Efremov, Vasilii Sergeevich
Born Jan. 1 (14), 1915, in Tsaritsyn, now Volgograd. Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (May 1, 1943, and Aug. 24, 1943), lieutenant colonel (1948). Became a member of the CPSU in 1943.
Efremov joined the Soviet Army in 1934, graduated from Military Aviation Pilots’ School in 1937, and took part in the liberation of the Western Ukraine and in the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939–40. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 he took part in the fighting around Voronezh and Orel, in the battle of Stalingrad, and in fighting in the Ukraine, the Crimea, and Byelorussia. He held the posts of flight commander, deputy squadron commander, and then squadron commander in the 10th Guards Bomber Regiment. He carried out 340 combat missions, destroying 32 enemy aircraft on the ground and four in aerial battle. In 1949 he graduated from the Military Air Force Academy and then served as deputy regimental commander, instructor, and test pilot. In 1960 Efremov retired. He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, two Orders of the Red Star, and medals.