Military Review

Eternal glory to you, knight of heaven!

Eternal glory to you, knight of heaven!
Guard Lieutenant M.S. Likhovid, 1943-44 gg. Photo school №25 /

Many outstanding pilots did not return from sorties. Many died on earth. In August 1944, undefeated bandits killed the pilot-ace of the guard, Senior Lieutenant Mikhail Stepanovich Likhovid and his comrades. A fighter pilot with a considerable combat score, along with his colleagues, could not fight off the gang of Ukrainian nationalists ...

Way to heaven

Future ace M.S. Likhovid was born 28 February 1922 in the village. Mogritsa (Sumy region) in a peasant family. In the mid-thirties, the family moved to Lugansk. In 1936, Likhovid entered the newly opened secondary school No. 25 and got a job at a steam locomotive plant. In 1938, he graduated from high school with a gold medal.

After graduating from high school, M. Likhovid went to the capital to enter the Moscow Institute of Civil Air Engineers fleet. In parallel with training, he studied at the flying club and mastered the skills of controlling aircraft. After completing training, in 1940 the future pilot went to the Red Army. Given the existing education, the Red Army soldier Likhovid was sent to the Kachin flight school.

In May 1941 M.S. Likhovid graduated with a degree in fighter pilot and received epaulettes of a senior sergeant. Soon the war began, and the young pilot was assigned. He was sent to Voznesensk (Odessa Military District), where the formation of the 298 th fighter aviation regiment was underway.

Likhovid with a friend during training in flight business. Photo school №25 /

The command of the regiment understood the insufficient level of training of the young pilots and was in no hurry to send them into battle. Only at the end of the summer M. Likhovid and his comrades completed the study of the staff of the regiment and began training in flying skills. Meanwhile, the more experienced pilots of the 298 IAP took part in air battles with might and main.

Air warfare

In early autumn, the regiment received several I-16 fighters from repair, and one of them was intended for st. Sergeant Likhovid. However, due to a lack of technology, the car had to be shared with a friend. Soon, young pilots were first sent to solve a real combat mission. Link I-16 under the command of Art. Lieutenant Zotov was supposed to attack the enemy crossing across the Dnieper.

For more than a year, the pilots of the 298 IAP, working as part of the Southern and Transcaucasian Fronts, flew for attack, to intercept and to cover their bombers. Young pilots gained experience and contributed to deterring the advance of the Nazis.

At the end of 1942, the battered regiment was sent to retrain on new equipment. Another batch of P-39 Airacobra fighters arrived from across the ocean, intended for the unit. In February, pilots in new machines returned to the North Caucasus and continued their difficult work.

21 March 1943 Mr. M. Likhovid won the first air victory - while in the group. Five Soviet fighters intercepted and successfully shot down four Ju-52 transport aircraft. Three days later, Likhovid as a part of his pair shot down a Bf-109 fighter. A week later, a couple of pilots destroyed another Messerschmitt.

Battle score M.S. Likhovida according to

In the battle of 29 in April of that year, Likhovid won his first personal victories. He shot down an FW-189 reconnaissance aircraft and a fighter covering him. This was followed by new successes. During the fighting in the North Caucasus pilot M.S. Likhovid performed 45 sorties and participated in 8 air battles (4 shot down personally and 6 in the group), as well as in 11 assault flights. In April, the 1943 th pilot was introduced to the first Order of the Battle Red Banner. A second performance appeared in June, and in November the pilot was awarded the third order.

By the middle of the year, the regiment was transferred from the North Caucasus to the Kuban, where work continued. Fighter pilots performed all the necessary tasks and helped to free the captured lands. M. Likhovid and his comrades honed their skills and immediately used them in the fight against the enemy.

Noting the merits of the 298th IAP, in August 1943 the command reorganized it into the 104th Guards Fighter aviation regiment. M. Likhovid’s personal merits are shown by his combat account: from March to December 1943 he shot down 13 enemy aircraft personally and 9 in the group.

