Heroes of the Soviet Union
Golovachev Pavel Yakovlevich (1917-1972) – Soviet ace pilot, participant in the Great Patriotic War, twice Hero of the Soviet Union. In total, during the war he made 457 sorties, took part in 125 air battles, shooting down 31 enemy aircraft personally and 1 more – as part of a group.
In November 1938, Golovachev was called up for service in the Workers ‘and Peasants’ Red Army. In 1940 he graduated from the Odessa Military Aviation Pilot School named after P. D. Osipenko. He served as a pilot in the 168th Fighter Aviation Regiment.
From the very first days of the Great Patriotic War, Golovachev was in the army.He shot down his first plane already on June 23, 1941, while he himself was injured. From October 1941 until the end of the war he served in the 69th (later the 9th Guards) Fighter Aviation Regiment. Participated in the battles near Kharkov, the Battle of Stalingrad.
June 25, 1942 was wounded in the arm, July 31, 1942 received a second wound, this time in the head. During the next battle, Golovachev’s plane was shot down, and the pilot himself was seriously wounded in the face and lost his sight. In the hospital, the most complicated operation was performed on him by the famous ophthalmologist, academician V.P. Filatov, who put 13 stitches. A month and a half later, Golovachev returned to duty. After mastering the Ya-1 aircraft, he was appointed flight commander, served in the squadron of the famous Soviet pilot Amet-Khan Sultan. Golovachev participated in the defeat of German troops near Stalingrad, the liberation of the Rostov region, Donbass, Crimea, Zaporozhye region.
As of October 27, 1943, Golovachev made 225 sorties, took part in 92 air battles, shooting down 17 enemy aircraft personally and 1 more as part of a group. For these merits, the commander of the 9th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, Hero of the Soviet Union A. A. Morozov presented him with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
In the future, Golovachev actively participated in the liberation of the Byelorussian and Lithuanian SSR, battles in East Prussia. On December 30, 1944, near the city of Troyburg, he took an air battle against the German Ju-188 air reconnaissance aircraft. Having used up the ammunition, Golovachev approached the German and chopped off the tail of his aircraft with a propeller, after which he barely managed to return to the airfield.
By the beginning of 1945, Golovachev served as deputy squadron commander of the same regiment. On January 8, 1945, for the downed 20 enemy aircraft, the commander of the 9th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel N. F. Funtov, who replaced Morozov, who died in 1944, presented him for the second assignment of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Golovachev shot down his last two planes on April 25, 1945 in the sky over Berlin. After the end of the war, Golovachev continued to serve in the Soviet Army. In 1951 he graduated from the Air Force Academy, in 1959 – the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. He served as commander of an aviation regiment, aviation division, then deputy commander of the Air Force of the military district. In 1957 he was promoted to the rank of Major General of Aviation. Pavel Yakovlevich Golovachev died on July 2, 1972, and was buried at the Eastern Cemetery in Minsk.
A street in Gomel is named after him.