"And then the pilots ..."
12 August, on the Day of the Air Force, there are no wide celebrations. It's a pity. Many glorious names could be remembered on this day.
It turns out that Mikhail Fedorovich Melnikov, a native of the Kazanskaya Lopatina farm during the Great Patriotic War, worked as a design engineer at the Taganrog aircraft factory. By the way, his wife, Maguba Syktlanova, is a Hero of the Soviet Union, an illustrious pilot of the 46 air regiment, known as the "night witch" regiment.
Our other countryman, Nikolaev, Grigoriy Alexandrovich, from the Stogi farm, after the war, worked at the state scientific test institute of the Air Force as a tester of parachutes and ejection units. Colonel Nikolaev had the title of world record holder in parachuting. He is holder of the Order of the Red Banner.
The chairman of the district council of veterans, Timoschuk Alexander Vladimirovich, suggested that veterans of the Great Patriotic War who served in the air forces lived in the village of Kazan. This is Lieutenant Mikhail Ivanovich Pilot, Major Pavel Ilyich Navigator, Lieutenant Technician Fedor Mikhailovich Popov.
Light memory to them! On the site “Memory of the People” I learned that the pilot of the night near-bomber regiment M.I. Gubin was awarded the Order of the Red Star in 1944 and the Order of the Patriotic War, II degree in 1945.
Aircraft F.M. Chebotaryov received his Red Star in August 1943, and in March 1945, the Order of the Patriotic War, II degree.
The same site contains an extract from the order awarding Chebotarev Fedor Mikhailovich with the Order of the Red Star. It says that the technician-lieutenant for the period of service provided 120 combat missions at night on the Р-5 aircraft and 85 combat sorties on IL-2 aircraft. Of these, 45 sorties on the Belgorod and Kharkov directions. During the period of combat work in the Kharkov direction, he restored the 19 aircraft.
Chebotaryov had 4 thanks to the Supreme Commander for the excellent preparation of the equipment for combat missions. Such a case is known from the front-line life of F.M. Chebotaryova.
15 August 1943, the aircraft arrived at the airfield with heavy damage. The pilot, exhausted after a hard battle, joked: “I will rest for three days until the plane is fixed!” But the pilot didn’t have to rest for a long time: the plane mechanic Chebotarev repaired the 63 hours in 23 hours instead of the XNUMX hours! And it was necessary to restore the failed components and parts, to repair a lot of holes, so that the plane would be obedient to the will of the pilot, so that he would successfully complete the combat mission and that he would return home safely.
Yes, the victory in the sky was forged by a huge number of people: pilots, technicians, mechanics and even civilians (mostly women) who built shelters for airplanes on field airfields.
In the second half of 1942, several field airfields operated in the region. They were located between the Kolodezny and Ereminsky farms, near the Morozovsky farm in the Karpov forest, between the Parisian and Ogaryoy farms, near the village of Shumilinskaya.
About the Morozov airfield it is known that women bomber, “night witches” were based on it.
At Shumilino airfield, they say, the plane of Marshal Zhukov landed, who flew in to correct the plan for a breakthrough. Unfortunately, the timing of deployment, the numbers of air units that were located in the specified settlements, what tasks they performed, are not known.
They guarded the ruble
On the night of July 21-22, 1941, exactly one month after the outbreak of the war, Nazi aviation launched a massive raid on Moscow. Prior to this, single planes penetrated the capital of the USSR, dropped incendiary and high-explosive bombs, but they could not decisively influence the people, the country's leadership, because energetic measures were used for blackout everywhere, crews on duty trained to neutralize the “lighters” were on duty. And along the perimeter of the capital there were units and subunits of air surveillance, warning and communications, searchlight and anti-aircraft artillery, regiments of fighter aircraft, airborne balloons rose above the most important objects. Thanks to these and other energetic measures, the enemy was never able to break the labor rhythm of Muscovites' life, undermine morale, and demoralize the military-political leadership of the USSR.
