One of the best Soviet fighter aces.
Soviet military figure. Chief Air Marshal of the USSR. Twice Hero of the Soviet Union. During the Great Patriotic War, he was one of the best Soviet fighter aces.
Alexander Koldunov was born on September 20, 1923 in the village of Moshchinovo, Smolensk region. He graduated from high school in the city of Elektrougli, Moscow Region. He studied at the flying club in Reutov. Since 1941 in the Workers ‘and Peasants’ Red Army. During the Great Patriotic War in March 1943 he graduated from the Kachin Red Banner Military Aviation School of Myasnikov.
Koldunov was assigned to a reserve aviation regiment, but managed to get enlisted in the active army. Since May, he has been in the position of a pilot of the 594th assault aviation regiment at the front. The first victory was won on June 21 over the Seversky Donets River. He went from junior pilot to commander of a fighter squadron. He distinguished himself in the battle for the Dnieper, the Iasi-Kishinev operation, the Budapest operation, the liberation of Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria. By the beginning of May 1944, he made 223 sorties, conducted 45 air battles, personally shot down 15 enemy aircraft.
For these exploits, on August 2, 1944, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Koldunov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.
In total, during the war years, Koldunov made 412 sorties, conducted 96 air battles, during which he personally shot down 46 enemy aircraft.
Three years later, as part of a group of those awarded on the anniversary of the Soviet Army, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of February 23, 1948, Major Koldunov was awarded the second Gold Star medal, becoming twice Hero of the Soviet Union.
After the war, Alexander Ivanovich continued to serve in the fighter aircraft of the Air Force. In 1952 he graduated from the Air Force Academy in Monino. He commanded a fighter aviation regiment, a fighter aviation division. In 1960 he received additional education at the Military Academy of the General Staff. Then he was transferred to the Air Defense Forces and served in the Baku Air Defense District for several years. He was the deputy commander and commander of the fighter aviation of the district. Later he became the first deputy commander of the district troops. From July 1968 – commander of the 11th separate air defense army.
In November 1970, Alexander Koldunov became commander of the Moscow Air Defense District. Since December 1975, he served as First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Air Defense Forces of the country. From July 1978 he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Defense Forces of the USSR. In October 1984, he was awarded the military rank of Air Chief Marshal. He was removed from his post on June 11, 1987 after the scandalous flight of the German pilot Matthias Rust to Moscow and his landing on Vasilyevsky Spusk.
Alexander Ivanovich Koldunov was a deputy of the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the IX-XI convocations from the Turkmen SSR.
Alexander Ivanovich Koldunov died on June 7, 1992. He was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery.