Vasiliy Maksimenko

Vasiliy Maksimenko

Fighter pilot
Date of Birth: 12.02.1913
Country: Ukraine

  1. Biography of Vasily Maksimenko
  2. Early Life and Military Career
  3. Heroic Actions
  4. Honors and Achievements
  5. Post-War Life

Biography of Vasily Maksimenko

Early Life and Military Career

Vasily Maksimenko was born on February 12, 1913, in the village of Khartsyzsk, now the city of Donetsk Oblast, into a working-class family. He completed his education at an incomplete secondary school in 1933 and studied at the Leningrad Electric Welding Technical School for two years. In 1935, he joined the ranks of the Red Army and graduated from the Orenburg Military Aviation School for Pilots in 1938. He participated in the Soviet military campaign in western Ukraine and Belarus in 1939 and fought on various fronts during the Great Patriotic War from July 1941.

Vasiliy Maksimenko

Heroic Actions

On January 5, 1942, Vasily Maksimenko was assigned a reconnaissance mission near Matveev Kurgan. During this mission, he encountered an enemy scout aircraft in the air. The German pilot attempted to escape, but Maksimenko anticipated his maneuver and scored the first victory over an enemy plane in the new year. In February, as the commander of an air squadron, he led a group of fighters to attack the railway station in his hometown of Khartsyzsk. Despite the emotional difficulty of destroying his own city, Maksimenko successfully accomplished the mission.

Honors and Achievements

Vasily Maksimenko's exceptional bravery and skill in combat earned him numerous honors and awards. He was awarded the Order of Lenin twice, the Order of the Red Banner three times, the Order of Suvorov 3rd class, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the Patriotic War 1st class, the Order of the Red Star, and several medals. In recognition of his heroism, a street and a pioneer detachment at School No. 6 in Khartsyzsk were named after him, and a memorial plaque was installed on the school.

Post-War Life

After the war, Vasily Maksimenko continued his service in the Soviet Air Force. In 1955, he graduated from the Military Maritime Academy, which is now named after Marshal of the Soviet Union A. A. Grechko. In 1961, he retired from active duty with the rank of Colonel. He lived in Riga and worked at the Rigaselmash factory. Throughout his life, Maksimenko remained highly decorated, and his name and legacy continue to be honored in his hometown.