I-153s in Nomothan accident

Updated on March 17, 2016

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Soviet Union fought a brief, intense undeclared war against Japanese forces between 11 May and 15 September 1939. It was fought in Nomothan area, where the Khalkhin Gol river marked the board between the Soviet Mongolia and the Japanese-hold Manchuria.

At first, the main unit of the VVS in that area was 75th Special Corp, including the 70 IAP (Fighter regiment) with 24 I-16 and 14 I-15bis, an unit with a low training level.

Soon other units were put into the war, and a total of 70 of the 'new' I-153 fighter were sent in combat in the ranks of 22, 56 and 70 IAP.

The highly visible grey-silver livery of I-153s and of other Soviet planes was modified with green (and sometimes black) paint given into mottles, lines and other fantasious camouflages.

Dotted 26, 1939

Drawing by Tapani Tuomanen

I-153 red 26 of 70th IAP badly landed during the war of 1939 with Japaneses. The field camouflage with (presumably) green stripes and blotches over the grey/aluminium background is noteworty.

This plane is of very early production, probably with M-25 engine and an unusual spinner, different both from that of I-15bis and from that utilized on late production I-153s.



Spaghetti 8, 1939

Right: another plane downed, presumably red 8 of 70th IAP.

Its upper wing pattern, although caual, evidences the circular movement of the arm of the man that painted it while resting on some ladder.

This plane is of very early production, probably with M-25 engine, and has spinner similar to that of I-153 prototype and I-15bis.

Image of komissar of 22 IAP V.N. Kalatchev photographed near his plane Red 11.

Note the white shadowing on one side of the digits, and the 'net' camouflage painted on the light background livery.


Disclaimer: all the images were found on the net and were freely utilized for no-profit research purposes.

Should anyone have rights on them, please don't feel hurted, email to me and I'll provide to credit or remove them.