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HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION Alekseev Konstantin Stepanovich

Article about: I had bought this original photo of him in Sevastopol many years ago and always had wondered who he is/was. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Alekseev Kon

  1. #1

    Default HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION Alekseev Konstantin Stepanovich

    I had bought this original photo of him in Sevastopol many years ago and always had wondered who he is/was.


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    Alekseev Konstantin Stepanovich


    Konstantin Alekseev was born on October, 7th, 1914 in village Pridantsevo, nowadays area Mozhajskogo of the Moscow area, in family of the worker. Has ended Mozhajskuju 7-years school and rabfak (worker's faculty). Since 1936 in the ranks of the Navy. In 1938 has ended Ejsk military - sea school of pilots.

    The Participant of Great Domestic war since the first day. Was at war in structure of the Air Forces of the Black Sea fleet. There he was the assistant to the commander of 1-st squadron to 8-th assault avia regiment, since spring of 1942 - the assistant to the commander of a squadron to 6-th Guards an aviaregiment, then - the commander 25-th aviaregiment (flying on fighters LaGG-3).

    ... The Enemy bombed moorings, the enterprises, inhabited quarters of Sevastopol. Our pilots did all possible to limit activity of German aircraft, put retaliations.

    On October, 30th, 1941 the group of assault planes has gone on performance of the next task - to destroy by bombing enemy field air station. It was covered with a part of fighters which was conducted by Konstantin Alekseev.

    At the approach to the purpose assault planes were attacked by 25 German fighters. Fight has begun. Our pilots managed to distract the opponent, and assault planes have successfully carried out the task. Alexey and his comrades have brought down in it to fight 4 planes of the opponent.

    Then there were the new starts, new fights with the enemy...

    By April, 1942 the assistant to the commander of a squadron to 6-th Guards assault aviation regiment (the Air Forces of the Black Sea Fleet) Guards Captain K.S.Alekseev has made 272 fighting starts, in 72 air fights has brought down 11 planes of the opponent.

    In Alexey's subsequent fights has gained still a number of brilliant victories. Has especially distinguished in the summer of 1942 in the sky of Sevastopol, having brought down for some days of 7 enemy planes.

    In the middle of May the third approach of German armies to Sevastopol which has poured out in barbarous destruction of city has begun. At a dawn on May, 20th the artillery, and then and aircrafts of the opponent has put a number of impacts on city, armies and objects of base. And so was every day down to June, 7th. Only 2 - on June, 7th the German aircrafts has made 9 thousand fighting starts, having dumped up to 45 tons of aerial bombs, and the artillery of the opponent has let out 126 thousand shells of large calibre.

    In the first put aviation - the artillery preparation undertaken by the opponent, fighter pilots K.S.Alekseev's Captains, M. I.Grib, N.A.Spirov have brought down 2 German planes. Besides this day the Black Sea pilots have made 74 fighting starts on bombing - assault impacts on armies of the opponent.

    In one of June days Konstantin Alekseev in pair with pilot Danilko has entered unequal fight with 6 fighters Me-109. In it to fight our pilots have brought down two "Messers", and the others have forced to get away shamefully.

    On June, 14th, 1942 for courage and the military valour, shown in fights with enemies, Konstantin Stepanovich Alekseev has been awarded ranks of the Hero of The Soviet Union.

    The Fighters conducted by Konstantin Alekseev, often covered actions of bombing and assault aircraft to which pilots names of many our glorified experts were known. The Hero of The Soviet Union, the known pilot - recollects a bomber, V.I.Minakov:

    " I knew well Kostja Alekseev. The simple, modest guy. Together with the comrades he often accompanied with us on impacts on Tamani. From afar learning his plane, bombers joyfully exclaimed: " Kostja! ". Alexey's time with us, means, it is possible to hope for success: "Messers" will not pass... In the end of April we have learned about one of his fights. It was so.

    ... On the night of April, 20th, 1943 the opponent has decided to mine from air Gelendzhik bay to complicate to seamen of transportation of the weapon, technics and alive force on the Small ground where our landing troops heroically battled. Single planes of the opponent under a cover of night filtered to a bay. The strong wind of "BORA" blew, to fighters to operate it was almost impossible. And then, Konstantin Stepanovich has decided to take off himself.

