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Kretov, Stepan Ivanovich
Born Dec. 25, 1919, in the village of Malaia Nichka, now in Minusinsk Raion, Krasnoiarsk Krai. Military pilot; colonel (1960); twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Mar. 13, 1944, and Feb. 23, 1948). Member of the CPSU since 1943.
In the Soviet Army since 1939, Kretov graduated from the Balashov Military Aviation School in 1940, from the Higher Officers’ Flight and Tactical School in 1950, and from the Air Force Academy in 1958. In the Great Patriotic War, Kretov served from 1941 in strategic aviation in battles near Kerch’ and Leningrad and in the Caucasus, East Prussia, Hungary, Poland, and Germany. He was a pilot, flight commander, and deputy commander and commander of a squadron of the 21st Longrange Bombardment Air Regiment. Kretov completed 400 successful combat flights deep into the enemy rear. The crews under his command destroyed 60 enemy aircarft on airfields and shot down ten enemy aircraft in the air. He has been teaching since 1961. Kretov has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Red Star, and various medals. A bust of Kretov has been erected in the city of Minusinsk.