On modifications of the U-2 flew in Finland, Germany, France, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, China, Mongolia, the DPRK. The following films are devoted to this plane: "Heavenly slow-moving", "And you will see the sky", "Night Witches are in the sky", "Only old men go to battle", "Valery Chkalov", "If tomorrow is war", "Intrigue" , “Pilots”, “Pilots”, “Night Swallows”, “Fighters”. About U-2 written stories, stories and even two songs: "Wooden plane" and "Three pilots served": "Good work, / Good rumor. / Three friends - three pilots / Flew on U-2. / Plywood tail and wings , / And a very quiet move. / But most of all loved / Friends of your plane.
Chorus: Almost on foot across the sky / They fly barely, / And once - Y-2, and two - Y-2, / And three - Y-2. "
In Mytishchi, a monument was erected to the aircraft. The Bank of Russia issued a silver coin in denominations of 1 ruble, dedicated to Y-2. Firms of several countries (Czech Republic, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine) produce its poster models. And in Samara, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Moscow and Kharkov, amateurs built operating U-2 aircraft.
... I remember, passenger liners flew day and night over my native village - you see, it stood right on the international highway. In the afternoon, in cloudless weather, small silver dots with an increasing and decreasing rumble floated back and forth in the blue of the sky, distant and incomprehensible, like night stars. "Kukuruznik" was the first aircraft that I could literally feel with my hands. He sprayed over our fields of chemical fertilizers. We, boys, accompanied him from takeoff and landing from morning till late evening. Being trained in a technical school, every time I strove from Yampol to Vinnitsa and fly back by this wonderful machine. Three and a half hours - and you're at home, instead of half a day shaking the bus.
In the Soviet Union, there were about 2 thousand cities and 3,5 thousand district centers. So, between all the points connected by administrative subordination, there was a regular passenger connection with the help of Corn. However, this is only a fraction of the widest range of applications that the glorious U-2 had. He served the military and medical professionals, geologists and border guards, artists and shepherds all-weather — who did he serve to! There were so-called float-mounted, increased comfort and many other modifications of this most common and popular aircraft in the country. Nevertheless, a special page of his heroic biography is 1418 days and nights of World War II. Remember the words of the lieutenant general from the movie “Heavenly Slow-moving”: “The Motherland will always remember the exploits of winged heroes! Swift fighters, formidable attack aircraft and a powerful bomber Aviation! But the Motherland and our faithful friend, our school friend, will not forget the small plane that started the great battle with the modest U-2 training machine and ends the war, the Po-2 light night bomber that is menacing for the enemy (Polikarpov-2)! ”
Among other undoubted merits of the U-2 adapted for military needs, the exceptional simplicity of the design and low cost of production were considered to be almost the most important.
Because of this, only 34 thousands were fired during the war! The car was exclusively available in comprehension, and therefore became the main training aircraft of the Soviet Air Force. The pilots joked that it’s more difficult to steer a motorcycle, because you have to keep balance there. In other words, the U-2 "forgive" the students for mistakes that by other machines would certainly lead to disasters. This aircraft was almost impossible to enter into a spin. Even if the wounded pilot could no longer hold the rudders, the plane began to independently plan at a speed of a meter per second and smoothly landed on a slightly suitable unpaved surface. And he could take off from such a small “patch” that he even amazed even worldly-wise aces. With a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour, the U-2 could “walk” on treetops, along buildings and structures. Luftwaffe pilots were frustrated: this Russian bookcase “to fill up” is more difficult than a fighter. He easily hides in the folds of the terrain and even between the treetops! All together these advantages of the U-2 led to the fact that it became widely used as a night bomber, reconnaissance aircraft and communications. In total, 70 regiments of night bomber and reconnaissance forces operated on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. Including the 46 th Guards Night Bomber Aviation Taman Red Banner Order of the Suvorov Light Bomber Women's Aviation Regiment, known as the "Night Witches". Female pilots who received such a formidable nickname dropped almost 3 million bombs on the enemy!
And for the first time, the U-2 was used as a bomber by a civilian pilot of the South-Western Air Group, PS. Bevz, who fought near Odessa. That's just not known how he threw the bombs: by hand or he had an assistant. But we know for sure that the main ammunition dropped from the U-2 were high-explosive bombs FAB-100 and FAB-50. The bomber was suspended either two "weave" or 4 bomb caliber 50 kg. Ampoules equipped with the “KS” mixture, incendiary bombs with thermite balls and with solid fuel were also used. Used fragmentation bombs. Of non-lethal ammunition most often used were the SAB-100 lighting bomb and the AGB-100 agitation bomb.
The results of the combat activities of the U-2 are truly impressive. For example, only the navigator of the link 97 of the Guards night bomber aviation regiment of the guard Lieutenant Hero of the Soviet Union Vasily Dmitrievich Kiz made 640 combat missions.
