La-5 18 Za Galchenko of Eskadrilya VCh
by Massimo Tessitori

Updated on May 26, 2019

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This photo shows pilot Devyatkin Nikolai Dmitrievich of 21 IAP in summer 1943 close to a La-5 White 18 with very interesting markings.

The inscription by stencil says 'Gorkovskiy pozharnyy' (Gorkii firemen), meaning that the funds for this plane were collected by them. A white bird and two victory starlets are recognizable.

The larger dedication reads 'Za Galchenko' (For Galchenko), and seems made by chalk or pastel of two colors, hypothetically white and light blue.

Lieutnant Galchenko Leonid Romanovich was a brave pilot of 21 IAP, in the regiment since September 1942. He was KIA on 05/30/1943.


A photo of another La-5 white x2 with the inscription 'Gorkovskiy pozharnyy', Gorki fireman, during a ceremony of delivery of this plane paid with funds collected by the firemen of Gorki.

Photos of the left side of these planes are not known, but the linked sources report a telegram of Stalin saying that the planes donated by the firemen of Gorkii were part of the Valeriy Chkalow squadron; so, they had the inscription of VCh on the left side, just as the planes donated by the farmers of Gorkii.

This is the first time that there is evidence of planes ith VCh eskadrilya paid with funds collected by other than the Gorkii farmers.



a profile of plane red 18, based on the photo and to the reconstruction of Kazakov.






The inscription "Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov" was drawn according to the Stalin's telegram and to the reconstruction of Kazakov, that included the repetition of the starlets on the base of photos of other planes of the same unit that had victoriy maks painted on the left side.




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