Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov 
La-5 n.60
By Massimo Tessitori
File updated on November 6, 2004
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This famous image represents La-5 n.60, possibly of General Major Yevgenii Yakovlevich Savitskii, commander of the 3rd IAK (Fighter Air Corp) on the Kuban front in May 1943.
Savitskii was born on 1910 in Novorossisk, and joined the army in 1929, graduating from a military air college in 1932. 
Before the war, he was deputy commander of the 29th IAP in Far East, then commander of 3rd IAP, then, in 1938, of 3rd IAD Fighter Air Division). 
In 1941 he became commander of the Air Force of the 25th Army in Far East, then in spring 1942 he returned to the West, heading the 295th IAD as a Major General.
In autumn 1942 he was trasferred to the 17th Air Army as commander of a special air group. Then he commanded the 3rd IAK on the Northern Caucasus ( this photo was probably taken here).
In December 1943 he operated in Crimea, and in December 1944 in Bielorussia. 
Despite his command duties, he continued to fly and combat, reaching 24 victories (two shared) in 216 sorties, all obtained while he was already General.
In 1948 he became commander of the IA-PVO (the Air Defence), then in 1955 he was promoted Marshall. 
In 1965 he was deputy chief of the Air Defence of SU.
He wrote several books on his war experiences.
Image from La-5/7 fighter in action of  Hans-Heiri Stapfer

Not-cropped versions of this image show clearly no.60 painted on the fuselage, on an unusually high position.


The standard green/black camouflage (AMT green and black) looks broken by a lighter repainting on the nose, possibly fresh AII green.
The inscriptions "Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov" , originally in transparent white, looks to have been partially repainted with red, perhaps to create a sort of shadow, but with poor results. The word Eskadrilya looks painted with a well covering white layer.
The writing on the starboard was probably left white, in consideration of the poor results of the red repainting that even discouraged from finishing it on Eskadrilya.
The red star insignias have the standard black outline.
The camo schemes of most known aircraft (40, 60, 66, 99...) look nearly identical, and are compatible with this scheme.
 go to "Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov"