By Henry Sakaida

Intentionally ramming an enemy aircraft in a dogfight took nerves of steel, skill, and a lot of luck. Soviet pilots exhibited extreme hatred toward their German opponents for their attack on their homeland and widespread atrocities. A successful ramming attack brought great recognition to the pilot. One such pilot was Viktor Lozovski.


Hero of the Soviet Union small identification booklet of Viktor Lozovski. Heroes received many privileges from a grateful nation. By simply flashing this booklet, the hero received free personal transportation in the city, and could go to the head of the line at entertainment and cultural events. The hero also received first priority on a housing list, reduced taxes, annual free pass to a vacation resort, free medical treatment in government clinics and hospitals, yearly round trip first class travel ticket, and educational and employment opportunities. In the Soviet Union, becoming a hero was a ticket to a better life; they were respected everywhere and treated like celebrities.


I bought the booklet, which contains Lozovski’s photo, when I learned that he had rammed a Me-109 in combat. As a challenge, I wanted to make this “talk” and identify his hapless opponent.

Viktor Lozovski was born in 1923 to a peasant family in the Dnepropetrovsk Region of Ukraine. In 1939, he finished agricultural school. He was fascinated with flying and belonged to an aviation club. When the war started, he enlisted in the military with the goal of becoming a fighter pilot. In 1942, Lozovski graduated from Chuguev Military Pilot School. In May 1943, he started flying combat missions in the Yak-1 fighter with the 897th Fighter Regiment.

Yakovlev Yak-1 fighter was popular with pilots because it was fast, maneuverable, and reliable. Mechanics loved it because it was easy to service and maintain. In the hands of skilled pilots, it would hold its own against the Me-109. It had a top speed of 592 km/h (368mph), range of 700km (435m), and a service ceiling of 10,050m (32,972ft). Armament: 1x20mm cannon and a 12,7mm machine gun. Lozovski flew the Yak-1 in his first combats against the enemy.

Jr/Lt Lozovski claimed his first victory on 16 July 1943 over a Me-109 (not confirmed by Luftwaffe loss records). Although outnumbered, Lozovski’s squadron took on a numerically superior group of Me-109s. He latched onto a German who was attacking his flight leader, and shot it down, thus saving his life.

Lozovski’s 2nd victory was a Focke-Wulf FW-189 recon plane. He shot it down on 17 August 1943 on the southeastern outskirts of Slavyanks. On the same mission, he shot down a Ju-88 bomber.

The main German fighter opponent over Ukraine was Jagdgeschwader 52 , after JG3 pulled out in August 1943 for home defense duties.  JG52 was the most successful air group in history, with claims of over 10,000 enemy aircraft shot down!

On 17 August, Lozovski added a Focke-Wulf 189 twin-engined recon plane and a Ju-88 bomber to his tally. By this time, he had flown over 80 combat missions.

Lozovski flew the following day to protect ground troops when he encountered a flight of Ju-88 bombers escorted by JG52 Me-109s. He shot down a bomber near Gusarovka, then claimed a Me-109 near the town of Dolgenkaya. So intent was he in bringing down his last opponent, he deliberately struck the tail of the Me-109 with his propeller. It spun out of control and broke up in the air before hitting the ground. Lozovaski was able to land his badly damaged plane at his base.

The Germans were known for keeping meticulous records and much of the records from JG52 have survived. In my quest to find Lozovski’s ramming victim, I was aided by several Luftwaffe historians online who gave me their time and expertise. Thanks to them, the mystery was solved in 3 days!

On 18 August 1943, JG52 lost three pilots: Lt Werner Puls of 7./JG52, fell burning northeast of Poltava. He was reported to have shot down a Soviet La-5 fighter; Unteroffizier (Sgt) Alfred Uhl of 9./JG52 fought with La-5s and went missing 8km southeast of Izyum, an important railway center located 70 miles southeast of Kharkov. Feldwebel (Staff Sgt) Udo Bungert was shot down while escorting Ju-88s in combat with Yak-1s and La-5 fighters near Izyum.

Analysis: I have eliminated Lt Puls because he was too far away from the area of Izyum where Lozovski fought with Me-109s. According to Lozovski’s logbook, he claimed a Me-109 near Dolgenkaya and rammed a Me-109 over Dolgenkaya. This town is 22km southeast of Izyum. Uffz Alfred Uhl was downed 8km from Izyum, which is not close to where Lozovski rammed his opponent. Udo Bungert fought with Yak-1s and Lozovski was flying a Yak-1. So it appears that Jr/Lt Viktor Lozovski rammed Bungert over Dolgenkaya.


When the war ended, Viktor Lozovski had flown 327 missions, engaged in 42 dogfights, and recorded 19 aerial victories. It was usual government policy to award pilots the title of Hero of the Soviet Union upon scoring their tenth aerial victory. His nomination for the prestigious award was delayed due to poor record keeping by his unit. Capt Lozovski finally received his well deserved award in 1948. He retired from service in 1958 with the rank of major. He resided in the city of Zaporozhye, Ukraine, where he died on 23 November 1969.


In many parts of Ukraine, the municipalities lack funds to maintain cemeteries. Due to anti-Soviet/Russian sentiments, graves of Soviet heroes are often vandalized. Lozovski’s grave has been damaged. The photo of the woman is not his wife, but his daughter Nina, who is also buried with her father.

For Related Articles See:

For Books By Henry Sakaida Check Out:

Samurai!: The Autobiography of Japan’s World War Two Flying Ace

For More on Japanese Aces of WWII Check Out:

Genda’s Blade: Japan’s Squadron of Aces: 343 Kokutai

Aces of the Rising Sun 1937–1945

B-29 Hunters of the JAAF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Past and Present WWII History Posts