Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Yugoslav Air Force 1944/45


112.Lovacki Puk

After collapse of the Romanian Front in the August 1944, the Red Army was close to Yugoslavia and it entered its territory with Tito´s approval. The 17th Air Army supported operations of the Soviets in eastern Serbia. Based on the Yugoslav-Soviet agreement from November 16, 1944 the 10th Guard Assault Air Division, the 236th Fighter Air Division and the 9th Area Air Base were singled out for the support requirements of the Yugoslav Army. This newly formed the Group of Air Divisions NOVJ, known also as Group Vitruk (Gen. Andrej Nikiforovic Vitruk, commander 10th Assault Air Division), was augmented by command, flying and ground personnel from Yugoslav units.

Theoretical and practical training was by experienced Soviet flying instructors. These divisions also received Yugoslav designation on December 29, 1944 as follows: the 10th Division became the Yugoslav 42nd Assault Air Division NOVJ and the 236th Division became the 11th Fighter Air Division NOVJ. Group Vitruk made about 2098 combat flights from the November 1944 to the first half of January 1945 – this was with all-Soviet crews. In the second half of January 5 to 6 Yugoslav pilots were placed into the each Fighter Regiment. The more experienced Yugoslav trainees were gradually exchanged for the Soviet crews, staff and technical personnel. The first combat missions of Yugoslav pilots in cockpits of Soviet aircraft were operational from January 17, 1945. The first independent Yugoslav unit within the Group Vitruk was formed on April 1, 1945 at Klenak airfield from the 112th Fighter and 422nd Assault Regiments. It was this Air Group South that would support the final offensive of the Yugoslav Army.

The final Yugoslav offensive was marked by political juggling of the Allies. The British, for example, did not want the Yugoslavs to enter Trieste and to cross pre-war Yugoslav-Italian border and so they supported the 4th Yugoslav Army with the aircraft of the 1st and 2nd Eskadrila NOVJ only till the end April 1945. The Soviets on the other hand delayed the passing over the aircraft and their technical support to Yugoslavian forces. The Yugoslav crew of Soviet air units conducted 1445 combat sorties, 9 aircraft were shot down, 9 pilots and gunners died. Much bigger losses were caused by crashes, failures and right-offs. The Yugoslav pilots in Soviet machines saw German aircraft three times only, at which time the German aircraft successfully evaded. It shall be pointed out that the Yugoslav pilots ended the war with a big handicap of being without combat experience from aerial combats.
The Staff of Air Force of People´s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia
Birth: October 29, 1944
Commander: Maj-Gen. France Pirc
Second in Command: Col. Bozo Lazarevic
Chief of the Staff: Col. Miodrag Lozic 

42nd Assault Air Division
Birth: December 29, 1944, performed from January 5, 1945
Place: Novi Sad, Prigrevica (from March 25, 1945), Kalinovac (from May 10, 1945)
Commander:
Col. Bozo Lazarevic
Col. Jevrem Bjelica (from March 17, 1945)
Political Commissar:
Lt.Col. Ljubo Momcilovic
Maj. Enver Cemalovic (from March 17, 1945) 

421st Assault Regiment
Birth: December 20, 1944
Place: Lacarak, Krnjesevci (from January 19, 1945), Zemun (from February 9, 1945), Nadalj (from March 10, 1945), Backi Brestovac (from March 15, 1945), Sombor (from March 30, 1945), Rajlovac (from May 9, 1945), Lacarak (from May 21, 1945)
Commander: Maj. Dusan Bozovic
Political Commissar: Lt. Vinko Sever 

422nd Assault Regiment
Birth: December 4, 1944
Place: Novi Sad, Klenak (from March 29, 1945), Magyarmecske, Hungary (from May 4, 1945)
Commander: Capt. Krsto Lakicevic
Political Commissar: Petar Raznatovic

423rd Assault Regiment
Birth: December 9, 1944
Place: Ruma, Gospodjinci (from March 10, 1945), Backi Brestovac (from March 26, 1945), Kalinovac (from May 8, 1945), Pleso (from May 12, 1945)
Commander: Maj. Milan Malnaric (died), Maj. Blazo Kovacevic (from end of March, 1945)
Political Commissar: Capt. Zlatko Frid

11th Fighter Air Division
Birth: December 29, 1944, performed from January 7, 1945
Place: Ruma, Sombor (from March 17, 1945), Magyarmecske, Hungary (from May 7, 1945)
Commander: Maj. Arsenije Boljevic
Political Commissar: Capt. Ljubisa Curgus

111th Fighter Regiment
Birth: December 25, 1944
Place: Novi Sad, Kupusina-Sombor (from March 28, 1945)
Commander: Capt. Ljubomir Popadic
Political Commissar: Capt. Milan Zrilic 

112th Fighter Regiment
Birth: December 15, 1944
Place: Veliki Radinci, Nadalj (from March 11, 1945), Klenak (from March 29, 1945), Magyarmecske, Hungary (from May 4, 1945)
Commander: Capt. Sava Poljanec
Political Commissar: Capt. Mile Rodic 

113th Fighter Regiment
Birth: December 15, 1944
Place: Ruma, Backi Brestovac (from March 16, 1945), Kalinovac (from May 8, 1945), Pleso (from May 12, 1945)
Commander: Capt. Miljenko Lipovscak
Political Commissar: Lt. Drago Djurickovic 

9th Area Air Base
Birth: December 29, 1944, performed from January 5, 1945
Place: Novi Sad
Commander: Col. Todor Uzelac
Political Commissar: Maj. Meho Seremet

The Staff of the Group of Air Divisions of the Yugoslav Army
Performed from March 17, 1945
Commander: Col. Bozo Lazarevic
Political Commissar: Lt.Col. Ljubo Momcilovic
Chief of the Staff: Col. Zdenko Ulepic

No comments:

Post a Comment