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Alexander Koldunov's birthday
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Chief Marshal of Aviation Alexander Ivanovich Koldunov (20 September 1923 – 7 June 1992) was a Soviet World War II fighter ace. He was the eighth highest ranking Soviet fighter ace of the 1941-45 period.
 


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Koldunov joined the Soviet Army in February 1941. He graduated from the Kacha Military Aviation School in 1943 and joined the 866th Fighter Aviation Regiment (866 IAP), flying the Yak fighter on the Southern area of the eastern front in May 1943. He was a pilot, flight commander, deputy commander and squadron commander of the 866th Fighter Aviation Regiment (the 288th Fighter Air Division, 17th Air Army).

 


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
By early May of 1944, Captain A. Koldunov made 223 sorties, carried out 45 air combats, destroyed 15 enemy planes personally and 1 – in group.

 
By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on August 2, 1944 for combat exploits, courage and bravery, Alexander Koldunov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (№ 3464).

 
During the war, Major A. Koldunov made 412 sorties, 96 air battles, and personally shot down 46 enemy planes.

 
By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on February 23, 1948 for his courage and heroism in battles against the Nazi invaders, Alexander Koldunov was awarded the second Gold Star medal (№ 84/II).
 
After the war, A. Koldunov commanded a regiment of fighters, fighter air division; was deputy commander and commander of the aircraft of the Baku Air Defense District, first deputy commander of the Baku Air Defence District. In 1952 he graduated from the Air Force Academy, and in 1960 - the General Staff Academy.

 
From August 1970 to December 1975, Lieutenant-General of Aviation A. Koldunov commanded the troops of the Order of Lenin of Moscow Air Defence District. In 1971 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel-General. In December 1975 he was Deputy Chief of Air Defence Forces, in the 1978-1987 - Chief of Air Defence Forces - Deputy Minister of Defence. Since 1987 - in retirement.

 
On October 28, 1977 he was awarded the title of Marshal and on October 31, 1984 - the highest military rank of Air Chief Marshal.

 
A member of the CPSU Central Committee since 1981 (deputy in 1971-1976). He was elected deputy of Supreme Soviet of the 9th - 11th convocations.

 
He lived in Moscow. He died on June 7, 1992 after a severe and prolonged illness. He was buried in Moscow at Novodevichy Cemetery.

 
He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, 6 Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, two 1st Class Orders of the Patriotic War, the Order of the Red Star, the Order “For Service to Motherland in the USSR Armed Forces” of the 3rd degree, medals and foreign orders. Lenin Prize Laureate (1984).

 
A bronze bust of twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Alexander Koldunov was set at his home.
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