Pavel Fedorovich Zhigarev

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zhigarev, Pavel Fedorovich


Born Nov. 6 (19), 1900, in the village of Brikovo, in present-day Kalinin Oblast; died Oct. 2, 1963, in Moscow. Chief marshal of aviation (1955). Became a member of the CPSU in 1920. The son of a poor peasant.

Zhigarev joined the Soviet Army in 1919. He completed cavalry school (1922), military pilot school (1927), and the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Academy (1932). He commanded a squadron and an aviation brigade and served as chief of the directorate of combat training for the staff of the Red Army Air Force and commander of the air force of the Second Detached Red Banner Army. In December 1940 he became first deputy commander and in April 1941 commander of the Red Army Air Force; from April 1942 until 1945 he commanded the Air Force of the Far Eastern Front. During the war with Japan in August 1945 he commanded the Tenth Air Army. From 1946 to 1948 he was first deputy commander of the air force; in 1948–49 he was commander of long-range aviation and deputy commander in chief of the air force. Between September 1949 and January 1957 he was commander in chief of the air force and first deputy minister of defense of the USSR. From 1957 to 1959 he served as chief of the Main Directorate of the Civil Air Fleet. In November 1959 he be-came chief of the Military Command Academy of the Air Defense Forces. He was a deputy to the third through fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and a candidate member of the CPSU Central Committee (1952–61). He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Red Star, and medals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.