The feat of the people in the Great Patriotic War
“I began serving in the army in September 1938 in the Far East (Voznesenovka, Vozzhaevka) in the combined arms units of the Red Army, from where, as a graduate of…

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Alexander Pokryshkin
Three times Hero of the Soviet Union, who personally shot down 59 enemy aircraft and six aircraft in a group. He flew the MiG-3, Yak-1, P-39, Aerocobra. The genius of…

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Sorcerers rushed into the sky
Koldunov rushed into the sky, into the element of air combat. He submits an application with a request to be admitted to the Kachin flight school. But he was refused…

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Sky tanker
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…


Gulaev, Nikolai Dmitrievich

Born on February 26, 1918 in the village of Aksaiskaya (now the city of Aksai, Rostov Region) in a working class family. Russian.

He graduated from the 7th grade of an incomplete secondary school and the FZU school. For some time he worked as a mechanic at one of the Rostov factories. In the evenings I studied at the flying club.

In 1938 he joined the Red Army. Since 1939 – a candidate member of the CPSU (b). In 1940 he graduated from the Stalingrad Aviation School, then served in the air defense aviation.


Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Guards fighter pilot Captain Nikolai Gulaev in the cockpit of his Aerocobra. July 1944
On the fronts of the Great Patriotic War – from January 1942 (Voronezh Front from January to August 1942; from May to September 1943; Stalingrad Front – from August to October 1942; 2nd Ukrainian Front).

Fighter pilot senior lieutenant Nikolai Gulaev especially distinguished himself in the battles on the Kursk Bulge in the Belgorod region.

The title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal to the deputy squadron commander of the 27th Fighter Aviation Regiment (205th Fighter Aviation Division, 7th Fighter Aviation Corps, 2nd Air Army, Voronezh Front) Senior Lieutenant Gulaev Nikolai Dmitrievich was awarded September 28, 1943 for 95 sorties, 13 personally and 5 in a group of downed enemy aircraft.

In early 1944, Nikolai Gulaev became a squadron commander. He took part in the liberation of Right-Bank Ukraine. In one of the battles over the Prut River, at the head of six P-39 fighters, Gulaev attacked 27 enemy bombers, accompanied by 8 fighters. In 4 minutes, 11 enemy vehicles were destroyed, 5 of them personally by Gulaev.

The second medal “Gold Star” squadron commander of the 129th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (205th Fighter Aviation Division, 7th Fighter Aviation Corps, 5th Air Army, 2nd Ukrainian Front) Guard Captain N. D. Gulaev was awarded July 1, 1944 for 125 sorties, 42 air battles, in which he personally shot down 42 enemy aircraft and 5 in a group.

In 1944, decrees were promulgated on awarding the navigator of the fighter regiment, Major Gulaev, with the third Golden Star, as well as a number of pilots with the second Golden Star, but none of them received awards due to the brawl they arranged in a Moscow restaurant on the eve of receiving awards. These decrees were annulled[1]. Gulaev’s follower, S. Z. Bookchin, has a different version of this story. According to it, there was no decree on the assignment of the third star, and the brawl was for a completely different reason [2].

In one of the battles he was seriously wounded, but returned to service and until March 1945 served as a navigator of an air regiment. In total, during the war years, he made 250 sorties. In 49 air battles, he personally shot down 55 enemy aircraft and 5 in the group, which made him the fourth most successful among Soviet aces (the first – I.N. Kozhedub – 64 personally shot down aircraft; the second and third – A.I. Pokryshkin – 59 personally downed aircraft, and G. A. Rechkalov – 56, according to other sources – 61 personally downed aircraft).

From March 1945 he studied at VVIA them. Zhukovsky.

After the war

Gulaev’s grave at the Kuntsevo cemetery in Moscow.
After the war, he served in command positions in the Air Defense Forces of the country. In 1950 he graduated from the Air Force Academy, and in 1960 from the Military Academy of the General Staff. Since 1955, for five years he was the commander of the 133rd aviation fighter division, located in Yaroslavl. From 1966 to 1974, with the rank of Colonel General, he commanded the 10th Air Defense Army, at that time he lived and served in the city of Arkhangelsk.

Major General of Aviation (05/25/1959), Lieutenant General of Aviation (02/19/1968), Colonel General of Aviation (12/15/1972).

Since 1979, Colonel-General of Aviation N. D. Gulaev retired.

Lived in Moscow. He died on September 27, 1985 and was buried at the Kuntsevo cemetery.

Evstigneev Kirill Alekseevich
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V. Vysotsky dedicated the “Ballad of the Dead Pilot”, the lines from which you read, to the fighter pilot, twice Hero of the Soviet Union - Nikolai Skomorokhov and his…