P-39K-1 of Boris B. Glinka, 45th IAP

by Michal Sekula

Updated on February 26, 2014
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This is P-39K-1 of Boris B. Glinka from 45 IAP, total score 27+2 victories.
Following info is from the V. Roman’s book Airacobras over Kuban and from discussion at http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/board/index.php?topic=1740.0

The 45 IAP was sent back to front on February 18, 1943 with mixed Lend-Lease armament – the 1st and 3rd squadron had Airacobras, the 2nd squadron had Kittyhawks. This serial no. 24415 as well as serial no. 24403 of his brother Dimitry were among these first Airacobras in the unit.
The 45 IAP started combat operations on March 9, 1943.

Following picture is from the book Airacobras over Kuban by V. Roman, found also at http://airfighters.ru/glinka_b.php:

Russian text says: "On 24415 ... red star is poorly distinguishable on the dark green... (enhanced by retouch)."

This profile shows plane of Boris B. Glinka as it looks in April 1943 during fights over Kuban. It is not known whether there were victory stars painted on the left side of the fuselage.

Basic features:
- grey propeller blades,
- it is not clear from the photo whether Aeroproducts logo and black stencil were or not on propeller blades,
- the digit "5" on the tail is overpainted and slightly different from others,
- repainting of the blue circle under the star on the fuselage is Russian A-24m Green (very similar to AMT-4). Photo shows it as little brighter than surrounding fuselage color (OD),
- repainting of the blue circle under the star on the right underwing is Russian A-28m blue.

Boris Glinka had 10 victories on April 15, 1943. He was awarded HSU on May 24, 1943 for 10 victories and 200 combat actions, 30 days after his brother Dimitry.

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.”

From Yakovlev’s note 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:

This Cobra of S/N: 24415 together with another planes was sent to 16 GIAP on April 28, 1943, when the 45 IAP was withdrawn from the front to be re-armed with new P-39M and N versions.

On July 14, 1944, B.B. Glinka in rank of Major and as Commander of 16 GIAP was shot down in P-39N-1, serial no. 42-9215. Next months he spent in hospitals due to serious insures and he did not fly combat flights by the end of War.