Chronicle of war:

Vasily Zaitsev
Vasily Zaitsev10.1.1911 - 19.5.1961

Vasily Zaitsev was a navigator and commander of the 5th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the 207th Fighter Air Division of the 3rd Composite Air Corps of the 17th Air Army, Guards Major.

He was born on December 28, 1910 (January 10, 1911) in Semibratskoe village (today Kolomna district, Moscow Region) in a peasant family. Russian. A member of the CPSU (B) / CPSU since 1932.

Joined the Red Army in 1932. In 1933, he graduated from Lugansk military flying school, and in 1936 - postgraduate command courses in Borisoglebsk.

Participated in the Great Patriotic War since 1941. Commanded the air squadron, was the navigator of the 5th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment at the Kalinin Front, and by January 1942, he made 115 sorties, spent 16 air battles during which downed 12 enemy planes.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on May 5, 1942 for combat exploits, courage and bravery, Guards Major Vasily Zaitsev was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (№ 576).

As a deputy, and later commander of the 5th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (the 207th Fighter Air Division, the 3rd Air Corps, the 17th Air Army, the Southwestern Front) Guards Major V. Zaitsev led personally pilots to the most responsible tasks. He was a master to beat the enemy from a short distance, for sure. By August 1943, he committed another 299 sorties, and destroyed 22 enemy planes personally.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on August 24, 1943 for new combat feats, Vasily Zaitsev was awarded the second Gold Star medal.

In 1944-1945 V. Zaitsev fought as a deputy commander of the Air Division of the 17th Air Force. During the war, taking part in the battles on the Western, Kalinin, Don, South-West, the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd Ukrainian Fronts, the famous Stalin’s Falcon made 427 sorties, during 163 air combats shot down 34 enemy planes personally, 19 in a group and two German fighters forced to land at the Soviet airfield.

After the war he continued service in the Soviet Air Force as a deputy commander of the Guards Air Unit. In 1946, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and the same year he quit his service for health reasons.

He lived in the town of Kolomna, Moscow Region. He worked as a chief of Kolomna Air-club, director of the plant. Died on May 19, 1961. Was buried in Kolomna at the Old Cemetery.

He was awarded the Order of Lenin (1942), three Orders of the Red Banner (1941, 1943, 1945), the 2nd Class Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky (1945), the 1st Class Order of the Patriotic War (1944), and medals.

A bronze bust of twice Hero of the Soviet Union was installed in Kolomna, where memorial boards were set on the Aerial Club and Kuibyshev’s plant in the memory of the brave countryman.
 



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