Weapons of Victory: Golovachev's Yak-9M
We continue our article series “Weapons of Victory”, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe Day. This time, a unique Yak-9M will be added to the game and we would like to brief you about it!
A native of the Buda-Kašaliova district in the Gomel Region, Pavel Yakovlevich Golovachev was born on December 15th, 1917. Walking the path of many Soviet youths of that time – via a factory apprenticeship school and joining a flying club – he was sent to the P.D. Osipenko 8th Odessa Military Piloting School on a Komsomol program in 1938. He completed training at the end of 1940.
Pavel Yakovlevich entered World War 2 at Iast, as a pilot of the 168th fighter squadron. Flying an I-16 fighter, he shot down his first Messerschmitt on his second day in the war, but he also sustained an injury. In the autumn of 1941, Golovachev was transferred to the the 69th fighter squadron, which later became the 9th Guard fighter squadron.
As part of this squadron, Pavel Yakovlevich fought in LaGG-3, Yak-1 and P-39 fighters, protecting the skies above Stalingrad, Rostov-on-Don, Donbass, Crimea and Melitopol. In 92 air battles, As a 1st Lieutenant of the Guards Golovachev shot down 18 enemy aircraft, for which he was honoured with the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union” on November 1st, 1943. Flying a La-7 fighter from autumn 1944 and as a Captain in the Guards, Golovachev improved his personal score to 26 destroyed enemy aircraft over 385 combat flights.
In February 1945, Pavel Yakovlevich was transferred to the 900th fighter squadron, in which he flew a Yak-9 fighter. During his combat activities in the skies above Berlin, Pavel Yakovlevich piloted a Yak-9M fighter, shooting down two FW-190 fighters over the western part of the city on April 24th, 1945.
Throughout the war, he completed 457 combat flights and shot down 30 enemy aircraft in 125 aerial battles (according to data from M.Y. Bykov). On June 29th, 1945 Golovachev was again awarded with the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union”.
Don't forget to check previous "Weapons of Victory" articles:
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