Military Review

Winners. Six Heroic Stars


The family archive contains a photograph about the origin of which (how it got on the album and when) there is no one to ask, alas. Three times Hero Kozhedub was known to every Soviet boy. But about his older interlocutors could be read on the back of the picture

The photo was not published anywhere, information about this meeting could not be found.

Forgotten meeting of heroes

Amazing The meeting of three heroes on Moldavian television, in the program "Winners". On the photo: three times Hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Kozhedub, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Rechkalov Grigory Andreevich and Hero of the Soviet Union Sereda Igor Emelyanovich

How did you get six heroic stars in one TV show?

What, in addition to shared memories, connected after many years of our heroes? When exactly did they meet?

Judging by the entries on the back of the photo, the information from the signer was incomplete, he did not know all the participants, did not know the names and patronymics, and the corresponding changes were made with a simple pencil. Perhaps this photograph is part of the working material for the preparation of a television program. The fact is that Sereda Pyotr Selverstovich is repeatedly mentioned in Pokryshkin’s memoirs, and it is not surprising that he is also a Hero of the Soviet Union, but he did not take part in hostilities on the territory of Moldova.

It is known that Sereda I.E. fought under the command of I. Kozhedub in one regiment, which took part in the liberation of Moldova. These are the aces of the second stream of Soviet fighters, who opened their account after 1941. And Rechkalov G.A. with the future Marshal A. Pokryshkin, in addition to participating in the liberation of Moldova, fought together from the first days of the war as part of 55 IAP during the defense of Moldova.

The liberation of Moldova as part of the Iasi-Chisinau operation and the participation of Kozhedub fighters in it are documented according to all the rules of the headquarters culture. Feats are well known. But for many, the initial phase of the war looks stereotyped: "The Germans destroyed almost all the planes at the airfields."

It was in the sky over Moldova, over the city of Balti, that there was a serious opposition of Soviet pilots to the first blows of the German aviation. These detailed studies of open archives were conducted by Mikhail Timin ( "Pokryshkinsky regiment: the beginning of the way").

Having immediately entered the battle, the Germans for some time were able to turn the tide in their favor, and two MiG-3s fell to the ground, and the planes of the first strike group, which were running out of fuel, were able to leave the battle. But by this time all the aircraft of the 1st and 2nd squadrons of the 55th IAP were already in the air, and the JG 77 pilots lost their numerical superiority. As a result, they had to retreat, and the "battlefield" remained with the Soviet fighters, who pursued the enemy to the border.

This was the first serious victory of the 55th IAP. The Germans did not manage to inflict serious damage on the airfield of the regiment — they were put to flight, having lost one Messerschmitt. Perhaps, on this day, not a single regiment on the entire Soviet-German front succeeded in fighting off two consecutive attacks by German fighters. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the main role in disrupting an almost perfect German plan was played not by some tactical techniques or the perspicacity of the command (in the end, the attack was missed again), but by the personal courage and skill of several pilots of the 1st squadron.

Among the honorable residents of the city of Balti we find the names of air acescaptured in the photo.

It could be assumed that as part of this celebration, its honorary residents arrived in Balti and invited the pilots to the program “Winners”. Pokryshkin, occupying a high post of deputy commander of the KVO, may not be able to attend the event.

I hastened to share my find and conclusions with the famous local historian Y. Shvets, who scrupulously explores military photo chronicle, collects and recreates from the fragments of the historical events of Moldova and publishes unique photographs of wartime.

Alas, no. I made a mistake with the conclusions. Having once again examined the photo and studied in detail the biographies of the heroes, I realized the inexcusability of hasty conclusions.

A war veteran is a deeply elderly person. This is the stereotype that has developed over the next generations. He misled me as well, and comparing the year the title of honorary citizen of the city of Balti was awarded with photography did not cause a contradiction in logic.

The error became clear. In 1966, our heroes were only 46 years old. And in the photo we see the handsome Kozhedub and the elderly in the "citizen". How old are they? Kozhedub looks at 55, Rechkalov in the photo is 60 years old, and Sereda is already under 65. And they are almost the same age. The officer in reserve, unfortunately, is aging faster than in uniform. Determining the year of photography by the age of the heroes is quite difficult.

