Alexander Mamkin: how burning pilot rescued 10 children

Heroes 01/01/20 Alexander Mommy: how burning pilot rescued 10 children

About the exploits of Soviet soldiers, ordinary citizens of our country in the years of the great Patriotic war many books have been written, filmed, composed songs. But even against this background, the heroism of the pilot Alexander Mamkin is naosobitsu.

Operation “Asterisk”

Children’s home №1 of the city of Polotsk did not have time to evacuate in the first months of the war. Children and their teachers lived under occupation, enduring misery and hunger, as well as other citizens of Belarus. The Nazis were brought to shelter kids from families, killed by partisans and Communists, and even thought to help the orphanage with food. But in 1943, the German command used that beautiful children “untermensch”: they had to become donors for the wounded German! For pupils of a shelter that was tantamount to death: emaciated and weakened by disease, they would be unable to withstand even one or two transfusions. The orphanage Director Michael S. of Forenco managed to convince the occupation authorities that children should be a little bit to feed and heal. Then they will be more suitable for such a responsible role! Practical Germans have heeded these arguments, and children were taken to Belcice. In the autumn of the same year, soldiers of the guerrilla unit named Shchorsa unexpectedly found in Belcice that housed a fairly large garrison of Germans, a crowd of kids – more than 150 boys and girls from 3 to 14 years.

So began the operation, which was assigned the code name “Star”. First, children had to be taken out of Balcic on the territory controlled by the guerrillas, and then to the rear.

the First stage was held on the night of 19 February 1944. Above the village, distracting the attention of the Germans began to fly Soviet planes. Meanwhile, the kids, their teachers, the underground group “Fearless” with their families – more than two hundred people – came from the village and went to lESU, at the edge of which they were waiting for the guerrillas. The children were themselves the youngest carried in her arms. All were commanded to be silent, and even a three-year crumbs never cried during this unprecedented run through the snowy field, under a sky eschermann light rockets. In the forest they were met by guerrillas in camouflage. They picked up children and put them in the sleigh which was standing ready.

the Operation was tricky. All the children and their caregivers without a single shot were transported to a safe place.

the Next step “Stars” was the transfer of children and educators in the Soviet rear. The implementation of this task was entrusted to pilots of the 105-th separate guards air regiment of Civil air fleet. One of them was Lieutenant Alexander Mamkin.

the human torch at the controls

the pilots of the 105-th separate guards aviation regiment during operation “Star” flew small single-engine aircraft P-5. This machine lifts the crew of two – commander and Navigator. However, Mommy and his companions managed to place in the plane for more than 10 people. First of all, refused to Navigator, and the maximum of used shipping containers. Each of the pilots made several flights, taking the children and the wounded. Mommy made 9 flights.

In his last voyage, which took place on the night of 11 April 1944, Lieutenant Alexander Mommy took 13 people – 10 children, a teacher and two wounded guerrillas.

the Germans shot down the plane. The fire broke out. The flames crept to the cockpit. Manual required the pilot in this case, immediately take the parachute and leave the burning car. But behind Mommy sat 10 frightened children, a woman and two wounded. Could he leave the plane and leave its passengers to certain death?

Mommy steadfastly held the helm, taking the plane away from the Germans, to his. Burned cabin, the helmet on the pilot, his goggles had melted from the heat, burned jacket and clothing… In such circumstances, the pilot managed to do the impossOnoe — he delivered his passengers to the location of Soviet troops. After landing, the children and adults got out safely. The last thing he managed to say Alexander: “the Children are alive?”. And when they hear that all the saved, he lost consciousness. Five days later the hero died at the hospital.

the Doctors said that if not for eyewitness accounts, they would never believe that a man with a burned to the bone legs, the face, filled with the melted mass of the helmet and flight points, with burnt hands, was able to maintain the aircraft.

the Battle path of Alexander Mamkin

the Pilot Alexander Mamkin was born in a Peasant village in Voronezh region. In 1936 he graduated from the Balashov school of Civil air fleet. Before the war he flew with the cargo to Central Asia. From the first days of the war was to ask the front. And in 1942 he was enlisted in the 105th regiment. Goal by Alexander Mommy’s and his comrades of the civilian pilots who came for military service, was shipping supplies to partisans. Flights were made at night, in extremely difficult conditions, under constant fire of Nazi anti-aircraft and fighters. Alexander’s more than 70 times flew over the front line, transported more than 10 tons of cargo and transported in the rear of dozens of people.

For his courage Alexander p. Mamkin has been awarded orders of the Patriotic war of 1 degree (1943) and red banner (1944). For his important achievement of the pilot was posthumously promoted to the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union.

When Alexander Mommy died, he was 28 years old.

Olga Melnikova

© Russian Seven

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