Chronicle of war:

Stepan Suprun
Stepan Suprun2. 8. 1907 - 4. 7. 1941

Stepan Suprun was a fighter pilot and the first to be twice Hero of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War.

He was born on July 20th (2nd August) in 1907 in Rechki, now Belopolsky district of Sumy region (the Ukraine) into a peasant family. Ukrainian. A member of the CPSU (B) since 1930. In 1913 his family immigrated to Canada. He graduated from junior high school in Winnipeg. In 1922, together with his brother Fyodor he joined the Young Communist League. In 1924 the family returned to the USSR. Suprun lived in the Altai, and then in Alma-Ata. In autumn 1925 the family returned to the Ukraine. Stepan helped the handicraft-coachman. Then he worked as a carpenter in Sumy. In 1928, he settled on the Sumy Machine-Building Plant. Being a pioneer leader he nearly drowned in the river saving the two pioneers.

Joined the Red Army in 1929. In 1930 he graduated from high school junior aviation specialists in Smolensk, in 1931 - Military Aviation School of Pilots. He served in Bryansk and Bobruisk, was a flight commander. Since 1933 he worked in the Air Force Research Institute. In November 1937 he was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the 1st convocation of the Sebastopol region.

In May 1939 he fought in China. He commanded a group of fighters which covered the important objects of the Japanese air raids. In aerial combats he shot down six enemy aircraft.

On May 20, 1940 for his courage and heroism in battle, Major S. Suprun was awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (№ 461).

After returning from China in January 1940 he worked again in the Institute of Air Force. Tested new the I-21, the I-26 (the Yak-1), the MiG-1, the LaGG-1 fighters. Totally he mastered the 140 types of aircraft. In March 1940 he was a member of the Soviet commission chaired by I.Tevosian who visited the aircraft construction company in Germany. Met E. Henkel and V. Messerschmitt.

Since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War Colonel Suprun formed the 401st Fighter Regiment for special designation from the test pilots. In the evening of June 30th the regiment left for the front and joined the 23rd Composite Air Division (Western Front).

During the first battle on July 1 near Zubovo Suprun shot down an enemy reconnaissance plane. In the evening he flew again and shot down another one. On July 2-3 the regiment's pilots under his command shot down eight enemy aircraft, struck a blow to the assault crossing the Berezina and the enemy airfield, burned down 17 planes, warehouses for fuel and ammunition.

In the morning, on July 4, 1941 Suprun flew for reconnaissance. Then he accompanied bombers. At 13:00 he flew on the MiG-3 (tail number 13) in conjunction with Lieutenant Ostapov to explore (it was the fourth sortie during the day). Ostapov saw an enemy bomber and chased him, but was shot down. Left alone, Suprun had a fight with six enemy fighters. In this battle, he shot down the Me-109, but was shot down too. He landed the burning plane in a clearing at the edge of the forest near Krupki, but did not have time to escape. There was an explosion and Suprun died.

On July 22, 1941, he was posthumously awarded the second Gold Star medal, and became the first in the Great Patriotic War to be twice Hero of the Soviet Union.

He was awarded two Orders of Lenin and Chinese Order.

In 1960, he was reburied at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

A bronze bust was installed in Sumy. A stele was erected in Rechki, in Belopolye – a bas-relief. On the building of the Sumy Machine Building Scientific Production Association a memorial plaque was installed. In Chkalovsky (Shchelkovo, Moscow region) on the house where the hero lived, a memorial plaque was also set. Streets in Moscow, Sumy, Borisov (Belarus), Chkalovsky (Moscow Region), and Rechki were named after him. In Sumy, in the beginning of the street named after Heroes of Stalingrad, Alley of Fame was created, where the portraits of 39 Heroes of the Soviet Union, whose fate is linked with the city of Sumy and Sumy region. Among them there is a portrait of twice Hero of the Soviet Union, S. Suprun.
 



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