Taran, Pavel Andreevich
Born Oct. 18, 1916, in the village of Sholokhovo, Nikopol’ Raion, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast. Soviet military figure. Twice designated Hero of the Soviet Union (June 20, 1942, and Mar. 13, 1944); lieutenant general of the air force (1967). Member of the CPSU since 1942.
The son of a peasant, Taran joined the Soviet Army in 1937. He graduated from the A. F. Miasnikov Kacha Military Air Force School for Pilots in 1938 and the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1958. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) he served in various posts—as flight commander and deputy squadron commander in 1941 and 1942, squadron commander of the Fifth Guards Long-range Aviation Regiment from 1942 to 1944, and pilot inspector of piloting techniques in 1944 and 1945. In April 1945 he was commander of the 240th Guards Aviation Bombing Regiment. During the war he completed 386 bombing missions. After the war, Taran held various command posts, and since October 1960 he has been engaged in administrative work in the Central Staff of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR.
Taran has been awarded the Order of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the Great Patriotic War First Class, two orders of the Red Star, and various medals.