Born on February 6, 1923 in the village of Kantemirovka, now a village in the Voronezh Region, in the family of a railway worker. In 1940 he graduated from school number 2 in the city of Millerovo, Rostov Region. Since 1941, in the ranks of the Red Army, in 1942 he graduated from the Voroshilovgrad Military Aviation Pilot School.
In August 1942, with the rank of sergeant, he was assigned to the 198th ShAP, which operated on the Western Front. As an attack pilot, he participated in battles near Vyazma, Rzhev, Bryansk, Smolensk, in Belarus, Poland, and Germany. He was a flight commander, a squadron, an air regiment navigator. Continue reading
The concept of “twice, thrice, four times Hero” today seems somewhat strange, probably it would be more correct to talk about awarding several Gold Star medals. But this is a fact of our history, and it cannot be bypassed.
For the first time, three pilots became Heroes twice for the feats of arms shown in battles with the Japanese interventionists on the Khalkhin Gol River in 1939: Major Sergei Ivanovich Gritsevets and Colonel Grigory Panteleevich Kravchenko (Decree of August 29), as well as commander Yakov Vladimirovich Smushkevich (Decree dated 17 November). The fate of all three was tragic. Continue reading
In the battles for Kursk, I was a squadron commander and I must say that all the pilots of the unit fought courageously, staunchly and selflessly. Of course, I was pleased that each subordinate devoted himself entirely to the creativity of the battle, but it was doubly pleased that we fought for the liberation of my hometown.
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Yes, I was born in Kursk. Here I spent my childhood. Here I fell in love once and for all with aviation. On a ticket from the Komsomol, he entered the flying club, successfully graduated from it. Continue reading