Air Marshal Efimov Alexander Nikolaevich is one of the most famous pilots of the Russian Air Force. At the age of twenty-two, he was twice awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet attack pilot made over two hundred successful sorties on the Il-2 aircraft, nicknamed by the Nazis “Black Death” or “Meat Grinder”. Alone with his shooter and as part of a group, he shot down seven German aircraft in air battles and destroyed more than eighty at airfields. Continue reading
What were they like, those “old men” who went into battle?
Around every celebrity, especially if she is surrounded by a halo of accomplished feats, a lot of oral rumors inevitably arise, gradually turning into legends. Naturally, such a legendary pilot as Nikolai Skomorokhov could not avoid this fate. Leading the Parade of WinnersSource Whatever they told about him! And he carried the Banner of Victory at the Parade, and cruelly avenged the death of his friend, finding and destroying both culprits, and he went through the whole war without a single scratch, and Vysotsky dedicated songs about pilots to him: Someone sparingly and clearly Counted us The hours of our life are short, Like a concrete strip, – And on it – who crashed, Who – took off forever … Continue reading
Double, Triple and Quadruple Heroes
The concept of “twice, thrice, four times Hero” today seems somewhat strange, probably it would be more correct to talk about awarding several Gold Star medals. But this is a fact of our history, and it cannot be bypassed.
For the first time, three pilots became Heroes twice for the feats of arms shown in battles with the Japanese interventionists on the Khalkhin Gol River in 1939: Major Sergei Ivanovich Gritsevets and Colonel Grigory Panteleevich Kravchenko (Decree of August 29), as well as commander Yakov Vladimirovich Smushkevich (Decree dated 17 November). The fate of all three was tragic. Continue reading