Military Review

My grandfather was an "air worker of war"

21

According to old metrics and references



I wrote this short essay about my grandfather, a veteran of World War II, not without the help of my relatives. It is supplemented by materials and excerpts from documents about those units and formations in which grandfather had a chance to fight during the war years.

Alexander Grigorievich Smola - that was the name of my grandfather. He was born in the village of Kholmskaya Abinsky district of the Krasnodar Territory on August 13, 1923. This was written in his metric, which was not preserved, and in all later documents.


Alexander Smola, who was not yet 18 years old, joined the army already in 1941, enrolling in the Bataysky flight school. At the very beginning of the war, grandfather studied as a navigator and combat pilot and graduated from this school with honors. Two and a half years of the war had already passed, when in February 1944, my grandfather was sent to the 2nd Belorussian Front, where his military career began there.

He served in the famous 373rd Bomber Aviation Regiment of the 15th Air Army, formed back in 1940 under the command of Major Alexander Ivanovich Kobts. He died before Alexander Grigoryevich, who during the war made more than 300 sorties in his regiment, ended up in the regiment.

Talking about a war veteran, it would be worth mentioning the place of service of the hero. The path of my grandfather's regiment, as well as its name, was not monotonous. 125th aviation the regiment at the beginning of the war suffered heavy losses, closer to the second month of the war the regiment had only seven operational aircraft. Pilots, one by one, died under the fire of German invaders.

As a result, the main command of the Air Force decided to reorganize and retrain the personnel of the regiment in Kazan. Pilots mastered new cars, including aircraft supplied under Lend-Lease from the United States and Great Britain. After retraining, the regiment began combat sorties as part of the air forces of the Leningrad Front in the areas of the settlements of Sinyavino, Mga, Tosno, Izhora, Uritsk, Sablino and Siverskaya.

Reformation played a significant role not only for the 373rd Regiment, but also for the course of the war as a whole, as it seems to me. Then many regiments received the Red Banner and orders, beautiful names in honor of the famous battles and commanders. The 373rd bomber is well known as the Guards Sevastopol and Red Banner.

My grandfather was an "air worker of war"

Until the end of the war, the 373rd regiment, consisting of the 2nd Belorussian, and subsequently the 1st Baltic and 1st Belorussian fronts, smashed enemy ground forces and strategic targets of the Germans. Until the battle for Berlin, the regiment pilots made combat sorties day and night, sparing no strength, not sparing even life itself. For this they were rightly called the "air workers of war."

The greater part of the military route, the 373rd regiment was part of the 15th air army of Colonel General N.F. Naumenko, which from the banks of the Don from Voronezh reached, more precisely, flew to Courland and Klaipeda, then still German Memel. Grandfather was lucky - he was not injured, but once (our family knows and is proud of this heroic fact in his biography) he managed to land his burning plane far from the concrete strip of the airfield and saved the entire crew.

Among other things, on his account there were 13 parachute jumps. Today I also know that my grandfather was personally acquainted with the legendary Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, although, alas, no family legend about such an acquaintance in the family has survived. And he ended the war in Berlin, received the medal "For the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945."

On the deadly Pawn


Lieutenant Smola was also awarded the Order of the Red Star - the first high award that even ordinary Red Army men began to hand over during the years of World War II. However, Lieutenant Resin received the Red Star already at the very end of the war, when, in fact, many were awarded, however, each performance for the medal and even more so the order had to be adequately substantiated.


The regiment commander immediately reminded that the diving bomber Pe-2, the illustrious "Pawn" of Lieutenant Smoly, had performed 13 sorties with a combat flight of 1944 hours since August 45, 79. In these sorties, almost 30 tons of bombs were dropped on the enemy, and the commander was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the first degree after 30 sorties.

Until the end of the war, Lieutenant Alexander Smoly gained another 15 sorties, and often in bad weather conditions, and all his actions received confirmation of fighter cover and photo plates. 4 of these 15 sorties are for bombardment with a dive to destroy enemy manpower and equipment.

Only during the Berlin operation, the Pe-2 combat crew managed to make six sorties, and in one of them, in the direction of Alt Rosenthal, entered the battle with the German Fokke-Wulf fighter FW190. Boldly and deftly maneuvering, Lieutenant Smola helped the fighters to bring down the annoying fascist.

