(1. 5. 1922)
P opkov Vitaliy Guard Ml.Leytenant komanr level of 5-th Guards. istribitelnogo Aviation Regiment (207-I Istres. aviats. Div., 3rd mixed, aviats. housing, 17 I will repay. Army, South-West. front). Born May 1, 1922 in Moscow in a working class family. Russian by nationality. Member of the CPSU since 1943. End 94 Moskvskuyu school. In the Soviet Army from 1940. Began service cadet Chuguev Military Aviation School of Pilots. Then he graduated from Bataisk military flying school. From May 1942 on the front. He fought at the Kalinin, Don, South West, Steppenwolf, 1 and 3 of the First Ukrainian Front. Was flight commander, squadron. During the war fighter VI. Popkov has made more than 400 combat missions and successfully conducted 117 combat, he personally shot down 41 enemy aircraft (1 battering ram) and 1 in group. Awarded 3 orders of Lenin, 2 - Red Banner, Order of Alexander Nevsky, 2 hordes. World War 1 tbsp., Hordes. World War 2 art., Red Star, Б-= For Service to Motherland in the USSR Armed Forces Бv= 3 tbsp., Medals. Bronze bust of the hero is set in Moscow
. W tion of the Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and medal "Gold Star" Vitaliy Popkov awarded on Sept. 8, 1943.
. In the Torah medal "Gold Star" Komandirr Squadron 5 th Guards
. istribitelnogo Aviation Regiment (11 th Guards. Istres. aviats. Div., 2 nd Guards. Sturm aviats. housing, 2-I will give. Army, 1 st Ukr. Front) Guards. Captain Popkov awarded June 27, 1945.
Fter the Great Patriotic War, he graduated from the Red Banner Air Force Academy (1951), and then the General Staff Academy (1964). He mastered 25 types of aircraft and helicopters. Located on the responsible work in the Ministry of Defense of the USSR. Since 1967, Mr. Honored Military Pilot of the USSR. Lieutenant General Aviation since 1968, Mr.. Since 1980, teaching at the Military Engineering Academy. Zhukovsky. After transfer to the reserve since 1989, engaged in social activities.
. 13 seyantyabrya 2000 Popkov Vitaliy - single Muscovite, twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union awarded the title of honorary citizen of Moscow.
. In August 1942, beneath Rzhev Popkov fifth enemy plane shot down
. But it so happened that in this battle, the young pilot and himself knocked. The plane, enveloped in flames, came to earth. The flames burned hands and face, a pilot, flared jumpsuit.
He tried to save the car, but to save her was impossible. Then, straining his last strength, almost without consciousness lurched over the side of the plane. The parachute failed to open - he burned. Fortunately, Popkov fell into a liquid quagmire.
Burned, almost alive, he dobrel to the hospital. Almost the entire day walking the forest, walked across the river, marshes. Lost consciousness, waking, staggering, wandering toward the thundering Front.
When he came to himself in a hospital bed, the first thing done, signs asked pencil, paper (could not talk, parched lips), and wrote: "Please tell my regiment - I'm alive. I want to convey his comrades very important ". Soon the House appeared regimental friends. They brought the good news: Vitaliy Popkov awarded the Order of Lenin. And then he broke through burned lips first words: "Thank you, friends!" He gave his fellow soldiers covered with sheets, which reported on new methods of German pilots and offered their tactics of air combat.
- H ow-class pilot Vitaliy Popkov formed in the forty-second year - told me of his wartime comrades. - In the twentieth year of life. Soon he was appointed commander-level, six months - a squadron commander. Squadron unusual - it was eleven Heroes of the Soviet Union. Yet amid this constellation Popkov was the brightest star. For twenty years he shot down 24 enemy planes and became a Hero of the Soviet Union. He never raised his voice to his subordinates, and obeyed him unquestioningly.
And another pointed out fliers frontage friends: it was the most united, harmonious and the most fun squadron in the regiment. And in the air and on land - together. Without the words to understand each other. But when a free moment, having fun with ecstasy, with which all at the front. Even the taciturn pilot, later hero of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Pchelkin, menneri, animated in this company.
Often joke Popkov encouragement and his comrades in battle, especially in those days, when many times, barely having time to refuel at the airport, again and again, they rose in the air. Everyone remembers the sky over the Kursk arc. In those days, the squadron covered the Popkova our troops, stormed the enemy positions, attacked a Nazi bombers and fighters ... Now many wonder: how lack of physical strength, as they fell from exhaustion? Then Popkov joked: "It is our element - in the sky were born."
. In one of these days, after three air battles, the squadron met with a new wave of enemy fighters
. "Carousel has been appalling," - remember the pilots. The rescue the enemy approached brightly colored machine. Some of our pilots shouted Popkov:
- Look, this is it! Again it is!
Vitaly immediately recognized an old acquaintance. Once they met, but then diverged. Then it turned out that this was the famous German ace, the first of the Nazis got oak leaves to the Knight's Cross. He hit two pilots of the regiment.
Popkov boldly went to the Fascist ace. While Popkova comrades fought Quartet accompanying fighter, turned giddy bout two virtuosos, masters. Defeated Popkov. Painted aircraft caught fire and went down. The pilot jumped with a parachute. Soon he was brought. He did not believe that he shot down that thin young man, then added that he was shot down accidentally on a sharp angle. There could not bear the regimental commander: "It turns out that your aces are not mature enough to such tactics. And we have more than a dozen aircraft was shot down on sharp angles. From him came these "tricks" - showed the commander of Popkov.
Then there were fights over Poland and Germany. At the expense of Vitaliy Popkov recorded for 40 Nazi planes shot down. And the last battle over Berlin. This deserves to be told, as he also reveals the appearance Popkov. The young pilot Yevgeny Sorokin in one battle erred. It so happened that time was unable to help his comrades. Killed an experienced pilot. After the battle Popkov saw a beginner in grief. Popkov calmed him and brought him into the dining room where dinner pilots Squadron. Quiet, but so that everyone can hear, said: "He did not touch. You know yourself, everything happened by chance. Claims filed later, if another blunder.
P opkov took his novice slave. And do not repent - he fought at full strength, courage. Shot down several enemy planes. In the last battle over Berlin together they shot down four more aircraft, one of them personally Evgeni Sorokin.
Sources: 1) Heroes of the Soviet Union: A Brief Biographical Dictionary
. V.2. M.: Voeniz.1988.
2) People of the immortal exploits. Moscow submarine v.2 1975