    Risking to get under fire of the AA guns, he unexpectedly attacked seized by beams of projectors "Heinkel-111" and has quickly finished with it. Then continued to fly above a bay. Has soon brought down the second enemy plane - a torpedo boat, and behind it and the third. The plan of the opponent has been broken ".

    On September, 16th, 1943 Major K.S.Alekseev has repeated this brilliant result, has filled up the fighting account with new victories. In one of starts it has destroyed 3 more enemy self-summers. In that put the opponent has decided to strike the massed blow on our ships. The Hero of The Soviet Union Michael Vasilevich Avdeev recollects:

    " The Opponent already came nearer to port Gelendzhik. What to do? On meditation seconds are given, and the flight field is almost deduced out of operation. To fly up it is impossible, but it is necessary. And besides damned wind: somebody can and it will be possible to fly up, but how then to land?.. On war there are moments when, not going on risk, the commander makes almost a crime. Do not lift we planes - what will remain from port and landing fleet stood there?

    It was the unprecedented picture. Tens people have literally hung at plane, not giving it to overturn. The wind brought down them from legs. And they pulled the machine in unbelievable cacophonies of explosions on a floor. Only in last momen start the grown dumb palms of pilots and mechanics were unclenched. One "Yak" could not keep - it has overturned.

    But here, as if having overcome an invisible wall, speeds up the plane of Konstantin Alekseev. Behind it Vasily Kuftin leaves in the sky. 4 more machines come off the ground...

    Alexeys attacks straight off. Probably the turn has had directly on bombs. Terrible explosion has carried "Heinkel" on pieces. Even plane of Konstantin has sharply rejected aside. The beginning is necessary: fighting build bombers it is broken. "Yaks" attack that one group of "Heinkel", another, Me-109. Climb, apparently, on obvious destruction in the grounds of enemy planes.

    Here one more "Heinkel", having filled with smoke was incurred to the ground. Behind it - another. Falls in the sea "Messer". Armadas of German machines turn on the territory...

    How did our pilots have landed the machines, one god knows. Hardly droven "Yaks" in hangar, Alexey has gloomy thrown to mechanics: "How many? "

    They have taken the hint. " You - three planes. Kuftin - two. The others - three more. Total eight. Quite good arithmetics... "

    In Konstantin Alekseev's flight book it is told about many similar fights in which he performed outstanding art, courage and iron endurance. This master of air fight was able in complex conditions to keep cool and destroy the enemy only for certain.

    On the night of November, 1st, 1943 operation on landing of para groups to Kerch peninsula has begun. This day our fighters had been brought down 6 enemy planes. However the most intense days have appeared still in future... The enemy has thrown all aircrafts against our commandoes. For a management of air fights directly above jumping-off place it was necessary to lift in air of commanders aviaregiment. It was no time for rest also to their assistants.

    Only for 3 days of fights sea pilots have lead 22 air fights and have brought down 25 enemy planes. Especially successfully in these fights pilots of 25-th aviaregiment under command of Major K.S.Alekseev operated.

    On November, 2nd the six of fighters conducted by the commander of a squadron of the 25-th regiment by the Hero of The Soviet Union by the Captain of V.A.Mikhalev, has met greater group of Ju-87 accompanied by fighters Me-109 - all more than 40 machines. Being above passage with the group Konstantin Alekseev has hastened to the aid. To a place of fight the six of machines of 11-th Guards Assault Avia regiment was tightened also. As a result of short but very persistent fight 5 enemy bombers (4 machines by pilots 25-th aviaregiment and one by 11-th Guards pilots) have been destroyed.

    In total within day pilots of 25-th and 11-th Guards aviaregiments have lead 12 air fights, having destroyed 18 enemy planes (13 by pilots of 25-th AAR and 5 by pilots of 11-th GuAAR have brought down). Pilots of other regiments, having lead 15 air fights, have brought down 12 more enemy machines. Our losses have made three fighters (two Yak-1 and one Yak-9) and 15 stormfighters Il-2, had greater loss from fire of an antiaircraft artillery.

    In total for period Kerch operation pilots of Alekseev have destroyed in air fights of 76 German planes. His planes has deserved gratitude in the order of Supreme commander in chief, awards of the Red Banner and the name "Kerchensky" have been awarded.

