The biography of this man is a chronicle of the exploits and dreams of our grandfathers. Anatoly Serov had the most heroic and romantic profession, his wife was one of the most desirable women of the era, boys dreamed of being like him. He did not live to see the Great Patriotic War, but his widow from the movie screens urged women to believe that their husbands and lovers are alive, wait for them and believe in victory.
Tolya was born in 1910 in the Perm province into a large miner's family. His father was a highly skilled professional and fighter for justice. This combination did not allow the master to be sent to hard labor for his beliefs, but Konstantin Serov was also on the list of unreliable. The revolution of 1917 opened up new prospects for the miner - he was appointed head of the quarry in the village of Bogoslovsk, where he moved with the whole family.
The miner's son disliked schooling until the teacher at one of the lessons told about how in the Middle Ages a certain archer Ivan Serov made wings and was able to take off on them. The boy immediately decided that this hero was his ancestor, and he himself simply had to become a pilot. To prove his opinion, Tolya made an unsuccessful attempt to repeat the accomplishment of the legendary archer. He was scolded, and later sent to study as a steelmaker.
The path to the dream
In 1929, on the line of the Komsomol, the plant where Serov worked, received 3 tickets to the United Theoretical School of Pilots and Aviation Technicians in Volsk. Anatoly had a dream and a number of sporting achievements, and he was sent there to get an education. In 1931, pilot Serov joined the 1st Fighter Squadron, which was based in Gatchina. Now Tolya has a new goal - to become no worse than the famous Valery Chkalov.
In 1933 the young aviator was transferred to the Far East. Here he not only improves his mastery of aerobatics, but also teaches him young people. After 2 years, Anatoly Serov did not think this was enough - he submitted a report with a request to send him to study at the Air Force Academy named after V.I. Professor N. Ye. Zhukovsky. This time the study did not go, it was boring at the desk. In 1936, our hero asked to be a test pilot and was sent to the Scientific Test Institute of the Red Army Air Force.
News from war-torn Spain haunted the brave pilot - he was obliged to fight there against fascism. Anatoly Serov again turned to the command with a request, which was immediately satisfied - the Soviet Union helped the Spanish anti-fascists by sending military specialists to the country. At the beginning of 1937, a former test pilot, and now a fighter, was dispatched to a hot spot.
Immediately after his arrival, the pilot was not allowed to take part in the battles, and the first sortie ended unsuccessfully - he got involved in a battle with superior enemy forces and lost his car. The commander of the Republican Air Force threatened to send Serov back to the Union, but in the Brunet offensive operation the aviator proved his skill. Anatoly did not relax, earning the trust and respect of the command, he began to develop new tactics for fighter aircraft - night flights.
The career of a brave pilot took off quickly: in the summer of 1937 he became the commander of the 1st fighter squadron. The next year he returned to his homeland, where he was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and received the rank of brigade commander. Anatoly's dream to meet Valery Chkalov also came true. There was only one thing missing - the woman he loved. While visiting the legendary aviator Anatoly Lyapidevsky, Serov met the young actress Valentina Polovikova.
The wedding was played a few days after they met. The personal life of the Soviet ass was like a fairy tale and attracted the attention of not only benevolent people. Valentina will be called not the most ideal wife.Having connected her life with art, she devoted all her time to creativity and paid little attention to her family, and after the death of her husband she was able to meet love again. Whether this was true, or whether the new happiness of the widowed actress cut the eyes of the gossips, it is not known.
Anatoly Serov's new place of service was the post of chief of the Main Flight Inspectorate. In early 1939, he received an order to go to Ryazan for training. The neighbor in the compartment on the train, which the pilot used to get to the city, was the songwriter Evgeny Dolmatovsky. The fellow travelers got into conversation. Just at this time, a new feature film "Fighters" was being filmed, the director of which Eduard Penzlin doubted whether a serious film about pilots needed songs. Dolmatovsky decided that they were simply necessary, and after meeting Serov, he understood what to write about. The songs were finished the same day. The poet showed up to the aviator at the hotel in the middle of the night, he sat down at the piano to play and sing songs that everyone will soon know and love.
On the morning of May 11, brigade commander Anatoly Serov and Major Polina Osipenko took to the skies from the Diaghilev airfield and did not return. The plane and the bodies of the dead pilots were found in a field 25 kilometers from Ryazan. While practicing a difficult maneuver, they slowed down and the monoplane went into a spin, from which the pilots could not get it out.
It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Anatoly Serov to the tactics of air combat. Equally important for Soviet aviation were his test flights - on them he "circled" the equipment that would soon protect the Soviet sky from Hitler's predators. The pilots trained by Serov will take part in the battles of the Great Patriotic War. Even the death of the hero served the aviation - the pilots sat at the helm of the unlucky plane with caution and revealed the technical flaws of the new fighter.