He blew up 27 depots with fuel and ammunition, destroyed 7 bunkers, an observation post, 168 buildings and structures, destroyed 24 vehicles and 4 aircraft on the ground. It is known that some pilots had more than 800 combat sorties on their accounts, and some, like Hero of the Soviet Union Irina Sebrova, more than a thousand!
The retired captain Vasily Nikanorovich Savenkov has combat results more modest, but his story is especially precious and valuable to me, as a living testimony of those heroic times. He lives in the town of Balashov, Saratov region. The recording was made a year ago, when the veteran of the Great Patriotic War turned 97 years: “We usually flew above the ground in the“ shaving ”space. And for the most part - at night. God forbid, the fascist will notice - will cut with fire - that's all. Y-2, it is also "Russian plywood", as the Fritz said. With the leakage of fuel or oil burned for half a minute.
And what we just did during the war, besides, of course, bombing. I remember how once they helped out a whole tank the division. She rushed after the Germans and was left without fuel - the rear was behind. Here we are, the whole regiment took on board a barrel of fuel, a lendlizovskoy leather bag, where there were biscuits, canned goods, a smoke and - go! I personally delivered almost a ton of fuel to the tankers. For that operation, Rokossovsky himself awarded the Order of the Red Star! The hardest thing was to bombard the enemy bridges. This is when you stand on it, it seems big. And from a height of a couple of hundred meters, the bridge is not that ribbon - a shabby seedy seems. And even anti-aircraft guns from all sides poked. To destroy such goals, a special tactic was developed. We approached the object at low engine gas and at extremely low altitude. Until the very last moment, enemy air defense systems could not detect us. Then the lead plane, which was led by our best ace, impudently provoked the German anti-aircraft guns to fire. As soon as the searchlights were lit and the shelling began, the "provocateur" abruptly went to the ground, as if he had been hit. Meanwhile, several other U-2 crews entered the air defense position from the rear, drowning the engines. Shrapnel bombs were dropped or fired at them from ShKAS (high-speed synchronous air machine gun - MZ). After such a “treatment,” we were already aimingly dropping our bombs. They were mounted on special pylons, which were installed at our repair bases. The usual bomb load is half a centner. But many, including myself, took the double norm of 100 kilograms. Separate daredevils loaded on their U-2 to half a ton, but such recklessness was not welcomed.
Personally, I loved to bomb German trains. And used for this a very simple way without any devices, which allowed me to bomb the enemy train going in the dark without lights.
And the thing is that the rails from rolling wheels shine. Here you fly - and you watch in the dark two thin, glowing with the reflected light of the Moon or the stars of the strings of rails somewhere far below. Aha - railway track. Barrazhiruesh over it and suddenly - the brilliance was gone! A dark spot about two hundred meters long, which also creeps - this is the enemy echelon. You start working on it, dropping it “drop by drop”. As soon as we called for our radio bombs our bombs: buttons, tomatoes, potatoes, apples - we fool around with one word.
For all my life I remember such a case. Once a cool German ace decided to bomb our airfield U-2. It can be seen, so we annoyed him. And that ace our pilots shot down. But he himself was alive. They bring him to the staff dugout, and I'm just on duty on the regiment. I look at him: tattered, charred, but with all the regalia. He has crosses - his coat is full. Probably even started to fight with Spain! Well, interrogated him by honor. And suddenly Asks asks: would you introduce to me that master who so famously shot me down. Probably, he is a hero or whatever you have there. Here he is shown a kid from those whom we called ourselves “six months” - an accelerated preparation in six months. I will not forget the picture to the grave: they stand against each other - burned, but the sleek ace all in crosses from collar to belt - beat the British down, knocked the French down, Poles, Norwegians ... And our lieutenant is incomplete twenty years old, not in height in the jacket. And from regalia - one Komsomol icon. What can I say, I myself fought as a youth. The growth did not come out here, so only when the captain got me by patronymic began to call me. And that all - Cornflower, yes Cornflower.
But still life I lived very happy. He fought the whole war. Considerable damage to the enemy inflicted. Participated in the Victory Parade. Yes, yes, participated. And how was it. On the eve of the celebrations, he poured heavy rain. Clouded the sky with aloud clouds. So there was no question of flying. Although initially planned a solemn flight of a huge number of bombers, fighters and even our U-2 squadron, with the famous aces, Heroes of the Soviet Union, at the head! But the command decided: since it is impossible to fly over Moscow, the airborne part of the parade should be held over the airfield in Tushino, after the pilots will walk across the square on foot - in general ceremonial formation. How am I happy about this decision of the command. Proudly printed step on the Moscow pavement. I saw how the trophy banners were thrown under the Mausoleum, and Marshal Zhukov himself greeted the horse with the troops ”.
And - the last. During the war 2 people became the Heroes of the Soviet Union who fought on Y-59. Guards Major Vorobiev Ivan Alekseevich, squadron commander of the 76-th Guards Ground Attack Aviation Regiment was twice a Hero ...