Russian Pilots Share A Powerful Reunion With Their Warbirds After 65 Long Years
Always In The Firing Line.
Focus on the second aerial combat of World War II often omits Russia’s struggles against the Luftwaffe. The numbers of WWII’s pilots are dwindling as they transitioned into simple lives. But a few of those men, now into their 90s came out to be reunited with the very same planes that made them heroes during WWII.
As Boris Sverdlovsky walks into the large hanger outside of Moscowdecorated with his war medals he sees the very plane that earned him those honors, the A-20 Havoc. Now in his mid-90s, Sverdlovsky suddenly reflects back on the light-bomber that he hasn’t seen since 1952.
“I had a situation once when I was landing. I forgot to lower the landing gear and touched down with the body of the plane.”
– Boris Sverdlovsky
Kuddus Latypov is a man the Russians people call “The last hero of the Soviet Union”. He earned that title by flying in 134 successful aerial assault missions in an Ilyushin Il-2 that he is now reunited with, which suddenly draws him back to his brutal war days.
“At war, everybody targets you. Infantry, anti-aircraft guns, tanks, everybody. You’re always in the firing line.”
– Kuddus Latypov
The reaction on their faces is absolutely priceless when they are reunited with their old planes. Hearing them speak of their accomplishments during the war in this is emotional and definitely shows them young as heart again.