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Today in History

Name: Aleksandr Alexandrovich Kozakov
Order of St. George, 4th Class
Order of St. Vladimir, 2nd Class with Swords, 3rd Class with Swords and Bow
Order of St. Stanislas, 2nd Class with Swords and Bow, 3rd Class with Swords
Order of St. Anne, 2nd and 3rd Class with Sword
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Alexander Kozakov Military Cross (MC)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
Croix de Guerre with 1 Palm
Country: Russia
Rank: Polkovnik
Service: Imperial Russian Air Service
Units: 4th Corps Air Detachment
19th Corps Fighter Detachment
Victories: 20
Born: 15 January 1889
Place of Birth: Kherson Province
Died: 01 August 1919 Killed In Flying Accident
Place of Death: Near Benezniky
Russia's highest scoring ace was educated in military schools and entered the army in 1908. After serving in the cavalry, he transferred to aviation in 1913 and by the following year was posted to the 4th Corps Air Detachment in Poland where he flew reconnaissance and bombing missions in a Morane-Saulnier. Having made several unsuccessful attempts to bring down enemy aircraft by dangling explosives and grappling hooks beneath his plane, Kozakov scored his first victory in the spring of 1915 by ramming his opponent. In September 1915, he assumed command of the 19th Corps Air Detachment but scored no additional victories that year and only 2 more by August 1916 when he assumed command of the 1st Combat Air Group. In February 1917, his CAG was ordered to Romania where Kozakov scored eight more victories before being wounded in action on 27 June 1917. With 20 victories, he resigned his commission in January 1918 and joined the British Joint Military forces at Murmansk in June. Promoted to the rank of Major, he commanded the Slavo-British air detachment at Benezniky and continued flying combat missions until he was again wounded in January 1919. In March, he returned to duty but became deeply depressed by the withdrawal of British forces from Russia in the summer of 1919. On the evening of 1 August 1919, ignoring an invitation to a farewell dinner for British pilots, he took off in a Sopwith only to crash to his death a few moments later. Having watched Kozakov pull a loop at low altitude and stall the plane, Ira Jones concluded the Russian Ace of Aces "brought about his own death and staged it in the most dramatic manner."

Listed as Kosakoff in some sources.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 31 Mar 1915 4th Morane-Saulnier G (316) Albatros C Near Guzov-Volja
2 27 Jun 1916 1600 19th Nieuport 10 (222) Albatros C Lake Drisvjaty
3 29 Jul 1916 1500 19th Nieuport 10 (222) Albatros C.III Dvinsk
4 06 Sep 1916 19th Nieuport 11 Two-seater Kovel
5 21 Dec 1916 1500 19th Nieuport 11 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I (27.14) Lutsk
6 06 May 1917 0945 19th Nieuport 11 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I 1 Brezazany
7 10 May 1917 19th Nieuport 11 Fokker 2 Aarniki
8 17 May 1917 19th Nieuport 11 LVG C 3 Podgaitsy
9 25 May 1917 19th Nieuport 17 EA W of Konjukhi
10 08 Jun 1917 0800 19th Nieuport 17 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I (63.75) 3 W of Kozov
11 20 Jun 1917 0900 19th Nieuport 17 Rumpler C (4739/16) 3 Podgaitsy
12 27 Jun 1917 1700 19th Nieuport 17 EA Lipazodoluo
13 27 Jun 1917 2100 19th Nieuport 17 Rumpler C 4 Stavetyn
14 27 Jul 1917 19th Nieuport 17 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I (26.27) 5 Obertyn
15 02 Aug 1917 19th Nieuport 17 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I (64.67) 5 Dolinyany
16 08 Aug 1917 19th Nieuport 17 EA 5 Ivane-Pusto
17 29 Aug 1917 1100 19th Nieuport 17 Albatros C.III Lapkovtsy
18 11 Sep 1917 1600 19th Nieuport 17 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I (269.18) Near Gusyatin
19 23 Sep 1917 19th Nieuport 17 Hansa-Brandenburg C.I (269.26) S of Gusyatin
20 26 Oct 1917 19th Nieuport 17 EA 6 Scalat

1 Shared with Capt Pavel Argeyev, Ens Ernst Leman, 2Lt Zhabrov
2 Shared with Ens Ernst Leman, Capt Polyakov
3 Shared with Capt Pavel Argeyev
4 Shared with Ens Ernst Leman
5 Shared with Shangin
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