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Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin was born on March 6 (old style February 21), 1913 in the city of Novonikolaevsk (now Novosibirsk) in a working-class family. He graduated from 7 classes, worked as a locksmith at a factory. From 1930 to 1932, he was a student of the FZU "Sibkombainstroy" school, specializing in toolsmiths.|
In 1932, Pokryshkin became a cadet of the 3rd Military School of Aircraft Engineers. After an excellent graduation from the aviation school, he was sent to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) for advanced training courses for aircraft technicians. At the end of 1934, he was appointed to the post of senior aircraft technician of the 74th Taman Rifle Division, stationed in Krasnodar. For four years, Pokryshkin served as a technician, then as a senior technician, dreaming of mastering the profession of a pilot. To do this, he persistently studied the history of flight and military history, physics and mathematics, physiology and descriptive geometry. Over the years, Pokryshkin wrote 39 reports to commanders asking them to let him go to flight school, but each time he was refused. Then in September 1938, during another vacation, in seventeen days, he mastered the two-year program of the Krasnodar Aero Club and passed the exam as an external "excellent". In his 40th report, he put a certificate of completion of the aero club and in November 1938 became a student of the Kachin military aviation school. A year later, he graduated from high school with honors, becoming a pilot.
In 1941, Senior Lieutenant Pokryshkin was appointed deputy squadron commander. On the fronts of the Great Patriotic War from the first day. Until the fall of 1942, he flew the MiG 3, and 16, Yak 1. In the spring of 1943, after the regiment was re-equipped with American P 39 Aerocobra aircraft, he distinguished himself during the battles in the Kuban. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 24, 1943, for 354 sorties, 54 air battles, 13 personally and 6 in a group of downed enemy aircraft, the squadron commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guard, Captain Alexander Pokryshkin, was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal.
Pokryshkin was awarded the second Gold Star medal on August 24, 1943, for 455 sorties and 30 personally shot down enemy aircraft. By December 20, 1943, the acting commander of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Pokryshkin, had flown 550 sorties and shot down 50 enemy aircraft in 137 air battles. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 19, 1944, he was awarded (for the first time in the history of the country) the third Gold Star medal for exemplary performance of combat missions of the command and heroic deeds at the front of the struggle against the Nazi invaders.