Pilots. Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin.
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 Alexander Ivanovich PokryshkinCol. Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin (1913 - November 13 1985).
This picture of Alexander Pokryshkin was taken during the Battle of Kuban. The photo is dated 28 May 1943. Behind him is a P-39D-2 (no. 41-38520).

Alexander Pokryshkin was one of the greatest tacticians in the Soviet Fighter Air Arm. He approached air combat in a scientific manner, learning much from the memoirs of French WW 1 ace René Fonck, Mes Combats. Pokryshkin would eventually develop to the second most successful fighter pilot on the Allied side during WW 2. During the war Pokryshkin was 3 times awarded by Soviet Hero Title (Gold Star). He flew total of 550 sorties, participated in 139 air combats he scored officially 59 enemy planes. But in opinion of some historians his killboard list should be enlarged by next 13 victories, scored in battles over Kuban. During free hunt over German territory he downed a row of enemy planes, but in that period Soviet Command confirmed only planes destroyed over own area.
Here is unknown fact about Pokryshkin, he was nicknamed "Mustafa" by friends, due to his frosen cheekes during the winter 1941/1942 flights in open I-16 cockpit.

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