Lieutenant Aleksey Nikolaevich Katrich was an iconic pilot throughout the Soviet Union. Participating in WWII from the beginning to the end. Katrich flew over 250 missions. Katrich found himself in numerous dogfights, escort missions, and interception missions. Many of his escort missions involved high value targets that the Soviet Union classified as irreplaceable. Only a handful of these high value officials included: Nikita Khrushchev, Andrew Zhdanov, and Georgy Zhukov. Katrich was awarded “Hero of the Soviet Union” for a daring interception mission that he had completed on the 11th of August, 1941. Katrich was partnered with Lieutenant MI Medvedev, who were both flying MiG-3s(standard interceptor/fighter aircraft used by the Soviet Union). On their way to intercept the Dornier Do-215(Nazi bomber) Lieutenant Medvedev’s engines started to fail and he was forced to head back to base. Katrich pushed on his own, reaching altitudes as high as 9,000m, a dangerous attitude for the MiG-3 where speed and maneuverability are lost while only stealth is gained. Luckily Katrich spotted the bomber without being spotted himself. He started his attack and after his second strafe killed the enemy aircraft’s gunner and heavily damaged one of the engines. Unfortunately, after his second burst of fire Katrich’s machine-gun jammed and became useless. In order to bring down the enemy bomber and complete his mission decided to ram the bomber with his propellers. He effectively damaged the keel and tail stabilizer and forced the bomber to crash into the ground. Katrich completed the mission and became the first pilot to successfully ram an enemy at high altitudes.
Post by Max Chervinsky