Kutakhov, Pavel Stepanovich
Born Aug. 3 (16), 1914, in the village of Malokirsanovka, now Matveev Kurgan Raion, Rostov Oblast. Soviet military commander; chief marshal of aviation (1972); Hero of the Soviet Union (May 1, 1943); Honored Military Pilot of the USSR (1966). Member of the CPSU since 1942. Son of a peasant.
Kutakhov has been in the Soviet Army since 1935. He graduated from the Military School for Pilots in 1938, the Higher Officers’ Tactical Flight Training Courses in 1949, and the K. E. Voroshilov Higher Military Academy in 1957. He was a flight commander in the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939–40. Kutakhov served in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) on the Karelian Front as deputy commander and commander of an air squadron, assistant and deputy commander of a fighter regiment, and, from September 1944, commander of a fighter regiment. He made 367 combat sorties and engaged in 63 air battles, in the course of which he shot down 14 enemy aircraft personally and 24 as a member of a group.
He held command positions after the Great Patriotic War. Kutakhov was appointed first deputy commander in chief of the air force in July 1967 and has been commander in chief of the air force and deputy minister of defense of the USSR since March 1969. He has been a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU since 1971. He was a deputy to the eighth convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Kutakhov has been awarded the Order of Lenin, five Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, two Orders of the Red Star, and various medals and foreign orders.