cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu

Fighter Pilot

Born: 12 February 1900, Soldanesti, Botosani county


  • September 1943 - 23 June 1943: 1st Fighter Group

Combat missions: at least 15

Victories: 9


  • Mihai Viteazul Order 3rd class
  • Virtutea Aeronautica Knight Cross class

War episode:

On 23 June 1944, the 15th Air Force made another raid over Romanian soil. The 1st Fighter Group, although reduced to 19 operational aircraft in the last three months of fighting with the Americans, took off to meet the bombers at 0855 hours. Cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu led the group into battle, as usual. They made contact with the enemy. One patrula (Romanian for Schwarm) shot down a B-17 before they ran into the escort somewhere north of Bucharest. In the following dogfight with the Mustangs of the 31st Fighter Group, the IAR-81 no. 170 (rearmed as the IAR-81C version) of cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu was shot down and fell near Stefanesti. Another two made forced landings and the pilots were wounded and one IAR-81C was damaged. Ioan Sandu was the highest-ranking Romanian airman killed in battle during WW2.

Died: 23 June 1944, Stefanesti, Ilfov county

Picture from "Aripi Romanesti" no. 68/1944

Cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu


User Comments Add Comment
Brasoveanu  (22 April 2008)
Why is there no mention that he was Killed while hanging by his parachute, but the bullets of the American Mustang?
The circumstances regarding his death should be more clear, - as depicted in the Book 'Romanian Fighter Aces' by Dénes Bernad-