The answer to the date after many years was suggested by Kozhedub's tunic. In the photo he is wearing epaulettes of the colonel general, and the marshal was assigned to him on September 7.09.1985, XNUMX.

There are two orders of Lenin on the order bar, the second was awarded to him on 21.02.1978.

We can say with confidence that the meeting of famous pilots took place on the 35th anniversary of the Victory, in May 1980 at a television studio in Chisinau.

Each of the heroes in the photograph left his memoirs and shared memories for the next generations. They knew the brutality of war and the price of victory.

Unfortunately, they passed away, as the last living witnesses leave today, and can no longer publicly defend themselves, protect history of their homeland from hushing up and belittling the exploits of their people, neither in prime time on television, nor in general.

The photo of the heroes did not sink into oblivion, but became the property of society. The conclusions are not pathetic, but rather forced: our turn has long come to protect the memory and valor of the now silent heroes from reproach. All decent people, and there are many, each of them needs to protect the honor of our ancestors from those whom they defeated 75 years ago. No one else.

It is necessary - not dead!
This is necessary - alive!

Thanks to the seekers, historians, and Military Review for the heading 75 Years of Victory!
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy April 12 2020 15: 36 New
    The photos with the back are interesting, but the story did not work out, it happens.
    1. MA3UTA
      April 12 2020 18: 53 New
      The main goal was as follows
      The photograph of the heroes did not sink into oblivion, but became the property of society.

      The rest is public reflection on the project.
      1. volodimer
        volodimer April 15 2020 16: 22 New
        It turned out really a bit messy. But thank you very much for your work.
        The story of one photo ... or the story in one photo ...
  2. svp67
    svp67 April 12 2020 16: 14 New
    Rechkalov, Grigory Andreyevich, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, major general, a native of the village of Zaykovo, Irbitsky district, Sverdlovsk region. In his hometown, a monument was unveiled to him ...
  3. businessv
    businessv April 12 2020 16: 25 New
    Thanks to the seekers, historians, and Military Review for the heading 75 Years of Victory!
    Thanks to the author for the necessary article! Too many today want to change the story and belittle the role of the USSR in the great Victory. I don’t know what the world would be like if Germany had not attacked the USSR, but without the Union there would have been no Victory, however much the West would have bothered to say otherwise! Nobody is forgotten, nothing is forgotten! (C)
    1. Serg koma
      Serg koma April 14 2020 06: 08 New

      Ivan Ostafeychuk, chairman of the community of Russians of the Balti municipality, shared his memories of the meeting with the three Heroes of the Soviet Union who liberated the city of Balti.
      Memories of the liberators of the city of Balti - 1985 Ivan Timofeevich Ostafeychuk, chairman of the community of Russians in the municipality of Balti shared his memories of the meeting with the three Heroes of the Soviet Union who liberated the city of Balti.
      Photo of a historical event[i] [/ i], which took place in Balti dates from 1985. Then in the Balti Palace of Culture in front of the audience shared their memories Sereda I.E., Kozhedub I.N. and Makeev B.V. - liberators of the city of Balti.

      1. The year - 1985 is known for sure. Date from 01.01.85/09.05.85/XNUMX to XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX (assignment of the rank to Kozhedub.)
      2. Venue - Balti, MSSR
      3. Kozhedub and Sereda (in the photo on the right, in the photo from the article also on the right)
      Visiting Beltsy, Kozhedub could have been in Chisinau - an indirect confirmation of the date the photo was taken from the article.
      "PARADE of Heroes in Kishinev" - probably you can't name this photo otherwise.

