Ivan Lubimov

Ivan Lubimov

Fighter pilot
Date of Birth: 25.03.1909
Country: Ukraine

  1. Biography of Ivan Lyubimov
  2. Early Life
  3. World War II
  4. Post-War Career
  5. Aerial Victories
  6. Injury and Return to Flying
  7. Return to Combat and Leadership
  8. Legacy

Biography of Ivan Lyubimov

Early Life

Ivan Stepanovich Lyubimov was born on March 25, 1909, in Kiev, Ukraine. He grew up in a working-class family and completed his education at an incomplete secondary school and the Kharkov Technical College of Communications in 1932. He joined the Naval Fleet in 1932 and graduated from the Military Aviation School for Pilots in 1933.

Ivan Lubimov

World War II

Lyubimov participated in the Great Patriotic War (World War II) from its first day. On October 9, 1941, he was severely injured and lost his left leg. After receiving treatment, he was granted permission to fly with a prosthetic leg. By September 1943, he became the commander of the 11th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment and completed 109 combat missions, engaged in 21 aerial battles, and personally shot down 8 enemy aircraft. On January 22, 1944, he was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for his courage and valor in battle.

Post-War Career

After the war, Lyubimov held responsible positions in the Naval Aviation. In 1945, he graduated from the Higher Academic Courses at the Naval Academy, and in 1950, he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff. Since 1973, he was a retired Major General of Aviation. He lived in Moscow and received numerous awards, including the Order of Lenin (twice), Order of the Red Banner (three times), Order of Ushakov, Order of the Patriotic War, Order of the Red Star, and British orders. A settlement called Lyubimovka, located near Sevastopol, was named after him. He passed away on December 26, 2000.

Aerial Victories

In September 1941, Lyubimov's squadron engaged in intense aerial combat. He achieved his first victory by shooting down a German aircraft that was laying mines in Sevastopol Bay. In subsequent months, his squadron destroyed a total of 36 enemy aircraft, with six victories credited to Lyubimov himself.

Injury and Return to Flying

On October 9, 1941, Lyubimov's plane was shot down, and he sustained severe injuries, including the loss of his left leg. Despite this setback, he was determined to continue flying and underwent rehabilitation to learn to fly with a prosthetic leg. Through perseverance and training, he regained his ability to fly and rejoined combat.

Return to Combat and Leadership

Lyubimov's return to combat was marked by further aerial victories. He became the commander of the 32nd Fighter Aviation Regiment and led his squadron in battles over the Crimea and the Kuban region. His leadership and bravery were recognized, and he received the Order of Lenin for his actions during the defense of Sevastopol.


Ivan Lyubimov's story is a testament to his courage, determination, and dedication to his country. He overcame significant physical challenges to continue serving in the military and achieved remarkable success as a fighter pilot. His name is remembered through the settlement of Lyubimovka, and his contributions to the defense of the Soviet Union during World War II will always be honored.