AREFYEV PYOTR ALEKSEYEVICH
captain, participant in World War II, Hero of the Soviet Union (February 23, 1945)
He was born on June 12, 1913 (25) in a working class family. Nationality – Russian. Incomplete secondary education. In 1939 he graduated from the Tambov Civil Aviation Flight School and took a military training course. The civilian worked as an airline pilot. In 1942 he was drafted into the Red Army. From January 1943 he served in World War II. He went from ordinary pilot to squadron commander.
Five days later, after only the seventh flight, he led six Il-2s in destroying the enemy convoy. Soviet pilots hit the target eight times, destroying 3 tanks, up to 15 vehicles and at least a hundred Nazis.
On March 11, the Quartet will destroy 8 tanks, up to 30 vehicles and many enemy forces. On April 15, the eighth Il smashed a convoy on the way to Yarsevo.
In the fall of 1943, the 826thAssault Regiment took an active part in the Dukhovshinsko-Demidovskaya, Nevelskaya and Gorodokskaya combat offensive operations. On June 24, 1944, in Operation Bagration, six attack planes destroyed enemy tanks and armored vehicles, destroying the Nazis ’crossing of the Western Dvina near Vitebsk. When a mechanic inspects a plane, he sees 20 holes.
On June 25, 1944, the Six destroyed another enemy column. As the pilots returned to the airport, the German Fock-Wolf attacked. Knowing that there was 10 to 12 minutes of fuel left in the tanks, the squadron commander ordered them to land. He fights against the most powerful enemy and protects the rest. This episode is reflected in the memoirs of his colleague Vladimir Gulyaev “Il in the air.”
By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of February 23, 1945, Captain Pyotr Alekseyevich Arefyev was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union “For exemplary performance of combat duties, on the front in the fight against Nazi invaders.”
The award sheet states:
From August 1943 to August 1944, Arefev-led pilots carried out 572 effective combat flights, destroying 22 tanks, up to 700 vehicles and wagons, destroying more than a thousand German soldiers and officers, four trains, and two railroads. l destroyed the bridge, six ammunition and fuel depots, and caused 51 fires.
“Personally, it has carried out 109 combat flights, destroyed up to 15 tanks, 30 artillery pieces, 170 vehicles and wagons, and at least 300 enemy soldiers and officers,” he said. It blew up three echelons of the enemy, several ammunition and fuel depots, and created 22 fires. ” He fought the enemy 8 times in strength, was shot 18 times, but always returned to the airfield.