Sergey Ignatievich Rudenko was a military commander, Air Marshal, professor, Hero of the Soviet Union (1944). In 1932 he graduated from the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy. He had been Commander of the 31st high-speed bomber Aviation Squadron of the Kharkiv Military District Air Force since 1936, commander of the 118th high-speed bomber Aviation Brigade since 1937, commander of the 60th high-speed bomber Aviation Regiment since 1938, he had served in the Air Force of the 2nd separate Army in the Far East: commander of the 26th-th mixed aviation brigade since 1939, deputy commander of the 31st Mixed Division since 1940, commander of this division since 1941. In 1941 he was appointed commander of the Air Force of the 20th Army of the Western Front, in December – commander of the 61st Army of the Bryansk Front, in 1942 – commander of the Air Force of the Kalinin Front, in 1942 he commanded the 7th Strike Air Group of the Stavka VGK on the Bryansk Front, then until the end of the war he commanded the 16th Air Army, until 1947 – in Germany. In 1948-1950 he was a Commander of the Airborne Troops. Rudenko Sergey Ignatievich had been Commander of Long-range Aviation – Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force since 1950, Chief of the General Staff since 1953, First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force since 1958. At this position, he was responsible, among other duties, for the implementation of Soviet space programs. His activities in this field were strongly criticized in his diaries by the head of manned cosmonautics N.P. Kamanin. Rudenko Sergey Ignatievich had been the Head of the Gagarin Air Force Academy since 1968 and Military inspector-adviser to the Group of Inspectors General of the USSR Ministry of Defense since 1973. He was awarded 6 Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, 4 Orders of the Red, 2 Orders of Suvorov of the 1st degree, Orders of Kutuzov of the 1st degree, Suvorov of the 2nd degree, the Patriotic War of the 1st degree, “For Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR” and other awards, including foreign orders and medals.
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