Stoyan Stoyanov





Stoyan Stoyanov (in uniform) in front of his Messerschmitt 109E

Stoyan Stoyanov was born on the  12th of March 1913 in the village of Galata (now a part of the city of Varna). He was one of five siblings. Five months before his birth, his father, a flag bearer of the 8th Sea-Regiment of Varna in the Balkan war, had been killed in a battle against the Ottoman Army near the town of Edirne, near Istanbul. Because of his father's death, he was accepted in a school for war-orphans in Varna. He sold newspapers in the streets of Varna. He continued his secondary education in the national Seminary (in Sofia), which he entered in 1930. In 1934 he was granted a scholarship to the higher army school for army officers in Sofia. He passed the examinations with an excellent score and became a cavalry officer. He then attended the Royal Military Academy in Sofia in late 1934 taking the aviator’s course. In 1938 he graduated and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Stoyanov was then sent for training abroad in Germany. In July-September 1938, he took part in a competition course for acrobatic flying in Kaufbeuren. He finished this course 15 days before his fellow Bulgarian students and in September 1938 began a second course in the Higher school for fighter pilots at Werneuchen (near Berlin), with six of his Bulgarian colleagues. In 1939 he graduated and in Germany, trained his colleagues two of which became high scoring Aces themselves. Stoyanov was trained to fly a variety of planes, among which was Gothaer, Bücker Bü 181 Bestman, Stiglec, Focke-Wulf, Arado-45 , Arado-68, Heinkel He 51, Focke-Wulf Fw 56 Stösser, Messerschmitt Bf 109 Dora, Bf 109 Emil, Bf 109 (G2 and G6) and others. In 1939 Stoyanov became an instructor in the fighter pilot's school at Karlovo airfield, training pilots to fly Bf 109s recently delivered to the Bulgarian Air Force. In 1939 he met Mina, an 18-year-old girl who lived in Karlovo and they married in August 1940. In mid 1943 he was appointed commander of 682 (Jato) Sq./6th Fighter Regiment based at Karlovo and equipped with the Bf 109 G-2 and G-6.


Stoyanov claimed his initial victory on the 1st of  August 1943. He was personally decorated by the Bulgarian King Boris III with the "Commander’s medal for bravery". He also received the Iron Cross 2nd Class from the German Embassy. A second medal for bravery was awarded on the 24th of June 1944. His last aerial victory was on the 26th of August 1944. In September 1944 he was promoted to Captain. The same month Bulgaria joined the Allies and thereafter the air operations were against the retreating Axis forces. On the 22nd of November 1944 he received his third medal for bravery and was promoted to Major, this time for combat against German ground forces in Macedonia and Kosovo. Stoyanov remained in the Air Force of PR Bulgaria for a couple of years. In March 1945 Bulgaria received 120 Russian Yak-9M fighter planes and he trained many new pilots to fly them. He retired from military service in 1958.

Yakovlev's Yak-9 was a development of the line of Russian fighters that started with the inferior Yak-1 and evolved into the far better Yak-3 and Yak-9







Yak-9B releasing a 100kgbomb from its internal bay