Pen’kovskii, Valentin Antonovich
Born Apr. 1 (14), 1904, in Mogilev; died Apr. 26, 1969, in Minsk. Soviet military commander, general of the army (1961). Member of the CPSU from 1926.
Pen’kovskii entered the Red Army in 1920 and fought in the Civil War of 1918–20. He graduated from the Central Executive Committee of the Byelorussian SSR Combined Byelorussian Military School in 1927 and from the Higher Academic Training Courses of the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1947. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), he saw service on the Southwestern, Stalingrad, Don, Voronezh, Leningrad, First and Second Baltic, and First Far Eastern fronts as chief of staff of the directorate of air defense of the Southwestern Front, air defense chief of an army, commander of a rifle division in 1941–42, and chief of staff of the Twenty-first, Sixth Guards, and Twenty-fifth armies from 1942 to 1945.
After the war, Pen’kovskii served as chief of staff of the Ciscar-pathian, Maritime, Transbaikal, and Far Eastern military districts from 1946 to 1956. In March 1956 he became commander of the troops of the Far Eastern Military District and later of the Byelorussian Military District. He became deputy minister of defense of the USSR for combat training in July 1964. He was appointed military inspector-adviser of the Group of Inspectors General of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR in May 1968. He became a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1961. He was a deputy to the fifth through seventh convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Pen’kovskii was awarded two Orders of Lenin, five Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov Second Class, the Order of Suvorov Second Class, various medals, and an order of the Polish People’s Republic.