Military Review

Test Pilot Fedorov Ivan Evgrafovich

Almost seven decades have been turned off and turned off since the end of the military catastrophe, for a long time plunging almost the whole world into the abyss of incredible disasters, sufferings and torments. In the official stories there remained the names of politicians, marshals and generals, but the names of ordinary participants who carried the burden of that suffering on their shoulders are rarely and reluctantly remembered. Fortunately, in recent years, interest in such nameless heroes has increased, articles, films, and research papers devoted to the adventures of these Vasily Tertins most terrible wars in the history of mankind more and more often appear. Here is one of these names.

Test Pilot Fedorov Ivan Evgrafovich

Fedorov Ivan Evgrafovich (real name - Denisov). The ordinary representative of that generation, which was destined to survive two world wars, civil and several more wars “smaller”. A native of Kharkov, born February 23, 1914 in a working class family. Fedorov's indomitable disposition manifested itself in early childhood. Being eight years old, Ivan, working as a farm laborer for a local well-to-do peasant, set fire to his estate in response to constant beatings. The father, who fought in the Civil Army in the cavalry army, as well as his mother died very soon. At the age of seven, the boy from relatives had only one century old grandfather. Ivan was homeless until 1927. In the end, the Soviet government took care of the fourteen-year-old. Ivan graduated from five classes, went to work as a mechanic, mastered the profession of a machinist, and soon, along with many peers at the call of Osoviahim, he entered the Lugansk flight-glider school in 1929 and for the first time in fifteen years took off for the first time. In 1931, at the end of factory apprenticeship, Fedorov entered the local pedagogical institute, but did not leave his dream to fly. In February of next year, he was drafted into the army. A year later, early completion of Voroshilovgrad aviation school, flies as a junior pilot, then as a fighter commander of the air brigade of the Kiev military district. The pilotage of a young pilot even then attracts attention with its pressure, precise coordination and clear lines. Commanders more than once put the young pilot as an example to other aviators. And among his friends, the pilots, he receives a reputation as a desperate ringleader, capable of the most reckless actions.

In May, 1937 of the year he was sent to Spain, where only the best pilots were selected. There, in the sky of the Iberian Peninsula, now Juan, in his "ass" (as the pilots called the E-16 fighters), fought the Nazis by the end of January 1938. In his service record - more than 150-ti combat sorties, the first two aircraft shot down, the first two orders of the Battle Red Banner, extremely rare for those times and the nickname “Deable Rojo” (“Red Devil”), which the local residents named him. In Spain, he was one of the first to master the most dangerous method of air combat - the ram of the landing gear, which was then fixed on the fuselage of the aircraft. Unfortunately, there are no official historical documents confirming the holding of rams by Fedorov. However, there are two explanations for this. First, it was incredibly difficult to keep records in the context of a civil war raging in the country. And secondly, no one was engaged in expensive and painstaking research of the Spanish archives. It is possible that somewhere such documents were preserved. About the ram Fedorov became known thanks to the stories of his associates. The first of them, Ivan, performed June 18 over Madrid. The Republican government celebrated the courage and skill of the Russian pilot with its highest award — the Order of the Madrid Lavra, which was awarded to only five Soviet “specialists” and among them the future Marshal of the Soviet Union and Minister of Defense R.Ya. Malinovsky. Dolores Ibarruri, also known as “Passionary” (“Furious”), together with a kiss, presented the young pilot with a personalized pistol.

