P-39K-1 of Dimitry B. Glinka, 45th IAP
by Michal Sekula
Here are profiles of Dimitry B. Glinka’s P-39K-1 from 45 IAP. Total D.B. Glinka’s score was 50 victories.
Following info is from the V. Roman’s book “Airacobras over Kuban” and from discussion at http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1740.0
The 45 IAP, after re-arming with Lend-Lease planes, was sent back to front on February 18, 1943 – the 1st and 3rd squadron had Airacobras, the 2nd squadron had Kittyhawks. Serial no. 42-4403 as well as 42-4415 of his brother Boris were among these first Airacobras in the regiment.
D.B. Glinka scored his first 11 victories by Sept 6, 1942, during period when he flew Yak-1. He shot down 3 Ju-87 Stukas on May 5, 1942.
March 9, 1943 - the 45 IAP started combat operations.
1st photo session - Portraits of D.B.Glinka as Leutenant with P-39K S/N: 42-440x behind and with P-39 with 11 (8+3) victory stars behind are made. No board number visible.
According to the book Airacobras over Kuban by V. Roman 45 IAP started combat operations with only three P-39K with S/N: 42-440x: 42-4401, 42-4403 and 42-4408. All other P-39K were 42-441x or higher.
Photos from the book "Airacobras over Kuban" by Valery Roman:
There is consensus that both photos above showing D.B. Glinka as Leutenant are from the one event and show the same plane. Photo shows 8+3 victory stars. 3 victory stars with dots could represent 3 Stukas.
This left-side profile of D.B. Glinka's Cobra "21" is based on assumption that D.B. Glinka flew also no. "21" already in March, e.g. S/N: 42-440x represents 42-4403.
March 10, 1943 - D.B. Glinka scored his 12th victory and at the same time his first victory flying an Airacobra.
March 12, 1943 - D.B. Glinka was shot down in Airacobra S/N: 24410. He landed on the fuselage without insuries, but the plane had to be written off – it was the first „Soviet“ K version Cobra lost in combat.
By the end of March he had already 15 victories and got his first HSU order.
April 1st - his 16th victory,
April 15th - he was shot down in his second Airacobra S/N: ?, B/N: ?. He spent next days in hospital and returned to fly on about April 20th or 21st,
April 21st – he scored his 21st victory,
April 22nd - D.B. Glinka received "Red Banner" for 20 victories,
April 24th - D.B. Glinka received HSU title for 16 victories by April 15.
2nd photo session with Airacobra P-39K-1, S/N: 24403, B/N: 21.
Photo from the book "Airacobras over Kuban" by Valery Roman:
Russian text says: „Interesting coincidence – ace won his 21st victory on April 21 on the plane of board no. 21 (serial no. 42-4403). Kuban, end of April 1943.
“Photo from the book "Airacobras over Kuban" by Valery Roman:
Propeller blades do not have "Aeroprop" logos and black stencils.
This right-side profile of D.B. Glinka's Cobra "21" is based on photos from April photo session:
Main Political Directorate of the Red Army wrote in the published in article:
„After some time, also older brother, Boris Glinka, was awarded by the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Glinka brothers selflessly fought for our Soviet Motherland, by this time shot down 31 German aircraft. Dmitry shot down 21 German planes, and Boris 10 planes.”
Yakovlev wrote latter in his book "Tsel zhizni":
“On the fuselages of Lieutenant Dmitry Glinka’s and Lieutenant Boris Glinka’s combat machines were drawn 31 star, signifying the number of German planes downed by brothers.”
It is clear that Glinka brothers have victory stars painted on their P-39 and that the sum of the victory stars on Dmitriy's and Boris' Airacobras was 31. So, we can assume that Dimitry Glinka had 21 victories painted on his P-39 by the end of April 1943, when he became HSU while at the same time Boris Glinka had 10 victory stars painted on the left side of his Airacobra nose.
Picture of D.B. Glinka and part of the profile in the following analysis are from the book “Airacobras over Kuban” by V. Roman. My analysis shows enough space for 3x7 victory stars - I overlaid picture of Glinka with 11 stars behind with picture of another Cobra and scaled it to exactly match panel lines and screws. And finally copied additional 7 stars to empty spaces to get overall picture.
There are discrepancies due to curvature and perspective, but there could be even 21 stars.
This profile of D.B. Glinka's Cobra "21" with 21 victory stars is based on Yakovlev’s note in his book "Tsel zhizni":
End of April - 45 IAP was withdrawn from the front to be re-armed with new P-39M and N versions.
May 26 - unit returned to the front,
3rd photo session – Glinka brothers (D.B.Glinka already as Captian) were photographed by Ogonek reporters. Ogonek published that brothers had 33 victories at the time of visit. Cobras from Ogonek have 37mm cannon with tubular cover and at least one has black propeller blades with yellow tips. Apparently new Cobras of M and N versions. No serial number, no board number, no victory stars are visible.
Photo shows Dimitry congratulating Boris for just received HSU title.
June 1943 and latter
June 18 - 45 IAP was renamed to 100 GIAP.
July 16 - P-39K-1 S/N: 24403 return from remont to unit and fought another month, until August 9, 1943. It was the last K version in unit.
Summer – leading pilots received new P-39N-0 and N-1 models while old Ks and Ls were given to new young pilots. D.B. Glinka has new Airacobra, version:?, S/N:?, B/N:?
Planes from 100 GIAP as part of 9th GIAD were supposed to have the regimental symbol – white propeller spinner and white tail top, but this Glinka’s plane had not.
August 24, 1943 - D.B. Glinka got his 2nd HSU order for 29 victories. He was the highest scoring soviet pilot over Kuban.