On April 25, as part of the nine dive-grandfathers, my grandfather flew out to bombard Berlin, after which there was Victory. On the account of Lieutenant Smola was also the very order of World War I of the first degree: I know that for a long time it was the only Soviet order that was transmitted to the family as a memory after the death of the awarded.

In the order on awarding the Order of the Patriotic War, which is sacredly stored in our house, the grandfather was listed at number 7 together with his friend and colleague on the regiment, junior lieutenant Sokolov Georgy Pavlovich, who was in the same order at number 8.


Navigator George Sokolov

But for some reason, my grandfather especially loved the modest medals "For the capture of Berlin" and "For the victory over Germany."


After the war, until 1954, my grandfather served in the army. After 1954, he lived in Kiev and worked at the famous Arsenal instrument-making plant. And shortly before his death, our grandfather, a pensioner, worked as the chief mechanic at the city’s motor depot.

Unfortunately, my grandfather died a long time ago, on October 19, 1975, for me this is a very distant past, and it is good that among my relatives there are still those who remember him. In our family, everyone is very proud of our illustrious military pilot, a veteran hero. I did not know my grandfather personally, but I will always remember him, and now not only from the stories of my relatives. Eternal glory and eternal memory to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War !!!
Author:
Photos used:
from the family archive, sluzhuotechestvu.info
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  1. svp67
    svp67 7 May 2020 10: 11 New
    +9
    My grandfather was an "air worker of war"

    Nobody is forgotten, nothing is forgotten .... It is a matter of whether their descendants remember their great-grandfathers and grandfathers ...
    Thank you.
    1. Sling cutter
      Sling cutter 7 May 2020 10: 43 New
      +6
      Their feat is immortal, their memory is eternal!
      While we are alive, we will remember and most importantly pass this memory on to future generations.
    2. siberalt
      siberalt 7 May 2020 11: 12 New
      +7
      My grandfather fought with the Germans in World War I. Father commanded a paramilitary fire platoon in Stalingrad until the city was liberated. Then my older brother was 5 years old and he lived there. Father’s sister went to the front and disappeared. My mother’s brother liberated Prague and participated in the capture of Berlin. Mother, a home front worker, died on the 99th year of life in my arms, surviving all of the above.
      The war affected almost every Soviet family. Glory and eternal memory to the winners!
  2. AU Ivanov.
    AU Ivanov. 7 May 2020 10: 11 New
    18
    This section should be added to VO on a permanent basis, and not by the anniversary date. And call it "We Remember"
    And there would be more such publications about "war workers"
    1. Van 16
      Van 16 7 May 2020 10: 55 New
      +7
      I absolutely agree. The more such stories the better. This must not be forgotten.
    2. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 7 May 2020 11: 20 New
      +6
      Quote: AS Ivanov.
      And call it "We Remember"
      And there would be more such publications about "war workers"

      I remember my children and grandchildren also remember mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
    3. _Sergei_
      _Sergei_ 7 May 2020 13: 08 New
      +3
      And most importantly, the 18-year-old kid writes. Our grandchildren must remember the history of our country. And first of all, they need to tell us and their parents about this, and not hope for a school or someone else.
      1. AU Ivanov.
        AU Ivanov. 7 May 2020 13: 16 New
        +4
        I have to brag: at one time I took my sons to the cops, I went with search squads. The kids saw with their own eyes what price we paid for the Victory. And last time we went in search of the place near Rzhev, where my grandfather went missing in November 1942. Even the twisted remains of the forty-something, whose grandfather was a combatant.
  3. knn54
    knn54 7 May 2020 10: 13 New
    +4
    The wonderful film "Chronicles of a Dive Bomber" is like a memory of your grandfather and those who did not return from the flight.
  4. Van 16
    Van 16 7 May 2020 10: 41 New
    +2
    Every year these stories will become less and less, unfortunately. Because those who tell these stories leave, and moreover, those who remember these stories leave. And as it is written above - Nobody is forgotten, and nothing is forgotten.
    That is how it should be.
  5. Provincial_71
    Provincial_71 7 May 2020 11: 03 New
    +8
    And my father, who was called up in 1940, after graduating from the ShMAS went through the entire war as an aircraft mechanic in DB-3 and PE-2, meeting and seeing off the "air workers of the war" and sometimes replacing the retired crew members. He was awarded medals "For the Defense of Stalingrad", "For Military Merit", "For Victory over Germany ...", "For the Capture of Berlin" and "For the Liberation of Prague". Guard Senior Sergeant (far left).
    1. not main
      not main 8 May 2020 00: 47 New
      +3
      Quote: Provincial_71
      And my father, who was called up in 1940, after graduating from the ShMAS went through the entire war as an aircraft mechanic in DB-3 and PE-2, meeting and seeing off the "air workers of the war" and sometimes replacing the retired crew members. He was awarded medals "For the Defense of Stalingrad", "For Military Merit", "For Victory over Germany ...", "For the Capture of Berlin" and "For the Liberation of Prague". Guard Senior Sergeant (far left).