      One of the most famous Soviet pilots, three times Hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Kozhedub (leftmost) was in Chisinau in 1975. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Victory. There is a procession from the building of the Academy of Sciences of the MSSR to Victory Square.
      1. MA3UTA
        April 15 2020 19: 30 New
        A visit at 85 took place.
        1. But without Rechkalov.
        2. In the photographs, the order straps on the Kozhedub tunic differ.
        3. Kozhedub looks older than in the photo in the article, do not find.
        Here is another photo from Balti 85g

        It is about different events. Thanks for the opinion
        1. Serg koma
          Serg koma April 16 2020 06: 47 New
          Events are different. One takes place in Beltsy, the second in Chisinau (on TV). The finding of Rechkalov in Balti is not confirmed / approved by anyone.
          Quote: MA3UTA
          Here is another photo from Balti 85g

          In the photo you provided, Kozhedub in a ceremonial uniform, in the photo in a recreation center in everyday uniform. So made (assuming one time in 1985) at various events.
          My opinion was that in 1985 Kozhedub was definitely in Balti (probably a very significant event, if it is called "historical"), to visit Balti, and not to visit the capital of the MSSR? Therefore, the photo from the article can be dated indirectly.
          Quote: MA3UTA
          Kozhedub looks older than in the photo in the article, do not find.

          My personal opinion is that in Balti (1985) Ivan Nikitovich looks no older than in the photo from the article.
  4. Doccor18
    Doccor18 April 12 2020 17: 41 New
    When Kozhedub wrote to the leader a request for the participation of sorties,
    Stalin replied: "You are a legend, we have no right to risk you."
    There were people!
    The Supreme respected the wars, and they him.
    1. albert
      albert April 12 2020 20: 31 New
      It was during the war in Korea. But Kozhedub still shot down a couple of Yankees.
      1. Doccor18
        Doccor18 April 12 2020 20: 33 New
        He was not allowed to fly in Korea,
        Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub was a flight instructor in the combined regiment.
        1. Doccor18
          Doccor18 April 12 2020 20: 40 New
          "But in the documentary series Sergei Medvedev" Secrets of the Century ", in the film" Two Wars of Ivan Kozhedub, "it is argued that Ivan Nikitovich still violated the order of Stalin himself."

          It is difficult now to confirm or refute this data. Official sources say that Kozhedub did not participate in air battles. Medvedev claims that Kozhedub won 17 victories in the sky over Korea.
        2. not main
          not main April 12 2020 23: 14 New
          Quote: Doccor18
          He was not allowed to fly in Korea,
          Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub was a flight instructor in the combined regiment.

          Actually a DIVISION! And show me the pilot who refused to fly. Even by order. The pilot lives in the sky, and after just a memory.
  5. Alexga
    Alexga April 12 2020 18: 33 New
    Born on August 25, 1921 in Moscow in the family of a railway worker. Russian. He spent his childhood and youth in the city of Unecha, Bryansk Region. He graduated from the 10th grade of school number 41. The name of the Hero is a team at the Chisinau sewing factory. In Unecha, a memorial plaque was installed at the school where Hero studied. On the Avenue of Heroes of the city of Unecha, a memorial sign to the illustrious fellow countryman is installed. In the city of Pochep on the Alley of Heroes a bust is installed. I remember the boys ran through his courtyard to the forest lake. He had a good garden, always treated to apples, and he always wrote something in the summer house.
  6. ozia
    ozia April 12 2020 23: 35 New
    Good day to all

    I have long wanted to ask a question that has tormented me since childhood. I hope to finally get an answer, since I see that the people here are in the subject, especially the author.
    The fact is that I inherited from my parents a house with a very interesting story. It is located in the village of Stolnichany, ex. Kotovsky District, former MSSR. Father and uncle said that during the Iasi-Kishenyev operation the army headquarters was in our house and even called the name of the commander and his call sign. The surname seems to me began on T
    Can anyone clarify this story for me.
    Thank you very much in advance. Good luck everyone.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. ozia
      ozia April 19 2020 16: 16 New
      Good afternoon Roman,
      Sorry, did not thank for the reply. Oddly enough, this will sound now, but I was very busy. I managed to read your answer, I wanted to return to it later, but he disappeared.
      Thanks anyway
  7. revnagan
    revnagan April 13 2020 12: 15 New
    During quarantine, you can visit the museum of I. N. Kozhedub virtually.
    This is because actually we have fascism here, yes.