Boris Mikhailovich Alekseyev

Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class nr. 43720 was posthumously awarded by Order of the 7th Fighter Corps of May 12, 1944 to 21-year-old Junior Lieutenant Boris Mikhailovich Alekseyev, fighter pilot in the 9th Fighter Regiment, 304th Fighter Division, 7th Fighter Corps, 5th Air Army, 2nd Ukrainian Front.

Boris Mikhailovich Alekseyev
January 15, 1923 - January 15, 1944





Junior Lieutenant

April 17, 1943

Boris Mikhailovich Alekseyev was born in January 15, 1923 in the Mordovian Autonomous Republic, between Moscow and Samara on the Volga. He enlisted in the city of Kolomna, southeast of Moscow, on June 25, 1941, three days after the German invasion. Alekseyev enrolled at the noted Kacha Military Aviation School to be trained as a fighter pilot. The year before, Stalin’s son Vasily had earned his wings at this school. Originally located at the city of Kacha, just north of Sevastopol on the Crimea’s southeastern shoreline, the school was trasnsferred to Krasny Kut, southeast of Saratov, in 1941 in the face of the German advance. Alekseyev took the military oath in July 1941 and graduated in July 1942 with the rank of Sergeant.

Following his graduation, Alekseyev was assigned to the 6th Reserve Aviation Brigade in the city of Ivanovo, which had been formed in May 1942. In this brigade pilots were trained to master foreign fighter aircraft types in service with the Soviet air forces. The pilots were not only trained in taking off and landing, but also in attacking ground and aerial targets and flying singly and in formation. Foreign aircraft that were transported to ports like Murmansk and Arkhangelsk under the Lend-Lease Act were transferred in their wooden crates by railroad to Ivanovo, where they were assembled and tested, to be then delivered to the frontline units.

In November 1942 Alekseyev was assigned to the 9th Fighter Regiment, which was part of the 2nd Special Purpose Air Division. This special unit was responsible for transporting Party and Government officials, generals and marshals, dropping parachute troops behind enemy lines, supplying ammunition, fuel, and medical supplies to partisans, and transporting various kinds of cargo. The 9th Fighter Regiment, flying British-made Hurricane fighters, escorted Government aircraft. The regiment was based at Moscow’s Central Aerodrome and later Tushino Aerodrome.

In late March, the 9th Fighter Regiment was transferred to the 22nd Reserve Fighter Regiment, again in Ivanovo, to be trained to fly yet another type of aircraft. This time Alekseyev learned to fly the American Bell P-39 Airacobra. On April 17, 1943 Alekseyev was promoted to Junior Lieutenant and on August 12 his regiment was placed under the newly organized 304th Fighter Division, part of the equally new 7th Fighter Corps. The 9th Fighter Regiment was equipped with 32 Airacobras. Based at Usman, northeast of Voronezh, the regiment turned out to not be fully proficient yet and continued training until early October 1943.

On October 6, the 7th Fighter Corps was ready for battle and started combat operations as part of the 5th Air Army, deployed on the Steppe Front, renamed 2nd Ukrainian Front in late October. At the time the regiment operated from an airfield at Poltava. Alekseyev’s regiment was primarily tasked with supporting ground troops, but also escorted dive bombers and reconnoitered enemy positions. By the end of the year, the regiment had shot down 63 enemy aircraft. Alekseyev was responsible for four of them: he downed his first enemy plane, a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter, on October 16 on the western bank of the Dnieper. Three days later, just west of Zaporozhe, Alekseyev shot down a Heinkel He 111 bomber. In late November, Alekseyev downed two Messerschmitt Bf 109s in the Cherkassy area.

In early 1944, Alekseyev’s successes continued. He shot down another Heinkel 111 northeast of Kirovograd on January 7, making him an ace. The next day, as General Konev’s 2nd Ukrainian Front liberated Kirovograd, Alekseyev downed another Messerschmitt Bf 109. On the 15th, Konev ordered three of his armies to force a breakthrough and his air forces to offer close air support. The 7th Fighter Corps ordered five squadrons of Airacobras to take off. One of them, a flight of four Airacobra’s from the 9th Fighter Regiment, took off to attack a target northwest of Kirovograd. The four pilots – Leonov, Fanin, Poluyanov, and Alekseyev – were in their early twenties, but all were experienced aviators: together they had accumulated 30 kills and three of them were aces.

This sortie, Alekseyev’s 46th, was to be his last. At Bolshaya Viska, not far from their target, the formation was met by 30 Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers, escorted by 12 Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters from Jagdgeschwader 52. Resolutely the Soviet pilots engaged, in spite of the enemy’s numerical superiority. The Soviet pilots focussed on the Stuka’s; Leonov and Alekseyev each shot down two of them, bringing Alekseyev’s total number of kills to eight. By the time they had completed their attack, the four aircraft had downed seven of the enemy. But as they turned back, the Soviet pilots were attacked by the Messerschmitts. Alekseyev was hit, his Airacobra caught fire, and it tumbled down in flames. Alekseyev crashed with his aircraft in the fields east of Bolshaya Viska. It was his 21st birthday. The heavy fighting claimed many lives, and in just two days’ time the 9th Fighter Regiment lost five of its pilots. Leonov was killed during a dogfight on the 16th and crashed in the same area as Alekseyev the day before.

Over the course of just four months on the front line, Alekseyev had completed 45 combat missions, he had been involved in ten dog fights, and he had shot down eight enemy aircraft: two Messerschmitt Bf 109s, two Focke-Wulf Fw 190s, two Heinkel He 111s, and two Junkers Ju 87s. Three months after his death, Alekseyev’s regimental commander nominated him for a posthumous Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class. The award was approved and formally awarded on May 12, 1944. It was Alekseyev’s only decoration. Since Alekseyev was not married, the OPW1 was dispatched to his mother, Pelagea, who lived in the city of Yegoryevsk, southeast of Moscow.