Then the fascist German command decided to make a massive raid on the night of July 22, in which around the 220 bombers flew from different directions. At that time, junior sergeant Sergey Kurov, commander of the liaison office of the platoon reconnaissance and control of the anti-aircraft artillery battery of the 251 regiment, who defended the Rublevskaya water pump station, took part in reflecting this and subsequent raids.
22 June 1941, the 251 zenith artillery regiment performed the combat mission of protecting Moscow’s airspace from the west. His military formations were located not far from the Rublevskaya water-pumping station, which provided most of the capital with drinking water. The fact that the war began, the officers and soldiers still did not know, although they took measures to increase the effectiveness of live firing.
In the morning, the division commander summoned the commander of the reconnaissance and control section of the junior sergeant Kurov and ordered to prepare a calculation for the deployment of a supervisory corrective point in the area of the village of Ilyinskoe, which would enable the targets to be detected in advance.
- I was assigned to lead the calculation. Charges were short-lived, - recalled Sergei Ivanovich. - Armed with telephone, binoculars, rifles with live ammunition, entrenching tools, food and set off. The car drove along the Volokolamskoye Highway to the village of Ilyinskoe, then returned to the regiment. And we began to pick a place for an observation point. Convenient place found near the village of Buzlanovka. The review is good, dry, around the field. Without the buildup, they began to dig a trench for aerial reconnaissance, installed the necessary equipment in it.
Upon completion, they reported on readiness to perform a combat mission. The calculation of the junior sergeant Kurov consisted of four people, completely international: Russian, Belarusian, Jewish, Tatar. The commander assigned responsibilities. One person continuously watched the airspace. In the case of detection of the aircraft, he should immediately report to the commander of the calculation. By sound and visually, they were obliged to determine “their own” or “someone else's”, and to transmit information to the regiment command post. Other members of the calculation were engaged in the construction of dugout dugout, cooked food on the fire, on the collective farm fields extracted vegetables. Only in the evening did the observers get the news that the war had begun. A few days later a plane appeared in the sky with a distinctive sound. Kurov urgently reported to the CP.
The regiment immediately led to combat readiness. Soon the dark sky lit up with flashes of explosions. On the way of the enemy a fire wall was formed. The German pilot began to maneuver, but he failed to break through to the city. Although from a different direction, the fascist ace still penetrated to the center and dropped a few incendiary and high-explosive bomb. Exactly one month after our life in an open field, ”said S.I. Kurov, - on the night of 22 July 1941, the Germans launched the first massive raid on Moscow. With the onset of darkness, we heard a buzz on the left, immediately reported to the KP. Then a group of aircraft was right above us, then to the right. Behind, on the outskirts of Moscow, searchlights flared up, artillery volleys were heard. All batteries opened barrage. The dense veil of explosions upset the battle formations of the Nazi aces, they began to randomly drop bombs. One of them came, as it turned out, at the Pavshino Tolev plant. A huge flame flared up. It seemed to us that the whole of Moscow was burning.
Fascist aircraft flew in waves. The battle lasted all night. Kurov's subordinates vigilantly served, promptly transferred all information to the command post.
As it turned out, about 220 aircraft took part in the raid on Moscow, 20 of them were shot down, most turned back. Only units broke through to the capital. Having met the organized fire of air defense weapons, the Germans flew in small groups, trying to make the most of the surprise effect.
But our pilots and anti-aircraft gunners were on the alert. The subordinates of the junior sergeant Kurov promptly transmitted to the KP accurate data on the air situation, which allowed the gun crews to be quickly prepared for opening fire.
Autumn came, snow fell. The fascists were getting closer and closer to the capital. The front line was nineteen kilometers from the observation point. The fights were fierce.
The commander ordered the transfer of data not only about air targets, but also about the ground situation. Urgently inform if fascist Tanks. It turns out that two vehicles of anti-tank shells were brought to their position, the calculations worked out the methods of destroying ground targets with direct fire. But they did not have to be used. On December 5, our troops launched a counterattack and abandoned the enemy from Moscow.
The further the fascists drove away from Moscow, the less often they carried out attempts to make air raids on it. In the summer of 1942, violent battles unfolded in the Stalingrad area. The defeat of the surrounded Paulus group marked a radical change in the Second World War.
