of fighting, his unit lost almost all of their Hurricanes, and at the end of July 1942 they were issued with P-39 Air Cobra's. On the 3rd of  March 1943 he shot down (rammed) near Kursk a FW 190. In this battle Kuznetsov was wounded in his  legs and rescued by Soviet soldiers. Now, his score was 7 personal kills and additional 15 team's victories, in 32 air-to-air combats. In April 1945 over Shernbekon, Germany he rammed, a FW 190. After this attack Kuznetsov was forced to belly-land with his Aircobra. To the end of war he had flown 356 sorties since June 1941, claiming 27 (15-individual and 12-shared), but he wasn't awarded the  Gold Star. In fact he claimed many more  victories, but Kuznetsov was in  conflict with his commander of IAP... In 1946 he was demobilised and returned back to Irkutsk aviation factory. Kuznetsov served as a test pilot on Il-28, Tu-14, An-12 and others. In 1956 he subsequently volunteered for service in Egypt. Kuznetsov helped Arab aviators flying Il-28's. He was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union for this claims in WW II on the  22nd of  March 1991.