Stepanishchev, Mikhail Tikhonovich
Born Nov. 29 (Dec. 12), 1917, in the village of Pervoe Kolesovo, in what is now Zadonsk Raion, Lipetsk Oblast; died Sept. 8, 1946. Soviet military pilot. Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Oct. 26, 1944, and June 29,1945). Major (1944). Member of the CPSU from 1944.
Stepanishchev was the son of peasants. He joined the Red Army in 1937 and graduated from the Voroshilovgrad Military Aviation School in 1938. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) he served as a pilot, flight commander, squadron commander, and navigator and was deputy commander of the 76th Guard Air Attack Aviation Regiment on the Southern, Stalingrad, Southwestern, Fourth Ukrainian, and Third Byelorussian fronts. He completed 234 successful combat missions and continued to serve in the air force after the war.
Stepanishchev was awarded the Order of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii Third Class, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, and various medals. A statue of Stepanishchev has been erected in the village of Khmelinets, Zadonsk Raion, Lipetsk Oblast.