The tension around the capital has weakened considerably, but the German aces, changing tactics of actions, continued to keep Moscow’s air defense forces in suspense.
In March, 1943 of the year Kurov, who had become a senior sergeant by then, assistant platoon commander of reconnaissance and control, was assigned as the best specialist to the separate anti-aircraft artillery division heading for the newly formed 260, heading for Rzhev’s defense. The anti-aircraft gunners were instructed to guard the famous Zubtsovsky railway bridge over the Volga River, located 18 kilometers from the city. Through it, echelons went in a continuous stream, delivering personnel, equipment, ammunition, and food to the front.
The Nazis repeatedly tried to destroy him, to complicate the supply of the army. Therefore, the bridge has acquired strategic importance. Anti-aircraft guns of various calibers, machine-gun crews, and projectors were assigned to his guard. The command post of the division, where Sergey became the head of the communications center, was located on the very bank of the Volga. The senior sergeant quickly mastered the duties and characteristics of combat duty, skillfully supervised the subordinates, and ensured stable communication with the units.
This was especially important when repelling raids. Hitler's bombers were discovered that evening, sometimes in the early morning, but they were not given targeted bombing, the fire of guns and machine guns was dense and timely. Bombs fell far from the bridge, without causing him harm.
One morning the weather was overcast, breakfast time. Suddenly, one after another, reports began to arrive on the approach of the Nazi aircraft. It turns out that, according to the personal instructions of Goering, a crew for the specially equipped Messerschmitt 110 aircraft was formed from the best pilots. The order was given to them hard: without destroying the bridge, not to return.
The plane rose to a height of more than 10 kilometers, then with the engines turned off, planning, flew over the front line. Aerial surveillance posts did not detect it. So quietly he approached the bridge.
Suddenly the girl-observer saw the plane. There is no time to think it over, she gives the command: “Gun, azimuth ... elevation ... on the enemy - fire!” The calculation of the 37-millimeter cannon immediately turned the gun in the right direction, the commander of the calculation quickly estimated the situation, opened fire. One of the shells landed in the engine, the plane began to smoke, began to lose altitude, and then sat down.
Pilots captured, told about the preparation for the raid. A serious analysis of this case took place; all those who participated in the battle were awarded orders and medals. This episode once again confirmed that air defense calculations must always be on constant alert.
But once, in the winter, an emergency happened: suddenly the connection with the divisions was cut off. It turns out that the wires that were "laid" over the Volga, broke off the "grasshopper", as the soldiers called the plane "Po-2", flying low over the mouth of the river. He himself fell into the water, sank.
The commander ordered Kurov to immediately restore the connection. The difficulty was that the river was frozen near the banks, and there was no middle ground around 100. How to transfer new wires to the other side? There is no boat to build a raft, it will take a long time. It was possible to cross only three kilometers from the CP. Kurov makes a decision: by swimming to deliver the wires to the other shore. One of the subordinates can not be sent if it drowns - the tribunal, and he himself will drown - so be it.
In advance, he sent two signalers across the crossing to get to the opposite shore. With them, they took spare warm clothes, felt boots, a flask of vodka, the necessary equipment to restore communication. When the soldiers were in the indicated place, Kurov, with the help of the foreman, rubbed the body with cannon-fat, tied himself with wire. For him, if you lose the ability to swim, you can pull out of the water. The commander of the liaison office, Ivan Lukichov, was on the insurance. It was terrible to sink into the wormwood, but there was no other option. Diving into the water, the seedlings swam. I reached the opposite shore safely. Here he was met. Someone rubbed his chest and legs with vodka, they gave you a drink from a flask, Sergei Ivanovich recalled with a smile, came to his senses. Immediately began to attach the wire. Soon they reported to the commander that the connection was restored. For this brave deed, resourcefulness in the performance of combat orders, Senior Sergeant Kurov was awarded the medal "For Military Merit." So the veteran of air defense fought. And his father, Colonel Ivan Ivanovich Kurov, being the deputy commander of the rifle division, fought in the ruins of Stalingrad, destroyed the fascists who had broken through to the Volga.
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