    Alexey himself amazed even worldly-wise pilots with extraordinary bravery and skill in air fights. On February, 12th, 1944 the commander of 25-th assault avia regiment Major K.S.Alekseev has gained 19-th air victory, having confirmed reputation of one of the best Black Sea experts. In one of documents of that time such characteristic is given to it:

    " Flies on all types of fighters in the afternoon and at night, the fighting and resolute pilot, fights bravely, in fight is cool, makes courageous decisions and practically carries out them in practice. The example carries away flight structure on rout of the enemy and safely conducts them in attack. Forced down on two Me-109 in one day twice. Fight of a three of the fighters headed by it, against 12 Me-109 in which 3 German fighters have been brought down is known. " Approach more close and beat in an emphasis " - this principle always provides for Alekseev a victory over fight... "

    In total for the period of war Konstantin Alekseev has made more than 500 successful fighting starts, from them - 60 on investigation and 50 on assault. Having lead 110 air fights, has destroyed 19 planes of the opponent personally (8 from them - at night) and 3 in structure of group, assault impacts the significant loss in alive force and technics has caused to the enemy.

    Having begun war by the assistant to the commander of a squadron, it has finished as commander aviation a regiment which pilots have brought down in air fights of 119 enemy planes.

    After war Konstantin Stepanovich has continued service in aircraft of the Navy. In 1948 has ended Military - Sea academy where later taught. Since 1970 of Guards Colonel K.S.Alekseev - in a reserve. Awarded with Lenin's Awards, the Red Banner (four times), Suvorov of 3-rd degree, Domestic war of 1-st degree, the Red Star, medals, a foreign award and a medal.

    Has died on February, 24th, 1971. Is buried in Leningrad. The name of the Hero carries a ship of a sea river facilities.

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    Credit is owed and of course, due in full to my dear friend and colleague : Anton Merkushev of St Petersburg for his hard work finding all about this man and performing the translation.

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by RichieC; 10-14-2007 at 05:27 AM.

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  3. #2

    Default re: HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION Alekseev Konstantin Stepanovich

    Colorization performed by the respectable Valantin Voronov of Moscow.
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  4. #3

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    Terrific colorization work! I'm very impressed with the job done on the tunic because it's tough to get rich colorization and texture using a computer when it comes to coloring images of fabric and cloth.

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    I know this is a very old post (the original one) but its very interesting to see that Alekseev Konstantin Stepanovich is wearing the insignia of the Order of the British Empire (MBE or OBE?) - I presume that is the foreign award mentioned. I wonder what the story was behind that? Given the history of foreign relations between Britain and the USSR I find it quite surprising that he was photographed wearing the insignia. Perhaps it was during the 1941-5 period during which relations were officially "warm"?

    Philip

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    DrPMC, is there a way in England to search who was awarded the MBE? Is that public record or perhaps done via a request to the government? Be interesting to find out!

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    Try the London Gazette Newspaper online.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  8. #7
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    I have tried the London Gazette with various permutations of his name without success. I also tried the Times newspaper, which is usually good for things like this and searched the catalogue of the National Archives. The NA do have records of this sort (see The National Archives | Search results:Stepanovich), but no luck in this case. Although there is a published register of members of the Order of the British Empire, published by Philip Hancock in 2001, it only covers the higher grades of the order (Search results 1?5 of 5 for 'Title: Register of appointments to the most excellent Order of the British Empire' | Copac). I've no doubt that there is a record out there but don't know how to access it easily - possibly an email to the National Archives might work but I don't know how helpful they are. There is also the question of whether Alekseev's name has been rendered differently in the records.

    Regards, Philip

  9. #8

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    Thanks for the update. It must be recored somewhere....
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    I have asked a friend of mine whom I think might have physical copies of the London Gazette over the WWII period to date. Will report back with any results.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  11. #10
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    I think that it is quite likely that honorary appointments to the Order of the British Empire do not appear in the London Gazette - I've just tested it with other honorary appointments and they are not included. They do, or at least some of them, appear in records at the National Archives and are sometimes mentioned in The Times. When I get a chance, I'll drop the National Archives a line. It would be interested to know what was on the citation.

    I wonder if there were any reciprocal awards - British subjects awarded soviet decorations? It would be interesting to see a British medal group with such a medal included.

    Philip

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