Nikolai Frantsevich


Nikolai Frantsevich Gastello was a Soviet military pilot, participant in three wars, captain, the Hero of the Soviet Union. From May 1932 he was in the Red Army, he was drafted into the Air Force by special recruitment. In 1933 he graduated from the 11th Lugansk Military Aviation School of pilots named after the Proletariat of Donbass. Having started flying as a co-pilot on a TB-3 heavy bomber, N. F. Gastello, since November 1934, already piloted the aircraft independently, becoming the commander of the ship. In 1938, as a result of the reorganization of the compound, Nikolai Frantsevich Gastello found himself in the 1st heavy bombardment aviation regiment. In May 1939 he became a flight commander, and slightly more than a year he was the deputy squadron commander. In 1939 he participated in the battles on Khalkhin-Gol as a part of the 150th high-speed bomber Aviation Regiment, to which the squadron of the 1st Heavy bomber Aviation regiment was attached. He participated in the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940 and the operation to annex Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the USSR (June-July 1940). In the autumn of 1940, the aviation unit in which N.F. Gastello served was relocated to the western borders of the USSR, to the city of Velikiye Luki, and then to the Borovskoye aviation town near Smolensk. In 1940 N.F. Gastello was awarded the rank of captain. He fought on the Khalkhin-Gol River as a part of the 150th high-speed bomber Aviation Regiment. He was the participant of the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940 and the Great Patriotic War from the first day. He made his first sortie on June 22, 1941 at 5:00 a.m. On June 26, 1941 when performing another flight on a combat mission, a DB-3F bomber, on which Nikolai Gastello and his crew were flying, flew out to strike a German mechanized column, but was attacked by the enemy. Gastello’s plane was hit by anti-aircraft guns. The shell damaged the fuel tank, the car caught fire. The pilot could have ejected, but he decided to fulfill his military duty to the end. Captain Gastello sent a burning plane to a cluster of enemy troops near the village of Radoshkovichi on the Molodechno-Radoshkovichi highway and died. A month after the feat, Captain Nikolai Frantsevich Gastello was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. The monument to N.F. Gastello was installed in 1985 in Moscow, at the beginning of Gastello Street (the Sokolniki district), near its intersection with Rusakovskaya Street, it is a bronze bust of a pilot wearing a flight helmet and glasses. Flames are depicted behind the head of Nikolai Frantsevich Gastello. The bust is mounted on a pedestal made in the form of a cylindrical column tapering downwards, where two granite wings are located. At the top of the column is a dedicatory inscription in large letters “Gastello”. The sculptor is Boris Alekseevich Machkov (1931-1990).

Address: Moscow, Rusakovskaya str., 22, p. 1