At the same time, Ivan was first introduced to the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. A festive banquet was organized for the returned “Spaniards” in the capital, to which representatives of all the branches of the military were invited: pilots, artillerymen, infantrymen, tankmen, sailors. For some minor reason, a fight ensued. We will not judge strictly the young guys, who were only twenty-three to twenty-five years old at the time. Ivan was not a direct participant in the fights that had arisen, but he seized the moment and only once hit one very self-confident and impudent security officer. And the strength of the master in six sports (by the way, one of them was boxing) was not to occupy. Chekist, without regaining consciousness, died two days later.
One can understand the anger of the commander of the Air Force commander J. Smushkevich (quite often in publications they use the rank of lieutenant-general, which is not true, because the titles of generals were introduced later, according to the May Decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council 1940). Fedorov was called along with the rest of the fighter pilots. For those times, the death of the NKVD threatened with a tribunal and, if not execution, then definitely several years in the camps. The chief of staff repulsed the flyers with strong words, and Fedorov, alone, already in a one-on-one conversation, said that, at the suggestion of the NKVD, the title of Hero could not be seen, and moreover, he had a case. For the sake of truth, it must be said that the affairs of the Enkavedeshnikov were instituted in the whole army, from the privates to the marshals. Stalin was very much afraid of the military, realizing that this was a real power in the country that could threaten his unlimited power. One way or another, Smushkevich managed to defend the disgraced pilot, but for the first time he did not receive the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Fedorov is sent to the old duty station in the Zhytomyr air regiment for the post of commander of the detachment, then he is transferred to the assistant commander of the regiment and, finally, appointed to the post of regiment. At the end of the Higher Aviation Courses in the 1939 year for upgrading the qualifications of the officer corps, Fedorov was identified as the commander of the 17 Fighter Aviation Regiment in Velikiye Luki. Already in the summer of 1940, Fedorov was assigned to the Gorky Aviation Plant No. XXUMX as a test pilot, and in November of that year he was sent to China, to Urumqi. There, the Soviet specialists built a new factory for the production of fighters I-21, and Ivan was appointed to the post of chief of the flight test site. In May of next year there was a misfortune - one of the pilots subordinate to him was wrecked. Fedorov was immediately demoted, having been appointed an ordinary tester.

At the beginning of the war, he was again sent to Gorky as a senior test pilot of the fighter aircraft of the Lavochnikov design bureau. Here, Ivan has to test the LaGG-3 monoplane fighter just adopted for service. All reports about sending to the front by the aviation command are rejected. And again the disobedient nature of the former street kid appears. July Day 1942-th year during the test site, having completed three dangerous tricks - three loops Nesterov under the bridge over the Oka, twisting goodbye "barrel" over the airfield, he directs his plane in the direction of Kalinin, where the headquarters of the 3-she Air Army Michael Gromov. On the way, at the airfield of Monino, Fedorov, at the point of an unloaded pistol, forced the gasoline tanker to fill his LaGG-3 and continued his risky journey to the front. Ivan sat right in front of the checkpoint, Gromov himself and his associates Georgy Baidukov and Andrei Yumashev, well known in the country for successful polar flights, were already there.

The commander did not surrender his old comrade in pre-war test work, and even appointed his assistant in training in piloting techniques. Fedorov returned to Gorky again, for his wife Anya, also a pilot who had mastered the basics of flying business under the guidance of her future husband. Gromov allowed to fly behind her on the double Yak-7. Anna Artemyevna participated in air battles, she has three downed fascists on her account. However, in the 1943 year, her plane was hit, and she herself, wounded in the leg, was able to jump with a parachute. After that, she spent several years in hospital beds and never flew again.

The commander never regretted his choice. Fedorov was a brave pilot, he flew masterfully, and after a few days of being with Gromov on his LaGG-3, he had filled up, as the front pilots used to say, a Junkers bomber, whose crew, parachuting, was captured. In total in the sky over Rzhev in August and September, he shot down three enemy aircraft. It was then that the most, perhaps, famous in his biography story with the penalty-pilots occurred.

28 July 1942 year, Stalin issues his order number 227, the essence of which boils down to one thing - to fight to the last, not one step back! On the basis of this order, the notorious penal battalions and companies, where the guilty fighters and officers were sent, arose. They redeemed their guilt, real or imaginary, with blood. Penalties were most often thrown into frontal attacks, at taking well-fortified positions of the enemy. After such attacks from several hundred people, only a few “lucky ones” were often alive.

