Aleksey Panov

Aleksey Panov

Fighter pilot
Date of Birth: 15.10.1914
Country: Ukraine

Alexey Borisovich Panov

Alexey Borisovich Panov was a fighter pilot who achieved numerous victories during World War II. He was born on October 15, 1914, in the village of Syromyatnikovo, which is now part of the Putivlsky district in the Sumy region of Ukraine. Coming from a peasant family, Alexey completed seven years of primary school education before pursuing a career as a carpenter. He graduated from the vocational school in Konotop and worked as a carpenter in railway workshops.

In 1932, Alexey enrolled at the Kyiv State University, but after two years, he responded to the call of the "Lenin Komsomol" to join a military pilot school. In April 1938, Lieutenant A.B. Panov volunteered to go to Spain to support the Republican movement. He participated in aerial battles over Erbo and Madrid, and despite his damaged aircraft, he managed to land safely. After spending more than three months in the hospital, he returned to the Soviet Union and was awarded two Orders of the Red Banner for his bravery and three enemy aircraft shot down.

In 1939, Panov began studying at the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War in 1941. During the first year of the war, he served as the deputy commander of the 185th Fighter Aviation Regiment and fought near Leningrad and the Volkhov Front. He conducted 70 combat flights, engaged in 15 aerial battles, and destroyed six enemy aircraft.

Panov's regiment played a crucial role in the battles for Tikhvin, conducting multiple sorties per day and providing cover for supply convoys and troops. The regiment received several commendations from the Military Council of the 4th Army and the Babayevo railway station. In December 1941, the regiment was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for exemplary execution of combat missions.

In May 1942, Major A.B. Panov assumed command of the 436th Aviation Regiment, which later became the 67th Guards Aviation Regiment. Under his leadership, the regiment conducted approximately 4,250 combat sorties and destroyed 265 enemy aircraft during the two years of his command.

Throughout the war, Panov demonstrated exceptional skill and bravery in numerous battles. He shot down several enemy aircraft, including renowned German ace Lieutenant Hans Beisswenger. However, Panov's own aircraft was eventually shot down, and he was killed in action on an operation near Warsaw on February 23, 1945. As a result of his heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

During his military career, Alexey Borisovich Panov received numerous awards and decorations, including Orders of Lenin, the Red Banner (four times), Alexander Nevsky, the Patriotic War 1st Class, the Red Star, and several medals. He is buried in Otwock near Warsaw.