Iosif Samuilovich Volkov was born on May 20, 1919, in Luhansk, Ukraine. After the 7th grade, Volkov enrolled in a vocational school; at the age of 16 he began working at a military plant. In 1937 he was drafted and sent to the Volsk Aviation Military School, from which he graduated with the rank of lieutenant technician. During WWII, Volkov participated in the defense of Stalingrad, servicing MiG-1 and Yak-1 aircrafts. After Stalingrad, he served as an instructor, training pilots for flights on high-speed planes. After demobilization in 1960, he lived in Odesa and worked at a plant specializing in repair of military aircraft. In 1988, he emigrated to the U.S. The interview was recorded in Los Angeles on March 10, 2009.  

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Repelling German air attacks in Stalingrad.