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Rudenko, Sergei Ignat’evich
Born Oct. 7 (20), 1904, in what is now Korop, Chernigov Oblast. Soviet military commander; marshal of aviation (1955); professor (1972). Hero of the Soviet Union (Aug. 19, 1944). Member of the CPSU from 1928. Son of a shoemaker-handicraftsman.
Rudenko joined the Red Army in 1923 and graduated from the First Military School for Pilots in 1927 and from the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Academy in 1932 and the academy’s operations department in 1936. Rudenko served in the Great Patriotic War as commander of an aviation division on the Western Front in 1941, commander of the air forces of the Sixty-first Army in the same year, deputy commander and commander of the air forces of the Kalinin Front in January-February 1942, deputy commander of the air forces of the Volkhov Front in February-March 1942, commander of the 1st Group and the 7th Shock Group of General Headquarters on the Briansk Front from April to June 1942, and deputy commander of the air forces of the Southwestern Front from June to September 1942. From September 1942, Rudenko was commander of the Sixteenth Air Army on the Stalingrad, Don, Central, Byelorussian, and First Byelorussian fronts.
After the war, Rudenko held responsible military posts from 1945 to 1949. He served as chief of main headquarters of the air force from September 1949 to August 1950, commander of long-range aviation and deputy commander in chief of the air force from August 1950 to June 1953, chief of main headquarters and first deputy commander in chief of the air force from June 1953 to May 1968, and chief of the Iu. A. Gagarin Air Force Academy from May 1968 to August 1973. In 1973 he became military inspector-adviser of the Group of Inspectors General of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR.
Rudenko was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1961 to 1966 and a deputy to the second and sixth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was awarded five Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, four Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Suvorov Second Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, and various medals, as well as foreign orders.