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La-7s of 32 giap, 3 giad
by Massimo Tessitori
Updated on March 6, 2017
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The 1st Squadron of 32 giap, leaded by Maj. V.Orekhov, was sent to Tula to be retrained with La-7 in August 1944; in September, the newly trained pilots flew to the regiment with their new planes to extend the training to the pilots of the other squadrons. Orekhov's plane was numbered 23.

The first combat of La-7s of 32 giap was on September 15, 1944, when Maj. Orekhov and Lt.P.I.Pavlov took off in the region of Bauska, Latvia, and ended with two FW-190 shot down, but the plane of Lt. Pavlov was lost and the pilot suffered severe burns.

La-7 n. 39 was the mount of the commander of 3 giad, colonel V.I. Stalin; the boy of the photo is named Michail and was the 'son of regiment' 32 giap.

The photo was taken near Berlin in 1945.

The fast recognition marks of 32 giap were two oblique stripes on the tail, plus the red nose and spinner.

Note the dark repainting on the sides of the cowling, probably with AMT-12 ( a very common look for La-7s).


Profile of plane 39.

Another plane 0f 32 giap in Germany, 1945.

Strangely, the upper surfaces look painted with uniform AMT-11 grey, while the oblique stripes on the tail are preserved.

Profile of plane 46 in 1945.

Some screenshots from a movie show planes 03 and 66 of an unit that some sources have identified as 32 giap because of two oblique lines on the tail.

Both the ending of these lines and the white spinners visible on these screenshots make this identification questionable; anyway, none alternative has been proposed.

Both planes 66 and 03 have a white spinner, that leaves its rear part of a dark color, probably the grey of the camouflage.

Interestingly, both planes have the top of the rudder particularly dark; this could be due to the deletion of previous regimental markings with dark grey paint.

The profile reproduces the visible characteristics of plane 66:

  • standard camouflage, but with the tip of the tail particularly dark, probablydue to a dark grey repainting for the deletion of a previous mark;
  • white spinner, with grey rear part;
  • digits 6 and 6 not perfectly aligned;
  • white oblique bands with cutten ends;
  • stars, fonts and La-7 marks as planes built in Zavod 21.

Plane 03 seems very similar to 66, but its seem to show traces of repainting on the fuselage sides; the metal plate behind the exhaust tubes seems repainted with the camouflage colors.

The movable flap that covers the exhaust pipes looks somewhat shining, as if it has lost part of its paint due to the heat of the exhausts.

A profile of plane 03. It puts into evidence some repaintings on the fuselage and tail.