Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub (Russian: Иван Hикитович Кожедуб; Ukrainian: Іван Микитович Кожедуб; 8 June 1920 – 8 August 1991) was a Soviet World War II fighter ace. Universally credited with over 60 solo victories, he is considered to be the highest scoring Soviet and Allied fighter pilot of World War II. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union on three occasions. After World War II, he remained in the military and went on to command the 324th Fighter Aviation Division during Soviet operations in the Korean War.
- My life is forever connected with aviation. I cannot live without the sky. I continue to improve my flying skills on modern domestic aircraft, I dream that, perhaps, I will have to lift a peaceful aircraft into space.
- As quoted in his memoirs in 1969, ""Без боя не уйду". Как летчик-ас Кожедуб сбивал вражеские самолеты"
- Sharp drops from a high altitude to a small one, minute overload, from which sometimes it darkens in the eyes - all this is easily tolerated by a physically hardened person. Sometimes in battle, performing a cascade of figures, you lose consciousness for a moment. You will come to your senses, now you are included in the combat situation and again you act at any height, at any speed, in any position.
- As quoted in his memoirs, ""Без боя не уйду". Как летчик-ас Кожедуб сбивал вражеские самолеты"
- The victory belonged to those who knew their planes and weapons inside out and had the initiative.
- Young pilots often ask how they can learn to fly a fighter quickly; I came to the conclusion that the main thing is to master the technique of pilotage and firing. If a fighter pilot can control his plane automatically, he can correctly carry out a maneuver, quickly approach an enemy, aim at his plane precisely and destroy him. It is also important to be resourceful in any situation. At the first stage of combat skill, I dreamt of downing an enemy plane–the tactics of an air battle were theory to me. The second stage began with the training at the front before the Battle of Kursk. The fighting near the Kursk bulge was a new stage. The battle for the Dnieper was yet another.
- Aviation is said to be the cradle of cosmonautics, and with good reason.