Toward the close of the Second World War, the Soviet Union had the best ace to double lesson airmanship presumptuous "allies».
Kozhedub joins his battle score two American fighter F-51 "Mustang", who mistakenly tried to attack him over Berlin, but were immediately shot down during the attack. As he told me Ivan Nikitivich, April 17, 1945, meeting in the air "Flying Fortress" allies, he burst barrage drove them to a couple of "Messerschmitt", but after a moment he was attacked by American fighter cover.
"This fire? To me?! - Indignantly recalled Kozhedub half a century later. - The line was long, with a large, kilometer, distance, with bright, in contrast to our German and tracer shells. Because of the large distance to be seen as the end of the line is bent downward. I rolled over and quickly become acquainted, attacked the American extreme (by fighter escort I already knew who it is) - in the fuselage had something exploded, he was very worn out and went with a decrease in the direction of our troops. Polupetlёy doing the fighting spread from the inverted position, I otakoval next. My shells lay down very well - the plane exploded in the air ...
When the voltage of the battle subsided, my mood was not victorious - I've already managed to see white stars on the wings and fuselage. "... To give me for the first number" - I thought, planting machine. But nothing happened in the cockpit of "Mustang", landed on our territory, sat a hefty black. On the issue came to the rescue to his children, who he knocked down (or rather, when this issue were able to translate), he replied: "Focke-Wulf" with a red nose ... I do not think he played up; not learned back then allies look sharp ...
When the film showed the PCF, the principal moments of the battle appeared fixed on them very clearly. Films looked and command of the regiment and division, and housing. The division commander Sawicki, the operational control of which we were then, after watching said, "These victories - at the expense of future wars." And Pavel Fedorovich Chupikov, our regimental commander, quickly gave me the film, saying: "Take them yourself, Ivan, and nobody showed".
Although the front of the future Marshal Ivan Nikitich Kozhedub was only in 1943, by his fighting it looks impressive. For two years - 366 sorties on the job, 120 air battles and shot down 62 German planes, though not very Kozhedub knocked at once. Moreover, from the publications of recent years shows that the actual list of victories the Soviet ace even more impressive. Perverse principles of "socialist collectivism" is often the best pilots were forced to share their victories with less able teammates, and as a result of the fuselage fighter La-7 at No. 27 was much smaller than the red stars than it should. This brother-wrote and Ivan Nikitich, the famous test pilot Alexander Shcherbakov, and a number of other authors, however, of the serious research topic has not waited. However, according to some reports, he knocked Kozhedub not 62, as many as 107 enemy aircraft, five of which belonged to the Air Force United States.
It began in the second half of 1944 clashes between Soviet and American air group were by no means the result of any conventional war confusion. Even then, States consider the entire European continent its zone of influence. One day, the commander of US Air Forces Spaatz even pointedly refused to discuss with Marshal Zhukov order of flights over the Soviet zone, brazenly declaring that "the US Air Force was flying everywhere, and fly without any limitations." (Zhukov. Memories and Reflections. M., 1971. S.670).
Demonstrating its right to fly anywhere, shtatovskih command at the same time our checks "for lice" and practiced methods of total air terror, which became the hallmark of American aircraft in the next decade. Few people know that in addition to the senseless from a military point of view, the destruction of residential areas of German and Japanese cities Yankees no less fiercely bombed Yugoslavia. Home air genocide put "bloody Easter" April 16th, 1944. On this day, the whole air division of heavy bombers with a characteristic called "Liberator" ("Liberator & quot;) brought down on the Yugoslav city of thousands of bombs, from which only the Belgrade killing 1 thousand 160 people. Total number of such raids was nine, and after 45 years of history, is known to be repeated. And to emphasize the conscious choice of the date of blows falling on Belgrade bomb graced the inscription "Happy Easter!».
Well, for the first attacks on the Red Army four dozen heavy American fighter "Lightning" also chose a symbolic date - November 7th, 1944. As a result of attack of Staff 6 Guards Rifle Corps and the airfield 866 th Fighter Wing, the city of Nis were killed Corps Commander Hero of the Soviet Union Grigory Kotov and another 30 people. In addition, two of our aircraft destroyed and burnt a dozen vehicles. Only when soaring Soviet fighters shot down in turn a few vultures, and the rest fled. Subsequently, the witness of this battle, the pilot Boris Smirnov wrote in his memoirs that on the map found in the wreckage of a downed "Lightnings", Nis was designated as an air target. After that the official American version of the loss of course, few people believed.
Flying over Germany, the deputy commander of the 176 th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment 25-year Major Kozhedub faced impudent "allies" twice. First, 22 April 1945 his car was attacked by a pair of American fighters of the "Mustang", but soon they had to bitterly regret his arrogance. Barely two minutes later, one of the "Mustang" shattered to pieces, and the second pilot barely managed to jump with a parachute.
More hot battle with the Americans Kozhedub sustained before the Victory Day, when a squadron of bombers loaded to the eyeballs of the "Flying Fortress", ignoring warning shots, entered the space of the Soviet occupation zone. Drove into the ground three multiengine giant, Major routed the rest, but to include them in the official list of his victories he was not allowed. The regimental commander Pavel Chupikov only joked that the Americans will have to fight very soon and the first day of the next war hit by a car on his account will be credited with retroactively.
However, when it is the commander of one of the divisions of the 64th Air Corps Major General Kozhedub attacked shtatovskih squadron clears the way "peacekeepers" of the United Nations in Korea, the new star on his plane did not appear. Moscow categorically banned the Divisional Commander to participate in the fighting, and because all destroyed 264 enemy aircraft should be attributed to the students of Ivan Nikitich.