Vladimir Yakovlevich Gavrilov was the Commander of the 804th Bomber Aviation Regiment (293rd Bomber Aviation Division, 1st Bomber Aviation Corps, 3rd Air Army, Kalinin Front), a major. He was born on April 3 (16), 1908. In 1920 he finished 4 grades of primary school in Lugansk. Since 1920 he lived in the village of Severny Rudnik (now it is the village of Pivnichnoye in the city of Toretsk, the Donetsk region, Ukraine). In 1920-1924 he worked as a boiler cleaner, lamp carrier, coal dumper and apprentice in mechanical workshops at the Northern Mine. In 1926 he graduated from the FSU school. In 1926-1928 he worked as a metal turner in the Central Mechanical Workshops in the city of Shcherbinovka (it is Toretsk). He was in the army since July 1928. In 1931 he graduated from Tula Weapons and Technical School, and served as a junior and senior weapons technician there until December 1934. In December 1936 he graduated from the Borisoglebsk Military Aviation School of Pilots. He served in the Air Force as the flight commander of a separate air squadron (in the Belarusian Military District), the commander of air squadrons in bomber regiments (in the Orel and Baltic special military districts). In 1941 he graduated in absentia from the 2nd year of Military Air Engineering Academy named after N.E. Zhukovsky. He was a participant of the Great Patriotic War: in June-July 1941 – the commander of the air squadron of the 46th Bomber Aviation Regiment (North-Western Front). He participated in defensive battles in the Baltic States. On June 22, 1941, he was slightly wounded. In September-October 1941 he was the Deputy commander of the 603rd Bomber Aviation Regiment, which was being formed in the rear. Since October 1941 he was the commander of the forming 804th Bomber Aviation Regiment (in the Volga and Trans-Baikal military districts). In October 1942 – March 1943 he was the commander of the 804th Bomber Aviation Regiment. He fought on the Kalinin (October 1942 – January 1943), Volkhov (January-February 1943) and North-Western (February-March 1943) fronts. He participated in the defensive operation near the city of Bely, in the Velikiye Luki operation, the breakthrough of the siege of Leningrad and the Demyansk operation. He especially distinguished himself during the Velikiye Luki operation. On January 16, 1943, while performing a combat mission in the area of the city of Velikiye Luki (the Pskov region), his Pe-2 was damaged by an anti-aircraft shell and the left wing caught fire. At the same time, V.Ya. Gavrilov received a slight concussion of the head. Despite the damage and fire of the aircraft, he continued to carry out the task and lead the group. During the air battle, his crew shot down 2 enemy fighters on a burning plane. He managed to bring his Pe-2 to the front line and landed on neutral territory 70 meters from enemy positions. Despite the mortar attack, together with the crew, he went out to his troops. For the courage and heroism shown in the battles with the Nazi invaders, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated May 1, 1943, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Yakovlevich Gavrilov was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.
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