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Fragment of the article: Name from list of forgotten heroes
(Sergiy Vakhrushev)



/from Kuznetsov/

In November 1942 the 180th regiment has appropriated a rank of Guard and received a new designation - the 30th Guard Fighter Aviation Regiment (GFAR). By then the regiment has been rearmed with P-39 Aerocobra American fighters. Nevertheless I.V.Kuznetsov, according to notations in his personal records, in addition became familiar with Як-1 and flew on it some time. But enemy rearmed too. On the 3rd of March, 1943 Cobras of the 30th GFAR met unknown blunt-nosed aircraft marked with crosses in Kursk region.

"We flew in two couples, when saw six German fighters aloof - Innokenty Vasilievich said.- Why do not attack? I gave a command to the pilot of supporting aircraft and went down. At the first approach I brought down one aircraft. Then I looked to the supporting aircraft - it was not there. As it happened I attacked the first six aircraft, other six aircraft attacked my comrades from above and dog fight began. I remained one against five. They rounded up me like enraged wasps and set fire to my aircraft. I had nothing to do - it was necessary to disengage and to fly to the airfield. But it was not so easy! These five aircraft followed my burning Cobra and shooted at me like in shooting-range. One of them was the most impudent. It flew very close to my aircraft's tail and was ready to shoot me if I baled out. How to shake it off? I released accelerator, tuged a handle toward myself, my aircraft turned up the nose and speed was dissipated. And German had no time to react. I saw - he was in advance and below. It is not possible to call my following action as decision. It was like short flash in my mind: "This is for you, son of pitch!" - and I fell on him like stone. Blow! Crack and smart in legs."

From under parachute canopy Innokenty saw how wreckages of two aircraft fell down. Thus he became acquainted with Fokke-Wolf-190. But fight was not finished. Pilot in burning suit became a good target for Germen. He was saved since altitude was not height to that moment. However misfortunes continued. Kuznetsov landed at neutral zone nearby enemy's trenches. Germen organized catching group

/from V.D.Romanenko archiv/
at once and Innokenty with his wounded legs and numerous burns had almost no chances to be saved.

But our gunners helped. They opened defensive fire and shooted like snipers. As the result presecutors were killed and Hitlerites could not leave their trenches. Arrived in time "infantrymen carried me on waterproof cape and said that they saw the ram attack and that German did not leave the falling aircraft - he crashed with it." After that fight Hlusovich, commander of the 30th GFAR, first applied for Kuznetsov recommendation for title of Hero of Soviet Union: "In the course of 32 fights Kuznetsov, air squadron commander, personally brought down 7 aircraft (4 bombers and 3 fighters) and in group - 15 enemy's aircraft. During 178 air fights his squadron brought down 78 enemy's aircraft". This document had no consequences.

For the second in 1943 S.I.Rudenko, commander of the 16th Air army, applied for Kuznetsov recommendation for Gold Star medal and the pilot received: decoration of Patriotic war and rank of captain.

The third petition filed in 1944 was burked too. Instead most unexpected and unusual reward has been received. A.Garriman, American ambassador, visited Soviet front line and on behalf of English king passed personnel address the first words of which were more than unusual for the pilot of Red Army AF: "George VI - King of Great Britain, Ireland and British Dominions, Protector of Trust in God, Emperor of India and Founder of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire welcomes Guard senior lieutenant * Innokenty Vasilievich Kuznetsov". And further British monarch informed the Soviet pilot about awarding with title of Honorary member of aforesaid Highest Order with presentation of Knightly Cross. By this rewarding (in the differs of "Flying Cross") for victories won in Hurricane and Aerocobra, George VI showed an example of special military valour to his loyalists who did not like these fighters. And this was an example of efficiency for our bureaucracy - the decree has been signed in Sent-Jarment palace on the 19th of November, 1943, and already in January 1944 the award was given to the hero at airfield near Kalinkovichy town. Some more. Only seven (!) people in USSR were awarded with the Highest Decorate of Great Britain. Mainly marshals and generals.

* By that time he was captain


You can read the article completely in printed magazine's issue #3' 2000

Содержание номера

  • African Sunrise . Article about attacks of British aviation to French ships after capitulation of France in 1940. 8 photos, colouring of 4 aircraft — Aleksandr Podoprigora
  • An-7X and A400M: rivalry is continuing . Thoughts about the first totals of European tender for medium military-transport aircraft. 2 photos — Andrey Sovenko
  • Astride a bouncing. Military pilot`s memoirs about hardships met by students of Cherniogov Flying Schools at training with MiG-23UB — Valeriy Zolotarev
  • At the south frontiers of Cold war. Article devoted to the actions of Soviet pilots from the 17th division of Antiaircraft Defense protected Iranian and Afghan frontiers. 8 photos, colourings of 4 aircraft — Igor Seidov
  • Donovan Berlin`s Hawks. The first part of the article about family of P-36 and P-40 American fighters of Curtiss company will be interesting first of all for amateurs of stand modelling. 12 photos, drawings — Alexandr Kotlobovsky
  • Military aviation in the Beginning of the XXI-st Century.. Beginning of article about development of military aviation in various countries of the world during nearest 20 years. 16 photos, drawing of B-2 bomber — Vladimyr Ilyn
  • Name from list of forgotten heroes. Article about I.V.Kuznetsov, Soviet ace of Great Patriotic War period. 8 photos, colourings of 5 aircraft — Sergiy Vakhrushev
  • The second. . Article from Monograph rubric. It is devoted to И-2, one of the first Soviet fighters. 16 photos, drawings — Mikhail Maslov
  • Expedition "Ukraine - North Pole - 2000". (Article by member of the expedition to the North Pole. 2 photos)
  • Panorama (Among the materials information about handing of Certificates of Type to the An-140 and An-3 aircraft)
  • Duty - air traffic control (Article about Ukraeroruch State enterprise for servising of air traffic in Ukraine. 3 photos)

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