Ivan Kozhedub

Soviet aviator, thrice Hero of the Soviet Union (1920-1991)

Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub (Russian: Иван Hикитович Кожедуб; Ukrainian: Іван Микитович Кожедуб; 8 June 19208 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.

Ivan Kozhedub


  • 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.

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