      I would have the opportunity to put an unlimited number of pluses! I’ll just say this, all our success depends on those guys who are preparing the aircraft for the flight!
  6. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 7 May 2020 11: 44 New
    +2
    The article is undoubtedly necessary. There are a number of comments.
    Firstly, it is not clear whether the pilot was a veteran or navigator.
    Two and a half years of the war had already passed, when in February 1944, my grandfather was sent to the 2nd Belorussian Front, where his military career began there.

    From this phrase it is clear that he was a navigator, because only navigators have been preparing for the war for so long. And I entered the "flight school" - this is a mistake, the navigational school, however, such trifles are a common occurrence for a current 1st year student.
    Secondly, the 15th Air Army was never part of the 2nd Belarusian Front, there were 4 VA.
    Third,
    He was awarded the Order of the Red Star - the first high award that even ordinary Red Army men began to hand over during the years of World War II.

    There have never been any restrictions on awarding the Order of the Red Star to the ranks of personnel.
    And so, compared with the number of inconsistencies that my relative wrote at school about her great-grandmother (my mother) - this is not bad.
    1. AU Ivanov.
      AU Ivanov. 7 May 2020 14: 05 New
      +1
      For frontline aviation, navigators were not taught for a long time. Navigator ADD is another matter. The flight crew allowed to fly at night and to the SMU was sent there and prepared in full.
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 7 May 2020 15: 00 New
        +2
        Any navigator was taught 2 years. And they took it only with secondary education, for there were objects - astronomy, cartography, spherical trigonometry, meteorology, key work, aerial shooting ...

        Graduation of 1943 from the Tashkent school of shooter-scorers (the so-called navigational school). Nobody got into ADD from this paternal graduation. Father is second from right in the top row.
  7. BAI
    BAI 7 May 2020 11: 50 New
    +5
    For this they were rightly called the "air workers of war."

    Father (mortar), recalling the war, he always said that in the first place it was hard work. First go with a heavy load on your shoulders, then dig in, then go again.
  8. Ros 56
    Ros 56 7 May 2020 12: 48 New
    +5
    So put on May 9 the film "Chronicle of a Dive Bomber" and zhahni for grandfather front-line one hundred grams, he would approve. And we will also support, each for his own people and so on throughout the country.
  9. podymych
    7 May 2020 13: 13 New
    +4
    To all those who responded with wishes to continue the topic, and to those who made important comments - send about your own and not only about your own, if only for repetitions, the editors can find the repetitions themselves.
    Let it be drafts, albeit too short, to bring and supplement - the task of editors and publishers. And most importantly - do not skimp on living facts and living documents and photographs. A lot has appeared on the sites, but a lot of people do not know and do not see.
    Thank you all on behalf of the young men and women of the Moscow Polytechnic Institute, who have the courage to remember grandfathers, great-grandfathers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers.
    By the way, the project does not leave behind the brackets and heroes of the rear, and even more so those who happened to go through the blockade, evacuation, occupation or captivity. Everything must be remembered! Let’s remember.
    1. not main
      not main 8 May 2020 00: 56 New
      0
      THANKS! It turns out to say thank you no longer makes sense, at least the site told me this. "Your text is too short." Nevertheless, THANKS!
  10. Jager
    Jager 11 May 2020 12: 31 New
    0
    Grandfather passed from Spas-Demensk, where the shooter was wounded in the first attack, then again wounded near Vitebsk and shell-shocked under Orsha. He ended the war in Germany.
    I did not find any information on my great-grandfather, who fought in the First World War and the Great Patriotic War, although he has a military-style monument in the cemetery.
  11. Siberian54
    Siberian54 7 July 2020 16: 26 New
    0
    Aunt Leonid’s husband Kiryushkin passed from Moldavia 1941 to Budapest 1945 — another shell shock and DEMBEL.! Thank God, the year did not live to the end of my country ...