Evgeny Vitalievich Mikhailov was an ace pilot, Guard lieutenant, the Hero of the Soviet Union (1944). He was in the Red Army since 1940. He graduated from the Kachin Military Aviation School of Pilots in 1941. As an excellent fighter pilot, the command left Mikhailov as an instructor at the school. In March 1943, he was transferred to the 32nd Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. He was on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War since July 12, 1943. He fought with the enemy on the North-Western, Bryansk, 1st and 2nd Baltic fronts. He was a participant in the Battle of Kursk, during which he shot down two enemy planes. The senior pilot of the 32nd Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guards, by March 1944, Lieutenant Mikhailov had made 92 sorties, shot down 5 enemy aircraft in 22 air battles. On March 17, 1944, at 13:50, Yevgeny Mikhailov and his unit flew out on a mission to cover ground troops. Due to terrible weather conditions, it was difficult to navigate and maintain formation. After completing the task, Mikhailov and his guard partner, Lieutenant V.S. Titov headed to their airfield. The planes reached the Idritsa railway station occupied by the enemy, from where it was easier to reach the airfield by rail in conditions of poor visibility. Above the station, Mikhailov and Titov unexpectedly came under heavy fire from enemy anti-aircraft artillery. Mikhailov’s plane was seriously damaged by a direct hit of an anti-aircraft shell. The pilot was clearly aware that he would not be able to reach his territory. A parachute jump meant an inevitable captivity. Mikhailov noticed a large train with fuel tanks in the center of the station and decided to send his La-5 to it. The explosion of the plane destroyed several echelons and caused a severe fire at the station. The regiment received the last radio message of the hero: “The plane is set on fire. The fuel ran out. I won’t reach my own. I will not surrender. I decided to ram and blow up the German echelon on Idritsa. Combat greetings to comrades! For the Motherland!” By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated October 26, 1944, Lieutenant Mikhailov Evgeny Vitalievich was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union for exemplary performance of combat missions of the command at the front of the fight against the German invaders and the courage and heroism of the Guard shown at the same time.
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