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Pilot profiles
cpt. av. Horia Agarici
lt. av. Florin Alexiu
lt. av. Tudor Andrei
lt. av. Titus Axente
lt. av. Mircea "Gicu" Badulescu
lt. cdor. av. Corneliu Batacui
slt. av. Constantin Balta
adj. av. Mihai Belcin
lt. av. Emil Boian
lt. av. Romulus Bucsa
cpt. av. (r) Constantin "Bâzu" Cantacuzino
adj. av. Dumitru Chera
lt. av. Serghei Ciachir
lt. av. Ioan Cioroiu
slt. av. Vasile Claru
adj. av. Nicolae Cojocaru
cpt. av. Petre Coles
lt. av. Decebal "Desi" Constantinescu
cdor. av. George Davidescu
adj. av. Traian Dârjan
cpt. av. Dumitru Deica
cpt. av. (r) Ioan Dicezare
lt. av. Ion Dobran
lt. av. Gheorghe Dobrescu
lt. av. Constantin Dragomir
cpt. av. Boris Ferderber
adj. sef av. Spridon Focsaneanu
lt. av. Ioan Galea
lt. av. Vasile Gavriliu
slt. av. Rene Gānescu
slt. av. Costin Georgescu
lt. av. Emil Georgescu
lt. av. Gheorghe "Gāga" Georgescu
cpt. av. Marin Ghica
lt. av. Teodor Greceanu
lt. av. Eusebie Hladiuc
adj. maj. av. Dumitru Ilie
lt. av. Gabriel Ionescu
adj. maj. av. Petre Ionescu-Conta
adj. stg. av. Aurelian Livovschi
of. ec. cls. III Ioan Maga
lt. av. Tanase Mancu
cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu
adj. av. Ioan Marinciu
cpt. av. Eugen "Matra" Marinescu
slt. av. Nicolae Sixtus Maxim
of. echip. cls. III av. Ion Milu
lt. av. Gheorghe Mociornita
lt. av. Lazar Munteanu
slt. av. Vasile Nasturas
lt. av. Traian "Ciocan" Nicolae
slt. av. Dumitru Pasare
adj. maj. av. (r) Vasile Pascu
lt. av. Alexandru Paun
lt. av. (r) Nicolae Polizu-Micsunesti
lt. av. Horia Pop
cpt. av. Gheorghe Popescu-Ciocanel
adj. av. Victor Popescu
lt. cdor. av. Alexandru "Popicu" Popisteanu
cpt. av. Eusebie Popovici
cpt. av. Traian Popteanu
cpt. av. Ion Profir
adj. sef av. Stefan "Grecu" Pucas
cpt. av. Craciun "Sbilt" Salajan
cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu
cpt. av. Wilhelm Schmaltz
cpt. av. Dorin Sculi
adj. stg. av. (r) Niculae Sculy Logotheti
cpt. av. Alexandru Serbanescu
adj. sef av. Nicolae Stan
lt. av. Virgil "Ghinghi" Stanculescu
lt. av. Dragos Stinghe
lt. av. Dan Stoian
cpt. av. Gheorghe Stroici
cpt. av. Virgil Trandafirescu
slt. av. (r) Sorin Tulea
slt. av. Florin Vasilovschi
adj. av. (r) Tiberiu Vinca
cpt. av. Dan Vizanti
slt. av. Ion Vonica
cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu

Fighter Pilot

Born: 10 April 1908

Units:

  • 1 June 1940 - 12 September 1942: 7th Fighter Group

Combat missions: N/A

Victories: 1 confirmed + 4 on the ground

Decorations:

  • Virtutea Aeronautica Gold Cross class

Died: 12 September 1942, Stalingrad

Biography:

Picture courtesy of mr. Manoliu

Cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu in February 1942

Alexandru Manoliu was born in Moldavia on 10 April 1908 in a priest family. After graduating high school he was admitted into the Air Force Officer School in Bucharest and started classes on 1 September 1930. He received the rank of sublocotenent (2nd lt.) on 1 July 1932 and was promoted to locotenent (1st lt.) on 15 March 1937.

In 1939 he was part of the 1st Fighter Flotilla based at Pipera airfield, near Bucharest. In February 1940 arrived the first Bf-109Es bought from Germany and, with them, the 57th Fighter Squadron was formed. Later, as more Messerschmitts were delivered, another two squadrons were raised and the 7th Fighter Group was created. On 22 June 1941, cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu was in command of the 57th Fighter Squadron.

During the first mission of the war, the 7th Fighter Group sent early in the morning 4 Bf-109Es to escort the He-111s of the 5th Bomber Group to Chisinau. The leader was cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu. On their way back, he noticed an airfield near Ialoveni, with 14-15 airplanes on the ground. Followed by lt. av. Dan Scurtu and adj. stg. av. Nicolae Iolu, he dived towards the enemy base. After the first pass, two Soviet airplanes were on fire (one was destroyed by him, the other by lt. av. Scurtu). Because the AA artillery reaction was poor, they attacked again and another aircraft was burning. Then they hurried to catch up with the bombers. Only after the reoccupation of Bessarabia, the real result was found out. The Romanian peasants that lived near the airfield told a different story. Two airplanes were destroyed and a third one had a fire at one engine, but it was put out by the mechanics. However, out of the 14 aircraft only 5-6 left the base flying, after a week of repairing. The others were so badly hit that they were dismantled and mounted on trucks and never returned. The two Romanian officers were a cited by the 4th Army. The group flew another 3 missions that day and had three damaged aircraft. On 27 June the 57th Squadron strafed the airfield at Tatar-Copceac and reported 8 Soviet aircraft destroyed.

His first and only air kill was on 18 August 1941, on the front near Odessa. He was leading a patrula (Romanian for Schwarm) that was providing air cover for the Romanian 11th Infantry Division fighting in the Vygoda railway station area. At 1830 hours they spotted a formation of 4 MBR-2 flying boats that were preparing to bomb the troops below. The Bf-109Es dived to attack them. Cpt. av. Manoliu targeted the lead airplane, but he saw an I-16 approaching adj. av. Stefan Greceanu and he decided to go for it. He fired both the cannon and machine-guns and the Soviet fighter was hit and went down in flames. He was at his turn attacked by an I-16, but he managed to shake it off.

After the 1941 campaign was over in October, the 7th Fighter Group returned to its airbase at Pipera for reorganization and to protect the capital. Cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu was awarded the Virtutea Aeronautica Order Gold Cross class and the Steaua Romaniei Order with Knight class. The group was sent again on the front near Stalingrad at the beginning of September 1942.

On 12 September 1942, cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu led a formation of the 57th Fighter Squadron in a mission over Stalingrad. They were engaged by LaGG-3s and in the following dogfight he was rammed by a Soviet fighter and went down crashing into Stalingrad. His wingmen reported that they saw a parachute over the city.

Picture courtesy of mr. Manoliu

Cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu in 1939 at Rostock

Picture courtesy of mr. Manoliu

Cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu on the Pipera airfield receiving an award in front of the group's pilots.

Author: Victor Nitu
Sources:
Air Mag Hors Serie No. 1 Les Messerschmitt Bf-109 roumains

Tudor V. Cpt. av. erou Alexandru Serbanescu, Editura MODELISM, 1998

Manoliu family documents

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