We celebrate one of the most decorated Russian pilots of World War II, whose Yak-3 is modelled here in 1:72 scale. Anton Dmitrievich Yakimenko rose from humble beginnings, through the ranks of the Soviet Army and then in 1935 he graduated from the military aviation school. His successes began with combat against the Japanese in 1939 before taking part in sorties over Europe throughout World War II. His many decorations include the Order of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Star and Honoured Pilot of the Soviet Union. He died in 2006 and is buried in Moscow.
The Yak-3 fighter aircraft, built by Yakovlev and introduced in 1944, proved a formidable foe against enemy aircraft, being light and high powered. Before it was retired in 1952, nearly 5000 had been built and was much liked by crew and pilots alike as it was solid, easy to maintain and quite small.
Our Oxford model of the Yak-3, as flown by Anton Dmitrievich Yakimenko, is decorated with an upper body in grey/green camouflage with pale blue undersides and red forward engine cowl and propeller spinner. The Soviet red star is printed on the sides of the fuselage and on the underwings. Gun barrels, intake mouth and propeller blades are finished in black. The pilot’s number 360 is printed in white along the fuselage and a final touch sees the tail fin in red with the Soviet Star and Russian lettering, which judging from the exclamation mark, could be a personal message from the pilot to his targets!