Bondarenko, Mikhail

Bondarenko, Mikhail Zakharovich


Born Oct. 7 (20), 1913, in the village of Bogdanovka, Poltava Oblast; died July 27, 1947. Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, colonel (1943). Member of the CPSU from 1940.

In 1936, on a Komsomol assignment, Bondarenko was sent to the Military Aviation School, from which he graduated in 1939. He participated in the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939–40. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 he made his way from flight commander to navigator and flying-technique inspector of the 198th Air Assault Regiment. He completed more than 200 combat missions and destroyed 20 enemy planes at airfields. For courage and valor in assaults on enemy airfields, railroad junctions, manpower, and equipment, Bondarenko was twice awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union (June 6, 1942, and Aug. 24, 1943). He graduated from the Air Force Academy (1946) and commanded an air regiment. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, and also medals.