Yona (Lenya) Iosifovich Tsyganovsky was born on September 1, 1924, in Kyiv, Ukraine. In September 1942, he was drafted and sent to the Tbilisi Artillery School. In October 1943, Tsyganovsky was assigned to the 1st Ukrainian Front as the head of reconnaissance of an anti-tank division. He went on to fight on the Karelian and 3rd Baltic Fronts, and stormed Konigsberg. In 1945 Tsyganovsky participated in the war with Japan. He was awarded the Orders of the Red Star and the Red Banner, and the medal "For the Capture of Konigsberg." After demobilization, he graduated from the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and worked as chief designer and chief engineer of a factory. He emigrated to the US in 1997. The interview was recorded in Los Angeles in 2009.


The honor of receiving the squadron’s first award.

The apprehension during an artillery barrage and the relief of combat.

The confidence of a young soldier and the miracle of survival.