Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov

Fighter pilot
Country: Ukraine

Biography of Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov, a daring fighter pilot, became widely known for his bravery and courage during the battles for Kazan. He was especially distinguished and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1919, an honor bestowed upon very few. In 1920, he received a second Order of the Red Banner for his actions in the battles in Northern Tavria.

Ivan Pavlov

Born in 1893 in the Kherson Governorate, in a peasant family, Ivan Pavlov was a man of the people. He had a pre-war education as an agronomist and was a physically strong young man from Ukraine. Pavlov struggled to obtain the right to become an aviator. In 1914, at the military conscription office, he requested to be sent to become a pilot. Initially, he was assigned to the 6th Aviation Squad and then to the Gatchina School of Motorists. Only after numerous reminders and requests, Ivan was sent to France, to the aviation school in the city of Chartres. On November 4, 1916, he passed the exams with "excellent" marks and obtained the titles of "military pilot" and "civilian pilot-aviator." Due to his outstanding abilities, Pavlov was sent for further training in flight skills to the city of Po, to the Higher School of Aerial Acrobatics and Shooting, and then to the Special School of Aerial Shooting in Kazo. He stayed in France until February 10, 1917.

Ivan Pavlov

After completing his training, Ivan Pavlov firmly decided to go to the front. Upon his return from France, he was assigned to the 1st Fighter Aviation Group of the famous Russian ace, Alexander Kozakov, whose personnel was the strongest in the imperial army. As part of this aviation group, Ivan Pavlov often flew in tandem with Sergeant Zemblevich. "In my opinion, Kozakov was the greatest hero of the 10-million strong imperial army," wrote Pavlov. "He was a man with immense willpower, incredibly brave, capable of approaching the enemy in close combat and fighting until they fell to the ground. He was admired in the aviation community. I respected him for these qualities and learned from him..." Pavlov was a quick learner, as he proved in his first aerial battles. Through impeccable work, Ivan Pavlov earned his right to independence. He did not seek closeness with the officer elite and enjoyed special trust from soldiers, mechanics, and motor mechanics. In the summer of 1917, the 1st Combat Aviation Group of the South-Western Front Armies (2nd, 4th, and 19th Corps Aviation Squadrons), under the command of Rittmeister A.A. Kozakov, operated in Southern Galicia, where the two squadrons of the Ilya Muromets Airship Squadron also operated. One of the tasks of the fighter pilots was to guard the Ilya Muromets. On August 30, the fighter pilots of the 4th and 19th CAO protected four Ilya Muromets aircraft bombing the warehouses of Khorostkiv. Ivan Pavlov was among the fighter pilots. On September 14, 1917, accompanied by three "Nieuports," five Ilya Muromets aircraft conducted a raid on Khorostkiv and Peremyshluv. Senior Unter-officer Ivan Pavlov and Sergeant M. Zemblevich, flying at an altitude of about 4500 meters above the "Ilya Muromets," spotted two enemy airplanes attacking from above. Approaching, the "Nieuports," with skulls painted on their keels, quickly repelled the German "Rolands." Colonel I.S. Bashko, the commander of the 3rd Squadron of the Ilya Muromets, sent a telegram of gratitude to his saviors: "Thank you, white skull!" In total, the fighter pilots of the 1st Combat Aviation Group carried out 17 aircraft sorties to protect the Ilya Muromets.

According to his own words, Ivan Pavlov achieved his only aerial victory on October 1, 1917, in the area of Hustynya (Western Ukraine). While on a mission, he encountered four German aircraft: three fighters and a reconnaissance plane. Despite the enemy's numerical superiority, Pavlov fearlessly attacked the group. Managing to get behind the enemy twice, Pavlov literally riddled the enemy's "Roland," which crashed near the Russian positions. Upon landing, he discovered the wreckage of the plane and the body of the German pilot, Lieutenant Scholtz. Pavlov described his impressions as follows: "When I looked at this scene, my heart squeezed painfully like never before. The same thing could have happened to me, flashed through my mind... Deeply moved, I immediately asked the soldiers gathered around me, 'Comrades, who needs all this? Who needs us to kill each other so brutally? Who benefits from this?'"

Fifty minutes later, Kozakov arrived at the crash site in a car. Usually uncommunicative, almost unsociable, this time he spoke up: "When you got into a fight with the German, I was at the aerodrome and observed this remarkable scene in all its details. Your fight brought me true pleasure, and I am very happy for you. If I had the authority, I would promote you to officers just for this one battle." It was very flattering. Pavlov thanked his commander and, probably out of embarrassment, responded rather sharply in this situation, "No, thank you. Officers are no longer in fashion." Kozakov silently walked away. On the second day after the funeral, photographs of Scholtz's crash site and burial, accompanied by a letter stating that the pilot had received military honors at his burial, were dropped at a German airfield, as aviators of all armies did at that time.

Pavlov ended the war as a Senior Unter-officer. After the October Revolution, Alexander Kozakov was removed from the position of commander of the aviation group, and Ivan Pavlov took his place. However, he had little success in trying to save his unit's airplanes and aviation assets. Some of the aircraft fell into the hands of the Germans, and others were looted by Ukrainians. Pavlov himself managed to reach Soviet Russia with only one "Nieuport."

In April 1918, he formed the 1st Soviet Fighter Aviation Group and fought under Sviyazhsk and Kazan. These battles became the baptism of fire for the Red Air Force. However, in the summer of 1919, the aviation group was almost completely destroyed on its airfield by the cavalry of General Shkuro, which broke through the front line.

From January 1919, he served as an assistant to the Chief of Aviation of the South-Western Front, and from May, he was the Chief of Aviation and Aeronautics of the 8th Army, also serving as the commander of the aviation group. In September 1920, Pavlov became the head of all aviation of the Southern Front. Using the tactic of concentrated attacks, he thwarted the offensive of the corps of Kutepov and Secretov of the Wrangel's army in Northern Tavria.

Ivan Pavlov gained widespread fame and was particularly distinguished during the battles for Kazan. For his courage and heroism, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1919, a rare honor. In 1920, he received a second Order of the Red Banner for his actions in the battles in Northern Tavria.

In August 1920, Ivan Pavlov flew on the fighter aircraft S.E.5a as the commander of the unit. In the late 1930s, he held various command positions and led the Serpukhov School of Aerial Shooting and Bombing. He then commanded the aviation of the Kiev and North Caucasus districts.

In the late 1930s, he held various command positions and led the Serpukhov School of Aerial Shooting and Bombing. He then commanded the aviation of the Kiev and North Caucasus districts. At the end of his career, he served as the Chief Inspector of the Air Force of the Red Army. He wrote a memoir about his life titled "Notes of a Red Aviator," which was published in 1936.

This year proved to be Ivan Ulyanovich Pavlov's last, as he soon succumbed to the effects of the wounds he received during the Civil War.