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Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin was born on March 6 (February 21, old style), 1913 in the city of Novonikolaevsk (now Novosibirsk) in a worker's family. Graduated from 7th grade, worked as a locksmith at a factory. From 1930 to 1932, he was a student of the school of the Federal State Institution "Sibkombainstroy", specializing in tool fitter.
In 1932 Pokryshkin became a cadet of the 3rd Military School of Aircraft Technicians. After an excellent graduation from 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 position of senior aircraft engineer of the 74th Taman Rifle Division, stationed in Krasnodar. Pokryshkin served as a technician for four years, then as a senior technician, dreaming of mastering the profession of a pilot. To do this, he persistently studied the history of flights and military history, physics and mathematics, physiology and descriptive geometry. Pokryshkin has written 39 reports to commanders over the years 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 with "excellent" external. In his 40th report, he put a certificate of graduation from the aero club and in November 1938 he became a student of the Kachin military Aviation School. A year later, he graduated from 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 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 fighting in the Kuban. By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated 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 Guards, 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 Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Pokryshkin, had made 550 sorties, shot down 50 enemy aircraft in 137 air battles. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated August 19, 1944, for exemplary performance of combat missions of the command and heroic deeds at the front of the struggle against the Nazi invaders, he was awarded (for the first time in the history of the country) the third Gold Star medal.