Aleksei Semenovich Smirnov

Smirnov, Aleksei Semenovich

 

Born Jan. 25 (Feb. 7), 1917, in the village of Pal’tsevo, in what is now Rameshki Raion, Kalinin Oblast. Colonel (1952). Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 28, 1943, and Feb. 23, 1945). Member of the CPSU since 1941.

Smirnov graduated from a military aviation school for pilots in 1938 and in 1947 completed the Lipetsk Higher Officers’ Tactical Flight Courses. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), he was a flight commander and a deputy squadron commander in the 153rd Fighter Aviation Regiment on the Leningrad, Volkhov, Voronezh, Northwestern, and Kalinin fronts from 1941 to 1943. In October 1943 he became a squadron commander in the 28th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment on the First and Second Baltic fronts; in January 1945 he became deputy commander of the regiment on the Third Byelorussian Front. Smirnov flew 457 missions, engaged in 72 air battles, and shot down 34 planes. After the war, he served in the Air Force; in 1954 he transferred to the reserves because of illness.

Smirnov has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, five Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the Red Star, and various medals. A bust of Smirnov has been placed in the raion center of Rameshki.