Gromov, Mikhail Mikhailovich
Born Feb. 12 (24), 1899, in Tver’, now Kalinin. Colonel general of aviation (1944). Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 28, 1934). Honored Pilot of the USSR, professor (1937). Became a member of the CPSU in 1941. The son of a doctor.
Gromov graduated from the Zhukovskii Theoretical Courses at the Higher Technical School in 1917. In 1918 he joined the Soviet Army and graduated from pilot school. He then took part in the Civil War on the Eastern Front. After the war he was an aviation instructor and test pilot. In 1934 he was proclaimed a Hero of the Soviet Union for his world record nonstop 75-hour flight over a closed course covering more than 12,000 km. In 1937, with A. B. Iumashev and S. A. Danilin, he completed a flight from Moscow to the North Pole and then on to the United States. In 1940–41 he was head of the Institute of Flight Research. Beginning in December 1941 he took part in the Great Patriotic War as commander of an air force division (until February 1942), as commander of the air force on the Kalinin Front (from February to May 1942), and as commander of the Third (until May 1943) and First (until June 1944) air forces. From July 1944 he was chief of the Main Directorate for Combat Training of Aviation at the Front, and from 1946 he was deputy commander of long-range aviation.
Gromov was a deputy to the first and second convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He has been awarded three Orders of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, the Orders of Suvorov Second Class and of the Patriotic War First Class, three Orders of the Red Star, and various medals. Gromov was the first Soviet pilot to receive an award of the International Aeronautical Federation—the De Lavaud Medal (1937).