In January 1944, the 104 th giap was transferred to the Reserve of the Supreme Command, which allowed to restore the materiel and provide rest for the personnel. In early May, the regiment was transferred to the 2-th Ukrainian Front to participate in new offensive operations.

Monument in the village of Magerov near the place of death of the pilot and comrades. Photo

Senior Lieutenant Likhovid carried out his last combat missions of the guard in early August 1944. Shortly before that, he joined the CPSU (b) and received the post of deputy squadron commander. From the beginning of the war, the pilot made 208 sorties, participated in 44 air battles and in dozens of assault strikes. For all the time, the ace pilot shot down 16 enemy aircraft personally (according to other sources, 18) and 11 in the group (according to other sources, 9). Also on the account of the fighter 6 aircraft at airfields, several steam locomotives, 1 river boat and dozens of cars.

The last battle

In early August, the 1944 th regiment M.S. Likhovida participated in the liberation of Lviv and the surrounding areas. After the next battle, one of the pilots (according to some reports, Likhovid himself) made an emergency landing on the field. On 12 on August, the senior lieutenant with his comrades went to the landing site to return the car to the airfield.

To the damaged "Aero Cobra" we got on the lungs of Po-2. The technicians completed the necessary minor repairs, refueled and prepared the plane for departure. However, take-off was not possible due to rain and poor field conditions. Pilot M.S. Likhovid, mechanic of the guard, junior technician-lieutenant A. Kh. Krasnyansky and gunsmith of the guard, senior sergeant S. A. Fonkevich (according to other sources, Stankevich) remained at the plane, and the comrades returned to the airfield.

Several days passed, but the pilot and the technicians did not return. A scout set off for the emergency landing site, returning with bad news. The landed plane remained in its place and was seriously damaged. The pilot and the technicians were absent.

Mass grave on the Hill of Glory in Lviv. Wikimedia Commons Photos

A search team arrived at the scene. She found on the plane a lot of bullet holes and other damage. The car was looted, the remaining units were damaged. Not far from the plane they found the remains of a fire, as well as the charred bodies of Likhovid and Krasnyansky. Fonkevich was missing.

It was possible to restore an approximate picture of what happened. At that time, gangs of local nationalists traded in the Lviv region. One of these horse units found the pilot and his comrades and attacked. Likhovid, Krasnyansky and Fonkevich fired back and managed to inflict tangible damage to the enemy, but the forces were unequal. Bandera brutally dealt with them and tried to burn the bodies, and then plundered the plane.

The dead were buried in the city of Rava-Russkaya. In 1975, the ashes were transferred to the mass grave on the Hill of Glory in Lviv.

Having heard this sad news, Commander Pokryshkin took off his cap and said quietly:

- Eternal glory to you, knight of heaven! - and ordered to the chief of staff: - Prepare a performance for the Hero.

The memory of the hero

The hero’s name was the quarter in Voroshilovgrad and school number 25, where he studied, as well as a team at a diesel locomotive repair plant. Sumy Museum of Local Lore collected an exposition dedicated to the deceased pilot. The corner of military glory was opened at school with. Mogritsa. Monuments and memorials were installed: in the city of Lviv at the burial place and in the village of Magerov, not far from the place of death.

Memorial in Lviv, incl. grave M.S. Likhovida is in poor condition. Burials are systematically raided by vandals. Well-known political forces advocate the destruction of the graves of soldiers and commanders of the Red Army. A different situation is observed in Lugansk. They carefully preserve the memory of a fellow countryman-hero.

