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Ivan Fomich Pavlov (June 25, 1922 - October 12, 1950) was a Russian aviator of the Great Patriotic War. He commanded both a zveno in the 6th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment, 3rd Air Army, Kalinin Front, and a squadron of the same regiment as part of the 1st Baltic Front, rising to the rank of Major. He was twice named a Hero of the Soviet Union.[1]

He was born into a Russian peasant family in the village of Boris-Romanovna in what is now Kostanay District in Kazakhstan. In 1931-2 he lived in Terensai Stantsii, now in the Adamovskii District of Orenburg Oblast', moving in 1932 to the city of Magnitogorsk in Chelyabinsk Oblast'. He completed a basic education and in 1940 finished 3 years of training in the Magnitogorsk Industrial Technical Academy and Magnitogorsk Aeroclub.

He joined the Red Army in December 1940 and in 1942 graduated from the Chkalov Military Pilots' School in Orenburg.

He took part in the Great Patriotic War as a pilot, flight and squadron commander on the Kalinin and Baltic Fronts. For his courage and heroism in the completion of over 127 sorties (to October 1943) he was awarded the gold star of the Hero of the Soviet Union award and the Order of Lenin in February 1944. When the news of the award reached his home area a collection was organised and funds were raised for the completion of four shturmovik aircraft, one of which was presented to Pavlov himself. The aircraft bore the inscription: "To our compatriot Hero of the Soviet Union I. Pavlov - from the workers of Kostanay"

Pavlov had completed another 77 sorties by October 1944, and was consequently awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for a second time. Altogether during the war he completed 237 sorties in the Ilyushin Il-2, in the course of which his crew downed one Me-109. He participated in the Rzhev-Sychev, Veliko-luki and Smolensk Operations, and the liberation of Belarus and the Baltic States as well as the liquidation of the Zemland group of enemy forces. He suffered a concussion during these operations.

In 1949 he graduated from the Frunze Military Academy and took command of the 947-th Air Assault Regiment in the Prikarpatskii Military District.

He was killed in an air crash on October 12, 1950. He was buried in Kostanay where a bronze bust was erected in his memory, and a street in the town was also named in his honour. His name is eternally included in the active service list (an honour often extended to former Heroes of the Soviet Union who died whilst on active duty) and is thus inscribed in gold in the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow. Two educational institutions in Moscow and a school in his home village of Boris-Romanovna are also named after Pavlov and host exhibitions devoted to his memory.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hero of the Soviet Union medal  Ivan Pavlov (aviator) at the "Герои страны" ("Heroes of the Country") website (Russian)

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