Rybal’chenko, Stepan Dmitrievich
Born June 28 (July 11), 1903, in the village of Novoegorlykskoe, now in Sal’sk Raion, Rostov Oblast. Soviet military leader, colonel general of aviation (1944). Member of the CPSU from 1927. Son of a peasant.
Rybal’chenko fought as a private during the Civil War of 1918–20. He graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1936 and the Higher Academic Training Courses at the K. E. Voroshilov Higher Military Academy in 1951. During the Great Patriotic War he was deputy chief of staff of the directorate of the air forces of the Northern Front in 1941, chief of staff of the directorate of the air forces of the Leningrad Front in 1941–42, commander of the air forces of the Leningrad Front from February to November 1942, and commander of the Thirteenth Air Army from November 1942 until the end of the war.
After the war, Rybal’chenko commanded the air forces of the Kiev Military District in 1946–47 and was inspector general and deputy chief inspector of the air force in the Main Inspectorate of the Armed Forces of the USSR from 1947 to 1950. He commanded the air forces of the armies of the Far East and the Far Eastern Military District from 1951 to 1956. He retired in December 1963.
Rybal’chenko was awarded two Orders of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Kutuzov First and Second Class, the Order of Suvorov Second Class, the Order of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii First Class, and various medals.