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  1. 210ox
    210ox 20 November 2019 06: 05
    I have no words. Inhumans. It is necessary to transfer the ashes to Lugansk.
    1. Military Builder
      Military Builder 20 November 2019 07: 02
      Lugansk is not an option, it is unknown how it will end there
    2. fighter angel
      fighter angel 20 November 2019 10: 21
      And these scoundrels now "rule" in Ukraine ...
  2. APIS
    APIS 20 November 2019 06: 11
    It's a shame, you defeat predators, and you die from a bite of a plague rat
    1. phair
      phair 21 November 2019 01: 00
      If only rats. The flea bites that are on it ...
  3. bubalik
    bubalik 20 November 2019 07: 46
    Guard Lieutenant M.S. Likhovid
    The battle way of the Hero!

    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 20 November 2019 08: 54
      Sorry, where can I see the award lists on the Internet? I would like to read about grandfathers. Thanks in advance.
      1. bubalik
        bubalik 20 November 2019 08: 57
        Chief of the Redskins (Nazarius) Today, 09: 54
        1. The leader of the Redskins
          The leader of the Redskins 20 November 2019 09: 00
          Thanks. Human thanks.
      2. VeteranVSSSR
        VeteranVSSSR 20 November 2019 21: 34
        Type- ,, the feat of the people '', then everything is written there ...
        1. Serg koma
          Serg koma 22 November 2019 13: 14
          gunsmith of the guard senior sergeant S. A. Fonkevich (according to other sources, Stankevich)

          Is the OBD difficult to "rough"? Or, if not an article about him, and he is a simple gunsmith, can I mention it casually?
          Likhovid Mikhail Stepanovich
          Krasnyansky Abram Khatskelevich
          Fonkevich Semen Afanasevich
          Reports of irretrievable losses (all are listed by name)
          Date of report 08.09.1944/XNUMX/XNUMX
          The name of the source of information is 9 guards. exterminated. hell

    2. Astra wild
      Astra wild 20 November 2019 12: 56
      Dear Bubalik, thanks for the documents provided, it seems to me that the time is indicated there purely conditionally. Indeed, the author writes: "it was possible to restore an EXAMPLE picture of what happened." As far as I understood, there were no nearby villages for eyewitnesses. However, even if there were villages, there were hardly any eyewitnesses: the villagers were intimidated by the gangs, and besides, the locals were mostly anti-Soviet.
  4. Dalton
    Dalton 20 November 2019 07: 54
    A tragic event. The bandits must be destroyed, but for some reason the Bandera issue was still not completely resolved.
    Was a full-fledged special operation carried out? Why then do the NKVD troops exist? After all, not in order to "examine" the nearest surroundings.
    And did you manage to find out what happened to the missing sergeant?
    By the way, I did not understand a bit.
    S. A. Fonkevich (according to other sources, Stankevich)
    In August 44 (not 41) and in a small military unit there was such a situation that it is not clear who the gunsmith sergeant or in the archive of the RF Ministry of Defense are the same lacunae as in the RGVIA in relation to the previous war?
    1. bubalik
      bubalik 20 November 2019 08: 00
      Dalton (Dalton) Today, 08: 54
      S. A. Fonkevich (according to other sources, Stankevich)

      ,, Fonkevich Semen Afanasevich
    2. Andrey VOV
      Andrey VOV 20 November 2019 09: 47
      Regarding the solution of the Bandera issue, I must say "thanks" to Nikita the corn worker .....
      1. militarist63
        militarist63 21 November 2019 03: 17
        "Kukuruznik" should be sent from the Tsar Cannon to Ukraine!
  5. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 20 November 2019 08: 56
    It is good that the word "memory" has a word-ally ETERNAL. As long as we remember, these words are inseparable.
  6. Astra wild
    Astra wild 20 November 2019 12: 31
    Author, thank you very much for the story about the wonderful Soviet pilot. The only remark: "I received the shoulder straps of a senior sergeant" in 1941 there were no shoulder straps in the Soviet army.
    The only question is: was that gang destroyed?
  7. bubalik
    bubalik 20 November 2019 14: 16
    ,,, having received everything necessary, Zakalyuk arrived at the airfield, loaded the cards on the plane and took off towards the Maidan. When flying at low altitude, Alexey carefully examined the terrain, which was heavily crossed with many areal and point landmarks. In this motley you will not immediately notice the plane that Michael was supposed to overtake. But here the Maidan farm appeared in a small hollow, in the clearing - a plane. And not a soul nearby. Where is Likhovid with Krasnyansky? Where did they go? Zakalyuk dropped to shaving flight. From what he saw, his heart went cold ... The plane was all disfigured! So, some misfortune happened to Likhovid and Krasnyansky ...