About the creation of such fine battalions in aviation in the order did not say anything, however, commander Mikhail Gromov consciously went to the formation of such units. He appealed to the commander of the Kalinin Front, Konev, proposing the formation of a “special group of experienced pilots” who, for one reason or another, were threatened with a penalty battalion. The question was very slippery, and even Konev could not solve it on his own. With the idea of ​​Gromov, he turned to the very "top" and soon received a go-ahead. Probably, this decision came from Stalin himself. But even in this case, no supporting documents were found in the archives. Whatever it was, in the second half of August, pilots began to arrive in Gromov’s army with the same wording in the prescription: “He is being sent to the group of fighter-penalty box.” The number of "seconded" pilots soon amounted to a regular number of air regiments.

Gromov needed to find a commander for the defective air fighters. Many of the best aces refused such an “honor”, ​​not trusting the penalty box, fearing a queue “in the back” from future subordinates. Seeing the predicament of the commander, Major Fedorov himself proposed his candidacy. At first, Gromov did not want to appoint him, but seeing the hopelessness of the situation, he agreed. Fedorov received only two weeks to form a regiment and full power over the life and death of the penalty box. The commander gave him the right to shoot people without trial. The Yak-1 fighter jets and the more modern YK-7 fighters were allocated for armament of the unit. The headquarters of the army, in addition, raised the salary of the penalty pilots.
As Ivan Evgrafovich himself told, he was never interested, for which his charges rattled into penal box. Not before that, and the combat pilot didn’t like to rummage in personal affairs. Only later did he accidentally recognize the "faults" of some of them. Someone under the hot hand shot his slave, three times left his lead without a cover. Someone, on the contrary, lost his leader in battle. Often there were cases when staff bosses or special persons who did not zealously loved a particular person sent him to the penalty box on any occasion. For example, the sad story is well-known with the legendary Pokryshkin, who came into conflict with his superiors, who indifferently and even negligently reacted to the funeral of his deceased comrade. Then Pokryshkin was expelled from the party and put on trial, but everything worked out. Many pilots found themselves guilty only because, being shot down over enemy territory, they fell into German captivity. After returning home combat pilots were waiting in the infantry penal battalions, where they were threatened with inevitable death.

However, a considerable number of aviators fell to Fedorov for hooliganism or even criminality. In particular, he served three friends who threw a careless cook into a pot of hot water, in which he cooked. One of the young pilots of jealousy shot his girlfriend, after which he himself went to surrender to the special forces. And several pilots while intoxicated threw a girl from the balcony just because she refused to dance to one of them. No, these were by no means angels, the young guys whose youth and youth fell an inordinate deadly bloody whirl of that time.

In general, penalty pilots are mentioned very little in the writings of military historians. Questions about them remain not fully clarified to this day. The prevailing opinion among the front-line soldiers was that there were no fighter-penalty groups at all, and the pilots were simply transferred to assault regiments, where they flew IL-2 as radio-gunners. Since there was no armor protection in the rear cockpit, where the shooter was sitting, they were often killed by the bullets of German fighters. This widespread judgment was based on the actual practice of those years. Indeed, the commanders of the air division had and exercised the right to punish the guilty by sending them as gunners-radio operators to attack aircraft for a certain number of sorties. Having flown the required amount, the officers, who were at fault (but no penalty at all), returned to their “native” units.
However, everything that concerns the Fedorovsky air squad actually existed. As was the fact that it was strictly forbidden to speak about them to "outsiders". All and tried to remain silent. This explains the absence of references to the penalty box in M. Gromov's officially published memoirs. The other veterans of the 3 Air Army have never been told about this either. But in the personal file of the pilot I.E. Fedorov, and recorded: "The commander of a group of penal pilots." And all the personal affairs were then classified as "secret."

