Klubov Alexander Fedorovich
Alexander Fedorovich Klubov was born in 1918, in the small village of Zherinovo, in the Vologda region (Russia). His father was a worker Fyodor Ivanovich. At one time he was a sailor on the Aurora, and thus was a direct participant in the Revolution of 1917. After he received his secondary education, young Alexander arrived in Leningrad, where he worked at the Bolshevik industrial plant. Like many young people of that time, he joined the flying club, and after completing his primary education, he decided to devote his whole life to aviation. In 1939, Klubov entered the flight school and after graduation received the rank of lieutenant. Its release coincided with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
In August 1942 Klubov finally gets to the front line as a fighter pilot. In one of the very fierce air battles near Mozdok, his I-153 was seriously damaged. The plane caught fire, and Klubov was forced to leave the plane, but he managed to get burns to his face and hands. = Despite spending many weeks in the hospital, he bore the marks of this battle for the rest of his life. In the autumn of 1942 Klubov was granted the Order of the Red Banner. = By the beginning of 1943, he was in the 16th Guards IAP, commanded by the famous ace Alexander Pokryshkin. By the end of April 1943, the regiment’s pilots shot down 79 enemy aircraft of the following types: 14 Bf 109E, 12 Bf 109F, 45 Bf 109G, 2 FW 190, 4 Ju 88, 1 Do 217, and 1 Ju 87. The most successful pilots of this period were: Captain A. Ya. Pokryshkin – 10 Bf 109, senior lieutenant V. Ya. Fadeev – 12 Bf 109 and senior lieutenant Rechkalov – 7 Bf 109 + 1 Ju 88. Under the leadership of Pokryshkin and thanks to daily heavy battles, young pilots received a lot of rich experience (or died…).
The front-line life of pilots was hard. In addition to fighting, there was also a ground one. And it was not always cloudless.
So, at the beginning of May 1944, a very unpleasant incident occurred at Klubov’s. After the regiment was relocated to a new base airfield, without waiting for the arrival of the technical staff by the railway, the acting regiment commander Rechkalov allowed training sorties. In one of them, by an absurd accident, a combat pilot, squadron commander Olifrenko, died. After the funeral (and commemoration, as we usually do with alcohol), Klubov, returning in the dark, stumbled upon a soldier-minder. What happened between them is unknown, but in the end, Klubov shot the minder. According to the military prosecutor’s office, the soldier died, but the ensuing investigation yielded nothing – the case was simply “hushed up” at a very high level.
Alexander Klubov was twice awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union: on April 13, 1943, and then posthumously on June 27, 1945. He completed 457 sorties and took part in 95 air battles. On his account there were 31 personal victories and 19 – in the group. On November 1, 1944, during a training flight near Stalow Wola (Poland), a famous ace died. The reason for this was not only the failure of the materiel, but also the irresponsibility of the regiment commander in organizing training flights.
The poorly repaired concrete strip of the airfield, blown up by the Nazis during the retreat, a very strong side wind did not guarantee the safety of landings even on serviceable aircraft. To conduct flights in such conditions was at least unreasonable. The failure of the landing flaps on the La-7 Klubov, a strong side drift led to a lengthening of the run. At the end of the strip, the chassis wheels hit soft ground. There was a full hood of the plane – and a disaster. Alexander Klubov could not be saved. He died in a Polish hospital an hour and a half later.
The pilot was buried in Lvov, on the Hill of Glory with all military honors.