From March 6 to April 20, 2023, the electronic exhibition Siberian Falcon is open at the Presidential Library, marking the 110th anniversary of the pilot, the first thrice Hero of the Soviet Union, Air Marshal Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin.
The exposition is based on the materials from the Novosibirsk State Regional Research Library, which also took part in preparing the exhibition. It was in Novosibirsk (Novonikolayevsk at the time) that the future pilot was born.
“When I was ten years old, I saw a plane for the first time – it was the first agitation plane that flew to my hometown… Not only us boys, but also adults ran to the wasteland near the military camp, but is it possible to outrun us? Touching the duralumin wings, I discovered a dream in life: just to fly, to be a pilot…”, Alexander Pokryshkin wrote in his memoirs.
On June 22, 1941, Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin, a graduate of the 1st Kacha Military Aviation School named after Alexander Myasnikov, was in Moldova. Already on June 23, he shot down the first enemy aircraft – the German fighter Me-109. According to official data, in the air battle in Kuban – the largest and most brutal air battle of the Great Patriotic War – Alexander Pokryshkin personally destroyed 24 enemy aircraft. He caused such material and moral damage to the Luftwaffe that the Germans informed their pilots about each of his sorties: “Attention! Pokryshkin in the air!”, and the enemy aces were leaving the battle.
Pokryshkin conducted his last air battle in the sky over Prague on May 9, 1945. In total, during the war, Pokryshkin made more than 650 sorties and participated in 157 air battles. However, until the end of his days, Pokryshkin was most proud not of personal victories and awards, but of the fact that none of those whom he led into battle died through his fault.
Poryshkin created a new tactic of Soviet fighter aviation and did it not in an office, but in front-line conditions. His friends called his dugout a “design bureau” – drawings and diagrams hung on the walls, a stack of manuscripts and notebooks huddled in the corner. His world-known “thunderstorm formula”, which has become a classic of aerial combat, is captured on a digitized sheet of Pokryshkin’s handwritten notes presented at the exhibition: “Altitude – speed – maneuver – fire”.
Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin was the first to become a Hero of the Soviet Union three times. The commander of the 8th Air Army, Lieutenant General of Aviation Timofey Khryukin, introducing Pokryshkin to the third Star of the Hero, wrote in the award certificate: “The bravest of the brave, the leader, the best Soviet ace”.
After the war, Alexander Pokryshkin graduated with honours from the Academy of the General Staff, but he received the rank of general only in 1955. Later, he was the chairman of the DOSAAF, having created a unique training system for schoolchildren interested in the sky and airplanes for civil and military aviation.
...A fragment from the metric book of the Novonikolayevsk Church of the Protection for 1913 with a record of the birth of Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin, photographs of the house where he lived and the school which he attended, photographs of Pokryshkin himself from different years – from a student to an air marshal, notebook pages with information about the points of sorties and the number of downed aircraft, manuscripts and other digitized materials presented at the exhibition tell about the combat path and post-war life of the famous pilot, awards, memorial sites and educational institutions named in his honour. Valuable documents and illustrative materials were provided by the Novosibirsk State Local History Museum, the State Archive of Novosibirsk Region and the Pokryshkin Museum at the Novosibirsk Technical College.
The exhibition Siberian Falcon will run until April 20, 2023. To visit the exposition please pre-register by phone (812) 334-25-14 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.