The extract from the award list found in the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense leaves no doubt. In the description issued in the winter of 1943, signed by Generals Erlykin and Rudenko, the following is written: “In the Patriotic War, Colonel I.Ye. Fedorov has been participating continuously since 27.07.1942. During this period, he participated in the battles as a senior instructor in piloting the 3 Air Force, and also commanded a team of penal officers of the flight crew (highlighted by the author). During the period of the command of a group of penalty boxers, he personally made eighty-four sorties. ”

As part of the 3-s of the thunder army, Ivan with his penalty box fought on the Kalinin and Central Fronts. During the Rzhev-Sychevskaya operation, his regiment logged one hundred and thirty wounded German aircraft. I.E. Fedorov recalled that the penalty box subordinate to him fought desperately not for orders and medals, but only for the opportunity to return to their home regiments again. According to him, the penalty-penalty pilot, in order to deserve such a return, had to shoot down at least ten fascist aircraft. Let me remind you that the stars of the Hero were represented by pilots who destroyed at least twelve enemy aircraft.

To finish the story with the penalty box, it remains to report that two months after the creation of this air group, according to Fedorov’s proposal, signed by the commander of the Kalininsky Front Konev, the penalty pilots were seconded to their home units. Four of them were presented to the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union, the rest were awarded orders and medals, received regular military ranks. The successful command of the subunit did not go unnoticed; Fedorov was appointed commander of the 1943 division of fighters on the same Kalininsky front in April of the 256 of April after completing the courses of the commanding staff. In the post of division commander, he continued to fight on the Central and Belarusian fronts. In January, 1944 of the year, commander N. Zhiltsov, for the second time, signed a testimonial on Fedorov's performance to the Hero's star. However, the commander of 16-th Air Army, General Rudenko (future air marshal of the Soviet Union), which then was fighting Fedorov's division, in a report addressed to the Chief Air Marshal A.A. Novikov accused the pilot of “extortion of awards,” the additions of unnecessary downed aircraft, and asked for the removal of Fedorov from the post of divisional commander with subsequent downgrading. A new corps commander, E. Erlykin, assigned to replace Zhiltsov, promptly discovered a lot of shortcomings in the combat work of Fedorov's division and removed him from his post. So the second time the star did not find her hero.

From June 1944 of the year to the end of the war, Ivan served as a deputy commander in the 3 Baltic and 2 Belorussian fronts. He fought Belarus, the Baltic states, Poland, East Prussia and Germany. He was repeatedly wounded. According to official data, during the stay at the front, Colonel I.Ye. Fedorov made one hundred and twenty combat missions, personally shot down seventeen enemy aircraft (of which seven were fighters and ten bombers) and two in the group. These figures correspond most of all to reality, although many researchers have very strong doubts, given Fedorov’s more than three years on the front. Even if not to consider non-flying days, treatment of the received wounds, all the same the ends do not converge. Indeed, even in 1943, the generals Erlykin and Rudenko signed a presentation for awarding Fedorov with the Order of the Patriotic War 1 degree, which indicated the number of combat sorties made by him personally in less than three months - eighty-four. Thus, it turns out that in the remaining two years of war, the combat pilot took off just thirty-six times. Taking into account his participation in the Battle of Kursk alone, when Soviet pilots for the first time took air supremacy, then these figures cannot be trusted. Archival documents are impassive figures - three or four flights a day. So much, and often more, did the Soviet pilots during the Kursk-Oryol operation. A front-line soldier has the right to embellish, exaggerate his stories about the war. A researcher of such a right is completely deprived, especially when real merit is minimized.

But the awards asa command really did not spoil. And although the orders of Alexander Nevsky hung on his chest, two orders of the Patriotic War 1 degree, the Order of the Patriotic War 2 degree, the Order of the Red Star and three Red Banner of War (of which the first two he received in Spain), it is still compared With the “iconostasis” of other front-line pilots, Ivan Evgrafovich looked very modest. But in the words of Tvardovsky “I’d dream not for fame ...”.

