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Mikhail M. Gromov

Mikhail M. Gromov

Hero of the Soviet Union (1934), test-pilot of the 1st class (1940), colonel general of the Air Force (1944), honoured pilot of the USSR (1925), honoured master of sports of the USSR (1969), professor (1937).

Mikhail Gromov was born on February 24, 1899, in the city of Tver. He has spent his childhood and youth in the cities of Kaluga, Rzhev, and in the village of Losinoostrovsky (which is within Moscow nowadays). In 1916-1917, he studied at Moscow highest technical school. In 1917, he finished aviation theoretical courses there.

Since 1917 Mikhail Gromov was in the army. In 1918 he graduated from Moscow flying school and stayed there as a flight instructor. In November, 1919 Mikhail Gromov took part in military operations at the East front as a part of the 29th reconnaissance air group. In 1920-1924 he was a flight instructor of Moscow flying school.

In 1924-1930 Mikhail Gromov was a test-pilot of  Research Institute of the Air Force. He has performed the first flight and carried out tests of U-2 (Po-2, 1927), I-4 (1927), I-3 (1928), I-4bis (1928), ANT-9 (1929), R-6 (1929). He has also performed a number of distance flights.

On June 23, 1927 during spin tests of I-1 fighter Mikhail Gromov for the first time in the USSR had to perform bailout with parachute from the airplane.

In 1930-1941 Mikhail Gromov was a test-pilot of TsAGI. In 1940-1941 he was a chief of science-and-technology group of People's commisariat of Aviation Industry. He has performed the first flight and carried out tests of R-7 (1930), I-8 (1930), TB-3 (1930), ANT-14 (1931), ANT-25 (1933), TB-4 (1933), ANT-20 (1934), ANT-35 (1936), Pe-8 (1936), BOK-15 (1939).

On July 12-14, 1937 Mikhail Gromov performed non-stop flight along route "Moscow - the North Pole - San Dzhasinto (USA)", having established 2 world aviation records of flight range (1 of them - absolute).

In March-August, 1941 Mikhail Gromov was the head of the Flight Research Institute. He took part in flight tests of UT-2 airplane with air cushion instead of classic landing gear, Me-109, G-28 "Crechet".

Mikhail Gromov was a participant of the Great Patriotic War: from December, 1941 to February, 1942 - the commander of the 31st mixed aviation division (of the Kalinin front); from February to May, 1942 - commander of the Air Forces of the Kalinin front; from May, 1942 to May, 1943 - commander of the 3rd air army; from May, 1943 to June, 1944 - commander of the 1st air army.

In 1944-1946 - Mikhail Gromov was the chief of Directorate General of the front-line aviation army training, in 1946-1949 - the deputy commander of Long-range aviation. In 1949-1955 he was a head of Ministry of the aviation industry's flight service Department. Since 1955 Mikhail Gromov was reserved. In 1959-1961 he was the chairman of USSR's Federation of heavy athletics.

Mikhail Gromov lived in Moscow. He died on January 22, 1985. Mikhail Gromov was buried at the Troyekurovskoe cemetery, in Moscow.

Mikhail Gromov was awarded four Orders of Lenin (1931, 1945, 1969, 1984), the Order of the October Revolution (1879), four Orders of the Red Banner (1925, 1937, 1944, 1948), the Order of Suvorov of the 2-d class (1943), the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st class (1942), three Orders of the Red Star (1932, 1933, 1936), medals and foreign awards. He was also awarded the medal de Lavo by the FAI (1937).

Streets in Moscow, Tver, Sevastopol, Yekaterinburg, Vitebsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Chelyabinsk, a square in the city of Zhukovsky of the Moscow region, Tu-160 aircraft (crashed in 2003), Il-96-300 liner of Aeroflot-Russian Airlines are called by the name of the Hero. The Flight Research Institute is named after the honoured pilot.