Anatoly Artemenko

Anatoly Artemenko

Hero of the Soviet Union, retired aviation major general
Date of Birth: 19.12.1918
Country: Ukraine

  1. Biography of Anatoliy Artemenko
  2. He currently resides in Moscow.

Biography of Anatoliy Artemenko

Anatoliy Pavlovich Artemenko was born on December 19, 1918, in the village of Staraya Kantakuzenka (now Pribuzhany), Voznesensky District, Nikolaev Oblast, Ukraine. His parents, Pavel Vasilievich Artemenko (1886-1973) and Maria Markovna Artemenko (1888-1981), were peasants who worked in a collective farm. He had two older brothers, Ivan and Nikolai, who served on the front during the entire war and returned to their hometown. His wife, Nadezhda Petrovna Artemenko (born in 1926), was a homemaker. They had two daughters, Alla Anatolyevna Rosol (born in 1947) and Natalya Anatolyevna Dvoretskaya (born in 1953), and a son, Vladimir Anatolyevich Artemenko (born in 1956).

In 1934, after completing his incomplete secondary education in a rural school, Anatoliy Artemenko enrolled in the Nikolaev Construction Technical School and worked as a designer at one of the factories after graduation. In 1938, he became a cadet at the Kherson Aviation School and a year later, an instructor at an aeroclub in Nikolaev. He then underwent training at the Kherson Military Fighter Aviation School and became an instructor at the 19th Military Aviation School. At the start of the war, Artemenko eagerly wanted to go to the front, but he was sent to the Kuibyshev region as a squadron leader in the 43rd Reserve Aviation Brigade. There, he mastered the Il-2 aircraft and trained young pilots. Despite his repeated requests to be sent to the front, he was told to follow orders and remain where he was needed. It was only in May 1943, when his fellow trainees who had participated in the Battle of Stalingrad arrived at the brigade's base, that Anatoliy Artemenko persuaded them to "kidnap" him to the front. They flew him to the 93rd Guards Assault Aviation Regiment, which was preparing for the Battle of Kursk. In the first battles, Sergeant Artemenko, appointed as a squadron leader, proved himself to be a skilled and fearless air warrior. However, he was eventually discovered, and the chief of the political department of the regiment arrived. The "deserter" was saved by the fact that he had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant and had been awarded the Order of the Red Banner by that time. The chief of the political department had no choice but to congratulate the former subordinate on his officer rank, high award, and the presentation of the Guards insignia. New battles and new combat awards awaited Artemenko, now as the commander of the 1st squadron, where four brave pilots became Heroes of the Soviet Union. Captain Artemenko was among them.

Anatoliy Pavlovich particularly remembered the Vistula-Oder operation. It was January 1945. The regiment commander, Colonel Shuysky, called for a meeting with Artemenko and ordered all 12 planes of the squadron to take off and strike a concentration of German troops. They took to the sky and headed west towards the designated point for the assault. The area was well-sighted, but they could not locate the enemy. Returning to the airfield with ammunition would mean failing the mission. The only possible solution was to continue searching for the enemy.

The regiment commander instructed the pilots to follow him. Soon, they spotted a fortress. Artemenko descended his plane and noticed that both equipment and enemy troops were concentrated there. At the captain's command, the squadron formed a circle and launched a devastating strike on the fascists.

When all the planes returned to the airfield, Major General Kolomiets, the division commander, ordered the squadron to assemble. He approached Artemenko and shook his hand firmly, saying, "Thank you, Captain! On behalf of myself and the command of the rifle division, I want to inform you that the infantry, supported by our assault pilots, captured the fortress." April 1945. Berlin operation. Reinforcements arrived to assist the German forces defending Berlin. The 5th Guards Assault Aviation Division was tasked with destroying the enemy group. Artemenko's squadron was the first to take off.

The regiment commander clarified the target. "The target remains the same," he heard. And suddenly, a female voice said, "Your target is five kilometers further south." What was this delusion? The same voice spoke again. So Artemenko gave his password and requested confirmation. Silence. It was clear: it was the voice of the enemy attempting to shoot down the squadron, and possibly the entire regiment and division aimed at the designated target. Artemenko descended his plane over the target. The German column panicked. After all the "Ilys" of the division completed the operation, there was no trace of the enemy left. Artemenko's last battles took place on May 11 in the vicinity of Prague, where he flew on two missions. The war was over.

On June 24, 1945, on the day of the signing of the decree awarding Anatoliy Pavlovich Artemenko the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, he marched triumphantly through Red Square.

In 1949, Major Artemenko was offered a place at the Air Force Academy, but he was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. Command without flying? He could not accept that thought. A solution was found: he entered the V.I. Lenin Military-Political Academy, from which he graduated with honors in 1953. For three years, Artemenko served as the deputy commander of the 448th Assault Aviation Regiment's political unit. He then became an inspector at the Political Department of the Air Force. From 1957 to 1959, he worked as an instructor in the Administrative Bodies Department of the Central Committee of the Party, and then became the head of the political department of the Fighter Aviation Corps of the Soviet Forces in Germany. In 1966, he was awarded the rank of Major General of Aviation. He returned to Moscow and became the deputy commander and head of the political department of the Scientific Research Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine.

In 1970, Anatoliy Pavlovich went to the V.I. Lenin Military-Political Academy as the head of the Aviation Faculty. After six years, he retired from active service. From that moment on, he dedicated himself to public activities. He worked for the All-Union Society "Knowledge," where he headed the section on military-patriotic education of youth. Currently, he is the chairman of the Veterans Council of War and Labor in his neighborhood.

Anatoliy Pavlovich Artemenko has been awarded the Gold Star Medal of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the Orders of Alexander Nevsky, the Patriotic War 1st and 2nd Class, the Order of the Red Star, the Order "For Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR" 3rd Class, and orders from the German Democratic Republic and Romania, as well as numerous medals. His main hobbies are hunting and fishing.

He currently resides in Moscow.