After the war, the dashing pilot returned to the Designer's office of the Shopkeeper, by the way, at the personal request of the most ingenious developer. He is testing new types of aircraft, including the first domestic jet vehicles. Fedorov was the first to fly on a La-160 with a triangular-swept wing, one of the first to be forced to practice a bailout in practice, and again the first to exceed the sound barrier on the La-176 fighter. Scrupulous Lavochkin after a report on this test, as a real scientist ordered the experience to be repeated, replace the measuring devices and only then fix the speed. In a repeated experiment to overcome the speed of sound, Oleg Sokolovsky flew out, who is officially the first pilot to overcome the speed of sound. Also Ivan Evgrafovich tested La-150, La-150F, La-150M, La-154, La-156 and La-174ТК. In the 1948 year, finally, the well-deserved awarding of Fedorov with the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union took place simultaneously with the award of the Order of Lenin to him. From 1949 to 1950, he worked as a test pilot for the 1 class at the OKB-1 in Dubna. An experienced aircraft of the German designers “140-P” raised to the sky. From 1950-th to 1954-th years experienced a different technique of the research institute of aircraft equipment on the Yak-3, Yak-7B, Yak-9В, Il-12, Tu-2 and Il-28. In total, Fedorov raised various aircraft into the 284.

One of the best test pilots of our country, Colonel Fedorov flew until March 2 1954 of the year, on this day he, forty years old, but still strong in body and spirit, went into the reserve from the Armed Forces. He waited another fifty-seven years of life full of work. “Citizen” he began in the magazine “International Affairs”, then moved to the Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was an employee of the diplomatic mission in Tunis, on his return from which he continued to work in the Foreign Ministry. He retired in 1974. 12 died in Moscow on February 2011 of the year, a little bit before his 97 anniversary.

Information sources:
-http: //
-http: //
-http: // Hero_id = 414
-http: //
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Owl
    Owl April 3 2013 10: 46 New
    One of the few mentions of the "flight penalty battalion", for the "last" 10 years this unit has been told on TV only 2-3 times. As for the material - worthy material about a worthy Person.
    1. Gamdlislyam
      Gamdlislyam April 3 2013 16: 46 New
      Dear colleague Filin, as such "flight penal battalions" did not exist. There was an order from Stalin (in the fall of 1942) to create penalty squadrons at the fronts, where the fined pilots should be sent. We managed to create only 3 squadrons (two fighter and one assault squadron), which lasted 3-4 months. Then, on their basis, normal air regiments were formed. There were no more penalty squadrons. The pilots were sent to these units not by the verdict of the tribunal, but on the basis of the decision of the command (not lower than the division commander), while the titles and awards they were not deceived. The stay in such a unit depended on the number of sorties. More details can be read here:

      The above article is pure water FANTASY . Fedorov Ivan Evgrafovich in the 90s had a hand in this opus as well. However, at the same time, all this was refuted with the publication of documents.
      Google "Ivan Evgrafovich Fedorov" and get a lot of material on this topic.
      Link to "Open letter to the editorial office of the newspaper" Komsomolskaya Pravda "-
      I think that this odious article should be removed from the pages of a reputable site.
  2. Yuri11076
    Yuri11076 April 3 2013 10: 54 New
    That's what people were, oh thanks for the article ...
  3. vladimirZ
    vladimirZ April 3 2013 12: 44 New
    Man, pilot - a legend! But why at age 40 they were written off from aviation?
  4. valokordin
    valokordin April 3 2013 15: 56 New
    A real pilot, a real hero, eternal glory and memory of his descendants.
  5. Jarserge
    Jarserge April 3 2013 19: 24 New
    I don’t know I don’t know Comrade Fyodorov, the front-line pilots themselves call the "Baron Munchausen" of Soviet aviation. And the article itself is sheer nonsense and fiction ........
    1. family tree
      family tree April 4 2013 07: 35 New
      So, live to be 90 years old, and then recall the events of 50 years ago. These zhurnalyug who were tortured by the old man, and then laid out unverified information for public display, must be suspended for a causal place, or a tablet should be given so that it turns black and falls off in order to prevent their reproduction yes
      1. Gamdlislyam
        Gamdlislyam April 4 2013 12: 58 New
        Dear colleague perepilka, you can and should run into a journalist. Alas, they deserve it. But, here is another story with Fedorov. Back in 1944, the commission of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) examined his complaints about the allegedly unjustified refusal to submit to the rank of the GSS. As a result of verification, all claims of Fedorov I.E. were recognized as unreasonable, far-fetched, and the facts of the "heroic past" set out by him either did not find confirmation, or, really real, were awarded government awards.
        It is not necessary to enumerate all the epithets that the members of the commission IE Fedorov awarded, but when he is called the Soviet "Baron Munchausen", this is close to the truth.
        Yes, and with the assignment of the title of GSS, it was not so simple. 1948 was a jubilee year for Soviet aviation. In Lavochkin Design Bureau, only Fedorov did not have the rank of GSS among test pilots who went through the war.
        Compare what is written in the above article and in the article on the GSS website -
  6. rodevaan
    rodevaan April 4 2013 06: 55 New
    I heard a lot about Fedorov Ivan Evgrafovich.
    And these opinions are very mixed. Very contradictory and very polar reviews about this man and about this pilot, both from fellow soldiers themselves, acquaintances, contemporaries, commanders, and from historians.