Record card of an award recipient

Last name: Alekseyev
First name: Boris
Patronymic: Mikhailovich
Rank: Junior Lieutenant
Position and unit: Pilot in the 9th Fighter Regiment, 304th Fighter Division

[Stamped: Died]


Awarded which order or medal

Date of the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR

Awarded for what

Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class [citation]

Order nr. 014/N of May 12, 1944

For the fighting with the German invaders


[Stamped: Award issued]


Home address: 7th Fighter Corps, 2nd Ukrainian Front. City of Yegoryevsk, Moscow Oblast

Biographical particulars

1. Year of birth: 1923
2. Place of birth:
3. Party membership and period: Komsomol member
4. Nationality: Russian
5. Period of service in the Red Army:
6. Award documents are located in file nr.:

Awards issued:

Order or medal

Date of issue

Place of issue

Number of the order or medal

Number of the award document


Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class

May 30, 1944



Temporary certificate nr. B-306544


Other remarks:

Award sheet

All fields to be filled out fully

1. Last name, first name, and patronymic: Alekseyev, Boris Mikhailovich
2. Rank: Junior Lieutenant
3. Position and unit: Pilot in the 9th Fighter Regiment, 304th Cherkassy Fighter Division

Nominated for: Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class (posthumously)

4. Year of birth: 1923
5. Nationality: Russian
6. Party affiliation: Komsomol member since 1941
7. Participation in the Civil War, the subsequent combat actions to defend the USSR, and the Patriotic War (where and when): In the Patriotic War from November 1942 to June 20, 1943 and from August 10, 1943 to January 15, 1944
8. Wounds and contusions received during the Patriotic War: Died on January 15, 1944
9. Since when in the Red Army: Since 1941
10. Drafted by which military commissariat: Military Commissariat of the Kolomna Raion, Moscow Oblast
11. Previous awards (for which achievements): No
12. Permanent home address of the prospective awardee and his family's address: _______________

Brief, concrete description of his feat of arms or achievements:

During the combat operations in the sector of the 2nd Ukrainian Front between October 6, 1943 and January 15, 1944, he flew 45 successful combat sorties, namely 34 sorties covering ground troops, 9 sorties escorting Pe-2 bombers, and 2 sorties reconnoitering enemy forces. He was involved in 10 aerial battles, during which he personally shot down 8 German aircraft: 2 Me 109s, 2 Fw 190s, 2 He 111s, and 2 Ju 87s.

On October 16, 1943, while covering ground troops near Mishurin Rog, he downed one enemy Fw 190 aircraft, which crashed in the Mishurin Rog area, north of Osinovatka, which has been confirmed by ground troops.

On October 19, 1943, while covering ground troops near Popelnastoye, he shot down an enemy He 111 aircraft, which crashed near Popovka, which has been confirmed by two pilots, Senior Lieutenant Sapronov and Guards Lieutenant Colonel Timofeyev.

On November 29, 1943, while escorting Pe-2 bombers toward the village of Znamenka, he shot down an enemy Me 109 aircraft, which crashed 1 kilometer northwest of the village of Dyanov, which has been confirmed by two pilots, Guards Lieutenant Shikunov and Guards Junior Lieutenant Vasilyev.

On November 30, 1943, while covering ground troops near Cherkassy, he shot down an enemy Fw 190 aircraft, which crashed near the village of Yurchikha, which has been confirmed by two pilots, Junior Lieutenants Lepelenko and Fanin.

On January 7, 1944, while covering ground troops near the city of Kirovograd, he shot down an enemy He 111 aircraft, which crashed in the area northwest of Kirovograd, which has been confirmed by residents of the village of Berezhinka (Dyadyura and Makovoi).

On January 8, 1944, while covering ground troops near Kirovograd, he shot down an enemy Me 109 aircraft, which crashed 1 kilometer southwest of the village of Chernyakovka, which has been confirmed by two pilots, Guards Senior Lieutenant Leonov and Junior Lieutenant Prigonnikov.

January 15, 1944 saw Junior Lieutenant Alekseyev’s final sortie. Covering ground troops near Gruznoye and Kirillovka, our flight, consisting of four P-39 aircraft led by Guards Senior Lieutenant Leonov, encountered 30 Ju 87s near the target, escorted by 12 Me 109s. They engaged in an arduous battle with the numerically superior enemy forces. During the engagement the formation shot down 7 German aircraft. Junior Lieutenant Alekseyev personally downed 2 Ju 87s, which crashed 2-3 kilometers southwest of Velyka Vyska, which has been confirmed by men of the Trophy Team of the 214th Kremenchug Division.

While withdrawing from an attack on a number of Ju 87 aircraft, our formation was attacked by the escorting enemy Me 109 fighters. During the enemy fighter attack Junior Lieutenant Alekseyev was shot down. His aircraft crashed down in flames in the area northwest of Blagodatnoye.

Conclusion: For personally shooting down 8 enemy aircraft – 2 Me 109s, 2 Fw 190s, 2 He 111s, and 2 Ju 87s –, for flying 56 successful combat sorties, and for displaying bravery and courage in the process, he deserves to be awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class posthumously.

Commanding officer of the 9th Fighter Regiment
Guards Lieutenant Colonel [signed] /Timofeyev/
April 13, 1944

Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class nr. 43720, obverse and reverse

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A Bell P-39 Airacobra flown in Ukraine in 1944 by a 7th Fighter Corps pilot

Velyka Vyska, the area where Boris Alekseyev crashed

Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class nr. 43720, obverse

Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class nr. 43720, reverse

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