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Memorial station RP77MD will operate from 2nd to 9th of May in honor of 77th anniversary of the Victory and its operation will be dedicated to the memory of Mikhail Petrovich Devyatayev (08.07.1917 — 24.11.2002) — Guards senior lieutenant, fighter pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union. Senior lieutenant Devyatayev escaped from German concentration camp on skyjacked by him bomber “Heinkel-111”
Mikhail Petrovich Devyatayev was born in Torbeyevo settlement (now Torbeyevo city, Republic of Mordovia) in peasants’ family.
In 1938 he was called up to the Red Army. In 1940 he graduated from the First Chkalov’s military aviation pilots’ school.
He started his service in army in the field on June, 22, 1941. He opened his combative count on June. 24 when he shot down dive bomber “Junkers Ju 87” near Minsk. Mikhail Devyatayev was awarded with Red Banner Order.
On September 23, 1941 while getting back from the mission Devyatayev was attacked by German fighters. He shot down one of them but he got a wound in his left leg. After the hospital medical commission appointed him to slow-speed aviation. He served in night bombers regiment, then in sanitary aviation. Only after the meeting with A. I. Pokryshkin in May, 1944, he became a fighter again.
Flight commander of 104th Guards fighting aviation regiment (9th Guards fighting aviation regiment, 2nd aviation army, 1st Ukrainian front) Guards senior lieutenant Devyatayev shot down in air battles totally 9 enemy’s planes.
In the evening of July 13, 1944 as a part of fighters group he flew out for holding off the attack of enemy’s aviation. In air battle near Lvov Devyatayev’s plane was knocked out and combusted, and in the last moment pilot left falling fighter with parachute, but he impacted plane’s stabilizer. Landed in unconscious state at occupied by the enemy territory Devyatayev was captured.
After interrogation Mikhail Devyatayev was redeployed to Lodz PW camp, where on August 13, 1944 he undertook his first effort to escape together wit the group of PW pilots. But the runners were caught, announced as sentenced to death and sent to death camp Zaksenhausen.
There with the help of camp barber who substituted the hash mark with the number on his camp fatigue, Michael Devuatayev managed to change his status of sentenced to death for penalized person’s one. Soon under the name of Stepan Nikitenko he was sent to the island of Usedom, where in Penemunde missile center development of new weapon of the Third Reich – cruising missiles “Fau-1” and ballistic missiles “Fau-2” had bee carrying on.
On February 8, 1945 group of Soviet PW of 10 men skyjacked German bomber “Heinkel He 111 H-22” and escaped from the concentration camp on the island of Usedom. It was piloted by Debyatayev. In the region of front line the plane was fired by Soviet vertical cannons, and the had to make forced landing. “Heinkel” landed on its belly south of the village of Gollin in dislocation of artillery unit of 61th army.
Devyatayev delivered strategically important information about secret center on Usedom, where rocket weapon of Nazi Reich had been manufactured and tested and exact coordinates of “Fau-2” missile launchers. Information delivered by Devyatayev proved to be exact one and it provided success of airborne attack on Usedom site.
Devyatayev and his comrades were placed in filtration camp. After finalizing of checking Devyatayev continued his service on the Red Army.
In September, 1945 he was found by S. P. Korolev, appointed as a chief of Soviet program for German rocket technique acquisition and called him to Penemunde. There Devyatayes showed to Soviet specialists the places where the assemblies for the missiles had been manufactured and the missiles had been launched.
For the help in creating first Soviet missile “R1” – a replica of “Fau-2” In 1957 Korolev managed to recommend Devyatayev to the title of the Hero.