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Jak-1 IN YUGOSLAV SERVICE



The last variant of Jak-1 fighter, mistakenly named Jak-1 M, which corresponds only to the prototype of the Jak-3, came into the Balkan theatre in late 1944.

Aviation of People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (APLAY) received the whole 236th Fighter Division from Soviet Air Force, among other aviation units. This division had serviceable 103 Jak-1 Type 1943 fighters. Fighter Conversion Center (FCC) was established to train the Yugoslav personnel during December 1944. Yugoslav fighter pilots entered combat during January 1945. A Lack of enemies’ fighter activities in this area and the air supremacy of the allied air force limited real combat efficiency of Jak's. Therefore, the most of 588 sorties of Yugoslav's Jak-1s were IL-2 escort and reconnaissance duties. The last combat mission was flown on May 15th.

Simple construction, typical for Soviet war production, field condition and pure maintenance provoked the malfunction of equipment. Due to very bad condition, aircraft were sending for overhaul repair. Although they were 82 serviceable by late 1945, all Jak-1s practically loss their combat value, because of fact that aerobatics flying was forbidden!

During the 1946/1947 period, Jak-1 s were used for basic training only, most of them scrapped off by the end of this period. The last examples were withdrawn from the training units in 1950, and they were seized off the operational service. So ended the Yugoslav's Jak-1 story.

                                         by Milan Micevski


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