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Old 13th March 2006, 18:53
Monaco Monaco is offline
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female soviet fighter ace Lilya Litvyak, KIA on 01.08.43

Hello VVS experts,
maybe it allready had been a thread in this forum, but I was doing some research about the death of the female soviet fighter ace Lilya Litvyak, KIA on 01.08.43.

Female fighter pilot Guards Lt L. Litvyak (13+4 or 11+3 +1 balloon AV) flying 4 sorties that day (01.08.43) in a Yak-1 of 73 GIAP (296 IAP until 3.5.43)/ 6 GIAD is KIA on her 168th mission after claiming two last victories (Litvak, Lidiya Vladimirovna; VVS; 12+4 victories; 586 & 296 IAP, 73 GvIAP; 1 observation balloon shot down; KIA 1/Aug/1943; woman ace); she was s/d in two attacks by a Schwarm of 4 german Fw.190s (? See below) 2km N of Marinovka village; Lilya Litvyak was buried under the wing of her plane near the village of Dimitriyevka and made HSU only on 5 May 1990 when Mikhail Gorbachev was president.
According to Seidl: Litvyak s/d 1 Bf.109 jointly with fellow pilots in 3 sorties on 01.08.43, on the fourth sortie in the afternoon 6 Yak-1s of 73 GIAP attacked 30 Ju.88s and 12 escorts near Marinovka, Donetsk area, and Litvyak was s/d and crashed to death.
According to Polak/Shores: Litvyak s/d 1 Bf.109 on her third sortie and shared 1 Bf.109 s/d; on her fourth she claimed 1 more Bf.109 s/d, but was then attacked by another and dived into a cloud. Apparently her Yak-1M was hit and she crashed being buried close to her plane by local people, her remains were only discovered in 1990 by her former mechanic, St.Serzhant Inna Pasportnikova. Her CO prepared the documents for her appointment for HSU, but it there was the rumour that she was a POW of the Germans.

It it is very probable that Litvyak was s/d by Fw. Hans-Jörg Merkle of 1./JG.52 (based at Kuteinikowo with Bf.109Gs), who claimed a Yak-1 at 14.35 in the afternoon in combat at at 3.500m in (34 ON) 88239 that is exaxtly at Dmytrivka some 40km E of Donetsk. Dmytrivka is probably Dimitriyevka mentioned above as russian spelling sometimes differs in translations. According to my records this was the only Yak-1 claim made by JG.52 and 8./JG.3 this day.
8./JG.3 lost Bf 109G-4 W.Nr. 19708 "Schwarz 10 + |" (Uffz. Rudolf Backhaus MIA) after combat with Il-2s over Marinowka (3 Il-2s were claimed between 10.30-10.35, 1 more in the evening at 18.53); maybe Backhaus was a victim of 73 GIAP and Lilya Litvyak.

I´m curious if the experts here agree with...and if there exist any german records especially regarding Rudolf Backhaus and Hans-Jörg Merkle?

I´m aware that it allways will be difficult sometimes impossible to bring the opponents from over 60 years together and to some of you simply not necessary. For me personally speaking it makes history much more present and gives a cruel anonymous war a face.

Regards
Monaco
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Old 13th March 2006, 19:12
Monaco Monaco is offline
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Re: female soviet fighter ace Lilya Litvyak, KIA on 01.08.43

Just a detail that I oversaw. Checking Tony Wood´s ace list I found out that Fw. Hans-Jörg Merkle was a 30-victory ace and rammed by his last victim, a Yak-1...so maybe Litvyak commited a taran after being hit?

Are there any photos existing of Hans-Jörg Merkle?

Regards

Monaco
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