Yak-9, I.N. Stepanenko, 4 iap, 185 iad

By Michal Sekula

Updated on April 20 , 2020

back to Sovietwarplanes Pages Index
back to Yak-9 index
back to Yak-9 profiles index

Yak-9 was a development of the robust and successful late Yak-7B with the M-105PF engine and lowered rear fuselage decking and all-around vision canopy. It was armed with 1 × 20 mm ShVAK cannon and 1 × 12,7 mm UBS machine gun. Yak-9 had 2 fuel tanks with total capacity of 320 kg of fuel, two fuel hatches on the upperwing for filling the tanks. One tank and one filling hatch per one wing. Yak-9 arrived to Soviet fighter aviation regiments at the Stalingrad Front in December 1942. There were 459 planes Yak-9 produced in total.
More about Yak-9 family in English at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-9 and in Russian (with line drawings etc.) at http://www.airfield.narod.ru/yak/yak-9/yak-9.html and https://coollib.com/b/261705/read.

Ivan Nikiforovich Stepanenko was born in April 13, 1920. He participated in the fights of GPW from June 1941 within 4 iap.
His score in August 1943 was 14 aerial victories for what he was on April 13, 1944, his 24th birthday, awarded by Gold Medal of the Hero of the Soviet Union. He continued in the fights, his score achieved 32 aerial victories and so in August 18, 1945 he was awarded by the second Gold medal of HSU. His total score during WWII was 33 (31) individual and 9 (8) group victories.


Yak-9, I.N. Stepanenko, leader of the 2nd squadron, 4 iap, summer 1943 “Orel-Kursk Operation”

The plane was camouflaged in standard colors, e.g. green AMT-4 and black on the upper surfaces and light blue on the under surfaces. The cap on the tail is blue – the regimental color. The picture on the port side shows a tiger hunting Goebbels.

I.N. Stepanenko flew on this plane since June 1943, until he replaced it by the new Yak-9T.
The emblem of the Order of the Red Banner (not painted here) appeared on the nose after November 5, 1944, when the 4 iap received this award.
The profile in full resolution should be published in the book Soviet Fighters of the Second World War by Jason Nicholas Moore.


Major I.N. Stepanenko in front of his Yak-9, summer 1943. Picture is heavily retouched:


Major I.V. Shmelev, leader of the 3rd squadron, in front of Stepanenko’s Yak-9, summer 1943:

Pilots from 4 iap at Orel airfiled, summer 1943. Stepanenko is in the 2nd row, the second from the right:


this work collects a lot of photos from many sources, not always identified and mentioned.
If someone has rights on the images reproduced on this site, please don't feel hurted, email to me and I shall provide to remove or to credit them.


(remove (nospam))