    ,,, Major Polukhin flew away alone. Zakalyuk decided to go with Sokolov to the plane, which was supposed to overtake Likhovid, and remove the screw from it for replacement.
    Upon arrival, they saw a fighter stuck deep in the ground with wheels. Not far from it lay an old propeller and a front landing gear. The rut showed how Likhovid tried to steer, but to no avail. The plane was all ripped off, the weapon with ammunition was completely removed, the radio station was dismantled, all electric and radio cables were cut, bullet holes were visible in the engine, the fuselage and wings were pierced in several places with an ax, and the necks of gas tanks were open. Bandera, obviously, tried to set fire to the plane. In the cockpit, Zakalyuk found traces of dried blood and several spent cartridges from a TT pistol.

    He called Sokolov, showed him blood stains, and passed the cartridges.

    “So Likhovid sat in the cockpit, fired back and was injured,” suggested Sokolov, looking at the cartridges ,,,

    From the book of memoirs by G. G. Golubev - "Friends of my pilots". Moscow, 1986.
    1. bubalik
      bubalik 20 November 2019 15: 10
      ,,, on the night of August 2 in the village of Lenchuvka, Podgaisky (Podgaetsky) district of the Ternopil region, the navigator of the 227th assault aviation division of the 2th Air Army Hero of the Soviet Union Major Toporkov Yakov Nikolaevich was killed. The brave attack pilot, who made more than 100 sorties and destroyed many enemy military equipment, was meanly killed from around the corner.

      ,,, 28 On August, aircraft engineer of the 3 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guard, Sergeant Boris Mikhailovich Yakovlev, was killed by Bandera in the village of Pyynyamye, Drogobych district, Lviv region.

      ,,, 29 August, in the Drogobych district, bandits shot down the U-2 aircraft with machine-gun fire. The pilot and colonel from the 8 Air Force, flying on this plane, were killed.

      ,,, the assistant commander of the 132-th separate technical company at the 718-th BAO of the 16-th district of air-based technician-lieutenant Andrei Filippovich Goncharov Bandera killed 9 September.

      ,,, 15 September, in the vicinity of the village of Semki, Kolkovo District, Volyn Region, the sergeant Vasily Kuzmich Kochegura, an aircraft mechanic of the 567 assault aviation regiment, was brutally killed.

      ,,, in the Lyubachevsky district of the Lviv region on 18 on September 191 junior lieutenant Boris Ermolaevich Nosov was killed in a battle with the nationalists.
      ,,, On the night of 14 on 15 in January in the town of Gorodok in the Lviv region, the nationalists killed the guard, the second lieutenant Yuri Simakov, pilot of the 239 Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment.

      The above list of losses is far from complete. Nevertheless, the individual cases listed here remind us of the heroic defenders of the motherland who died tragically at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists.
  8. Katunak
    Katunak 20 November 2019 14: 42
    Bandera pigs, stop fighting the dead.
  9. Nycomed
    Nycomed 20 November 2019 18: 05
    "We are not silent shadows at all
    We are the wind and the cry of cranes ...
    The dead in the sky for the motherland
    Become the sky above her ... "
  10. Captan78
    Captan78 23 November 2019 19: 40
    One can only hope that everyone will be rewarded according to his deeds ...
  11. Jopp polska
    Jopp polska 9 December 2019 01: 23
    No offense: shoulder straps were introduced in 1943.