Alexander Osipenko (pilot)

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Alexander Stepanovich Osipenko
Герой Советского Союза Александр Степанович Осипенко.jpg
Native name
Александр Степанович Осипенко
Born1 June [O.S. 19 May] 1910
Tursevo Kula, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire
Died22 July 1991(1991-07-22) (aged 81)
Moscow, USSR
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Air Force
Unit1st Escuadrilla de Caza
Battles/warsSpanish Civil War
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union
Spouse(s)Polina Osipenko[1]

Alexander Stepanovich Osipenko (Russian: Александр Степанович Осипенко; 1 June [O.S. 19 May] 1910 – 22 July 1991). was a Soviet military aviator and, according to some accounts, the Red Air Force's top ace in the Spanish Civil War.

Early life[edit]

Osipenko was born at Tursevo Kula, in what is now Finland prior to the First World War. In 1918 he was living with his family in Smolensk and in 1929 joined the Soviet Air Force, rising to the position of squadron leader in 1937.[2]

Service history[edit]

In January 1938 Osipenko went to Spain to service with the Spanish Republican Air Force. He flew with the 1st Escuadrilla de Caza, and was a successful fighter pilot, though his record is contradictory. One source credits him with 17 individual and 34 shared aerial combat victories[3] making him the most successful Soviet pilot of the conflict. On his return to the Soviet Union Osipenko was made Hero of the Soviet Union.

At the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War in June 1941 Osipenko was a divisional commander on the Southern Front; he rose to Corps commander in September 1943 and also served as deputy commander of the countries fighter air defence.

After the war he served in various posts until his retirement in 1954, after which he held several academic posts connected with aviation.

Alexander Osipenko died on 22 July 1991 in Moscow.[2]


  1. ^ Виноградова, Любовь (2015-03-30). Защищая Родину. Летчицы Великой Отечественной (in Russian). Азбука-Аттикус. p. 159. ISBN 9785389099005.
  2. ^ a b Alexander Osipenko at (Russian) retrieved 24 August 2015
  3. ^ Soviet aces of the Spanish Civil War, Allan Magnus; retrieved 24 August 2015