The forgotten Soviet air ace. Ivan Nikitovich Kozedub managed to shoot down 62 enemies
Ivan Nikitovich Kozedub is one of the most successful air aces of World War II. Kozhedub was born on June 8, 1920 in the village of Obrazhievka. In 1939 he completed his pre-military flight training and was drafted into the Red Army in the summer of 1940. He graduated from the Chuguyevsky Aviation School and later served as a flight instructor there. After the German attack on the USSR, the flight school was evacuated to Central Asia. Here he flew U-2 (the same name of the post-war American spy plane) and I-16 trainer aircraft.
After several applications, he managed to get to the front and in November 1942 was assigned to the 240th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which was part of the 2nd Air Army. Kožedub fought his first battle on 6 July on the Voronezh Front. On his first flight, his La-5 was fired upon by his own anti-aircraft artillery, but he managed to land with difficulty at the regimental airfield (other sources say he was attacked by a Messerschmitt Bf 110). On 6 June, he managed to shoot down a Ju-87. In the following days he scored further successes and was given command of the regimental squadron.
Another great success he achieved in the area of the Dnieper in October 1943, when he shot down in eleven days 10 German machines. From May 1944 Ivan Kozedub fought on a La-5FN (with the number 14), made with money provided to the state by a kolkhoznik from Stalingrad Region V. V. Konev. In the course of a few days he shot down a Ju-87 and seven other enemy aircraft on this machine.
At the end of June his service on this machine ended and he handed the machine over to
to two-time Hero of the USSR K. A. Evstigenev. He was then transferred to
to the training regiment. However, in August he became deputy commander of the 176th Guards fighter regiment. At that time, the regiment was armed with new fighters
Lavochkin La-7. Kozedub then acquired a machine with the number 27, which he flew
until the end of the war. Already on August 19, 1944 he was awarded for 256 missions and 48
for 256 missions and 48 kills.
During one of the following combat flights, his machine was shot down over
enemy territory was hit by gunfire, setting fire to the fuel tank in the in the wing. In this situation, he decided to ram. He pointed his machine towards to the nearest enemy position that he spotted and began to violently …descending rapidly. The air current, however, extinguished the burning wing at that moment. Immediately …he righted the machine and eventually returned to base. Read more great successes in the battles in Poland and Germany. during a routine patrol flight, he and his comrade-in-arms, V.A. Gromankovsky 13 enemy Fw 190 machines. In combat, they were shot down five enemy machines, three of which were shot down by Kozedub. The next day then over the Oder River, he shot down a German Messerschmitt Me 262 jet.…he scored in the last days of the war.
Since the end of the war, his shooting down
of two P-51 Mustangs. which he was allegedly attacked with when the assembly
Soviet aircraft approached one of the American bombers…of one of the two American bomber strikes. Kozedub ended World War II with more than 320 combat missions, and with 62 solo kills, he became the greatest aerial ace of the Soviet Air Force, as well as the Allied forces in general. Third Hero of the USSR, Kozedub received his third star on August 18, 1945, after the end of the fighting in Europe.
After the war, Kozhedub continued to serve in the Air Force. He underwent training on the new
MiG-15.In 1949 he graduated from the Air Force Academy, in 1956 During the Korean War, the 324th Air However, he was banned from combat flights. During the war, his airmen reportedly destroyed as many as 239 enemy aircraft. From 1964 to 1971. he was deputy commander of the Moscow Military District Air Force.1971, he then served in the command of the air force.
Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub reached the rank of Air Marshal. For his services he was awarded the Order of Lenin, 7 times the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st and 2nd degree and medals, including a number of foreign ones. In the post-war period, he received the Order for Service to the Fatherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR, 3rd degree.