Aviation heroes honoured in Yekaterinburg

On 3rd January 2021, within the area of an air base in Yekaterinburg (used by the separated military transport aviation regiment of the Central Military District), an Alley of the Russian Glory was officially opened.

The idea of honouring the pilots that were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union came directly from the military pilots of the Central Military District. The first three busts, representing Ivan Kozhedub, Grigory Rechkalov and Grigory Backchivandzhi, were installed at the turn of the year and officially unveiled on 3rd January – with the participation of Central Military District authorities, command and personnel of the transport regiment, young cadets and veterans´ organizations.

According to the official press release of the Central Military District, further busts are planned to be added consecutively each year.  

Bust of the aviation hero that just arrived to Yekaterinburg

Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub was a Soviet World War II fighter ace. He is credited with 64 solo air victories – which makes him the highest scoring Soviet and Allied ace, has an operational record of 330 combat flights and was also one of the few pilots that shot down a Me 262 fighter jet. Kozhedub was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union three times.

Grigory Andreevich Rechkalov was a Soviet World War II fighter ace with 61 solo air victories. Most of them were scored when Rechkalov was flying with P-39 Airacobra fighter aircraft. He has an operational record of 452 sorties and was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union two times.

Grigory Yakovlevitch Backchivandzhi was a Soviet World War II fighter pilot and then also a test pilot in the rocket-powered interceptor aircraft programme. In 1941, during the first week of the Eastern Front campaign, he achieved two solo and three shared air victories. Then Backchivandzhi joined the rocket-powered aircraft development programme, run by Bereznyak and Isayev. On 27th March 1943, during the low-altitude test flight, the BI-1 aeroplane flown by Backchivandzhi dived at the speed reaching 900 kph and crashed, killing the test pilot. He was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously, in 1973.

Installation of the bust in the cold winter weather

All photos © Russian MoD (Министерство обороны Российской Федерации), used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. MoD press information were used.