249 IAP was one of the most successful Soviet fighter units on the southern combat zone during that period. Among its pilots was the famous fighter ace Kapitan Petr Kozachenko. The regiment had a mixed composition of I-153s (acquired from the disbanded 248 IAP), I-16s - and a solitary LaGG-3. The LaGG-3 was a very peculiar story. While the Regiment was based on Kotivets airfield in the vicinity of Dnepropetrovsk in August 1941, one of the pilots found a deserted LaGG-3 which had made a forced landing near the airfield. This plane was repaired and passed among the pilots in the Regiment. More than 20 pilots thus managed to get familiarised with the LaGG-3 prior to the official transformation of the Regiment to LaGG-3s later in September.
This raid was described both in Pravda and - in the following words - from the German point of view:
'Feldwebel /Werner/ Lucas of 4 Staffel, who was airborne, spotted the incoming bombers. He sent a warning through radio. Nevertheless, the bombs were already falling as the Gruppe scrambled.'
Feldwebel Lucas dived on the attackers and managed to shoot down the precious LaGG-3 - his personal victory No 23. Kapitan Khalutin, in an I-16, attacked a Bf 109 with the call-code 'white 8'. He gave it a long burst with his machine guns. The enemy fighter exploded violently, spreading burning shrapnel over a large area. Oberfeldwebel Heinrich Brenner in the cockpit had no chance of survival. Less than two minutes later, the Soviet fighters and fighter-bombers were gone.
According to the Russian report, ten enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground.. Nevertheless, 249 IAP failed to put JG 3 out of commission.
Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle und Verluste bei den fliegenden Verbände Gen.Qu. 6
Russian Military Archive TsAMO.
Pravda, September 9, 1941
Prien, Stemmer: II./JG 3.
Hanin, Geroi Sovetskogo Sovuza - syny Tataryy.