Callsign "Maestro"
Vitaly Ivanovich Popkov, the future Maestro and future Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, went to the front in early May 1942 after several reports. From the very beginning, the…

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Nikolai Mikhailovich Skomorokhov
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…

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Stepped into immortality: little-known heroes of the Great Patriotic War
During the years of the Great Patriotic War, the highest Soviet award - the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union - was awarded to 11,657 soldiers and…

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Nikolai Mikhailovich Skomorokhov
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…

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The Great Patriotic War

The Great Patriotic War caught P.Ya. Golovachev near Iasi. He flew to attack the enemy troops on the I-16. On the second day of the war, he shot down his first plane – “Me-109”, but he himself was wounded.

In October 1941, he was transferred to the 69th Odessa Aviation Regiment under the command of Hero of the Soviet Union L.L. Shestakova.
Fought in the skies of Stalingrad. On “LaGG-3” he shot down several enemy aircraft. After the Battle of Stalingrad, he was appointed flight commander.

He distinguished himself in battles near Rostov-on-Don and in the Donbass. In March 1943, over Bataysk, as part of a group of Yak-1 fighters, he entered into battle with a hundred bombers and 60 enemy fighters. Skillfully maneuvering, protecting each other from unexpected attacks, Soviet pilots destroyed 42 enemy aircraft, losing 3 of their own. In this fight, P.Ya. Golovachev brought his personal score to 18 wins. In the autumn of 1943 he fought in the skies of the Crimea and near Melitopol. Member of the CPSU (b) CPSU since 1943.

By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated November 1, 1943, “for the exemplary performance of the combat missions of the command to break through the heavily fortified German zone and liberate the city of Melitopol and the courage and heroism shown at the same time,” Guards Senior Lieutenant P.Ya. Golovachev was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.
P.Ya. Golovachev with his fighter
As part of the regiment P.Ya. Golovachev liberated Belarus, Lithuania. During the first battles in East Prussia on December 30, 1944, being in a free search on the La-7 fighter paired with N.I. Chernik, near the city of Troiburg at an altitude of 9000 m, discovered the enemy heading towards the Soviet troops, and entered into battle with him. 4 times attacked the enemy, but “Ju-188”, maneuvering, all the time left the fire. P.Ya. Golovachev managed to hit the gunner and set fire to the plane, but the German pilot was able to bring down the flames. When the ammunition ran out, P.Ya. Golovachev moved the gas sector to the stop and, approaching, hit the tail of the Junkers with a propeller, as a result of which he collapsed down. Waking up after the impact, he brought his fighter out of a steep dive and with great difficulty reached his airfield. It was his 20th victory. For the courage shown in this battle, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
Until the end of the assault on Koenigsberg, he shot down another 10 enemy aircraft on the same plane, after which he handed it over to the museum.

The second medal “Gold Star” was the deputy squadron commander of the same regiment (303rd Fighter Aviation Division, 1st Air Army, 3rd Belorussian Front) Guards Captain P.Ya. Golovachev was awarded on June 29, 1945 for 385 sorties and 26 personally shot down enemy aircraft.

post-war period

After the war he continued to serve in the Air Force. In 1951 he graduated from the Red Banner Air Force Academy, in 1959 – the Military Academy of the General Staff. Since 1957, with the rank of Major General of Aviation, he served in responsible positions in the Soviet Army.

P.Ya. Golovachev died on July 2, 1972. He was buried in Minsk at the Eastern Cemetery.

Awards:

– 2 medals “Gold Star” of the Hero of the Soviet Union,
– 2 orders of Lenin,
– 6 Orders of the Red Banner,
– Order of the Patriotic War 1st degree,
– 2 orders of the Red Star,
– other medals.

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