    However, I believe that in this case the main thing is not the personal qualities of a person, but his merits for the country and his contribution to the development of the military affairs of our country. Of course, no matter how real and whatever the Fedorov is, I personally undoubtedly give him a tribute of respect and gratitude as a veteran and as a Soviet warrior who smashed the enemy together with everyone and contributed to our common Victory; and as a pilot who contributed to the development of domestic aviation.
  7. vladimirZ
    vladimirZ April 5 2013 11: 57 New
    Why are you so disdainful of the pilot, tester, ace, Colonel Fedorov Ivan Evragrafovich, who passed the war in Spain, voluntarily "deserted" not to the rear, but to the front of the Great Patriotic War ?!
    An extraordinary man, an extraordinary pilot, he possessed high mastery of flying equipment that no one would take away from him, a test pilot, whom Lavochkin himself took to himself - it’s worth something!
    Yes, the dreamer, a cheerful person, loved to brag, but how, probably, it was not boring to serve with him. The fact that he set a tombstone for himself during his lifetime speaks of the character of this person.
    Fedorov I.E. he fought - shot down more than 15 enemy planes necessary for conferring the title of Hero of the USSR, was a test pilot - tested more than a dozen types of aircraft, worked in the diplomatic service for more than 15 years, lived to be 97 years old - is this an unworthy path of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
    Eternal memory to the Hero!
  8. entitemer
    entitemer 26 August 2013 17: 54 New
    Hello to all.
    Many of our desires become reality when there is money.
    I just want to share the site
    I gathered on it a database of banks issuing loans online.
    Here you can choose the interest rate and apply for a loan in 2 minutes.
    Remember that loans should always be given
    If you write anything, I will answer everyone.

    PS Sorry if I wrote in the wrong section. I just want to somehow attract people.
  9. Fatyn
    Fatyn 18 March 2014 10: 23 New
    Dear Gamdlislyam!
    I understand that you, like many military men, are jealous of such a talented pilot! And during the war they were jealous! So they express their distrust, because they themselves could not do so. He is a brilliant pilot and an honest, straightforward man who suffered for speaking out too openly in those difficult times. They feared him and therefore alienated him, without awarding him a hero during the war. Since you are writing about this, you should know that the Hero of the Soviet Union during the war was two for 11 shot down planes, and some for 9. With all your and official counts of downed planes, he was at least enough for a Twice or Thrice Hero! But he never became one ... He could have quietly sat out the whole war in the Design Bureau, but he was eager to go to the front, fought bravely and proved that he was not only the best test pilot of that time, but also the best fighter pilot who bypassed such recognized aces as Kozhedub and Pokryshkin. Read the fairly objective book by Vyacheslav Shalaginov "Battle Royal U-turn", which investigated the reasons for his persecution, and you will understand everything! Or maybe not ... But then it will definitely be just your problems ...