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1st Air Army

1st Air Army
Active May 10, 1942—January 10, 1949
July 1, 1957-1998
Country Soviet Union
Branch Air Force
Type Air Army
Size Several
Part of Western Front[1][2]
3rd Belarusian Front
Engagements Battles of Rzhev
Battle of Kursk
Battle of Smolensk
Battle of Memel
Operation Bagration
East Prussian Offensive
T. F. Kucevalov (May — June 1942)
S. А. Khudyakov (June 1942 — May 1943)
М. М. Gromov (May 1943 — July 1944)
T. T. Khryukin (July 1944 — May 1945)[3][4]

The 1st Air Army (Russian: 1-я воздушная армия) was an Air Army in the Soviet Air Force which served during World War II. It was formed on May 10, 1942 within the Soviet Western Front, and renamed the 26th Air Army on January 10, 1949 in the Belorussian Military District.[5]

After the war, it was reformed on July 1, 1957, and was active until 1998.[6]

Second World War

When it was formed, the 1st Air Army was made up of two fighter aviation divisions (with four fighter aviation regiments each), two mixed aviation divisions (with two fighter aviation regiments, two assault aviation regiments and one bombing regiment each) a training aviation regiment, a long-range reconnaissance aviation regiment, a communications squadron, and a night close-range bombing aviation regiment.

Structure 1942

May 10, 1942:

  • 201st Fighter Aviation Division
  • 202nd Fighter Aviation Division
  • 203rd Fighter Aviation Division
  • 214th Assault Aviation Division
  • 215th Mixed Aviation Division

May 23, 1942:[7]

  • 201st Fighter Aviation Division
  • 202nd Fighter Aviation Division
  • 203rd Fighter Aviation Division
  • 234th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 235th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 204th Bomber Aviation Division
  • 213th Night Bomber Aviation Division
  • 215th Mixed Aviation Division
  • 214th Assault Aviation Division
  • 224th Assault Aviation Division
  • 231st Assault Aviation Division
  • 232nd Assault Aviation Division
  • 233rd Assault Aviation Division

In March 1943, the Air Army also included the French

  1. ^ Western Front. 1st Air Army (in Russian)
  2. ^ 1st Air Army. (in Russian)
  3. ^ Commanders of the Soviet Air Force 1942—1945 (in Russian)
  4. ^ a b c 1st Air Army Russian Ministry of Defense (in Russian)
  5. ^ Belarusian Ministry of Defence
  6. ^
  7. ^ [1] (in Russian)
  8. ^ Michael Holm, 26th Air Army, accessed August 2011
  9. ^ 17 of them received this title twice
  10. ^ Commanders of the Soviet Air Force 1941—1945 (in Russian)
  11. ^ Vad777,
  12. ^
  13. ^ Michael Holm, 18th Guards Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment, accessed 2012.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Michael Holm, 523rd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment, accessed November 2012.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^


The 1st Air Army was merged with the 11th Air Defence Army in 1998 to form the 11th Air Force and Air Defence Army.

In 1989 the 1st Air Army disbanded two air division headquarters, so a considerable number of combat aviation regiments became directly subordinated to the Air Army HQ and most of them were disbanded.

  • HQ 1st Air Army (Khabarovsk)
    • 257th Mixed Aviation Regiment (Khabarovsk): transport airplanes and helicopters
  • 33rd "Hinganskaya" Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division (Pereyaslavka):
    • 300th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment: MiG-27(Pereyaslavka-2, Khabarovsk Kray, 70 km south of Khabarovsk). Disbanded November 1989.[12]
    • 302nd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment: (Pereyaslavka): Су-17М4. Reequipped with Su-24 1990 and redesignated a Bomber Aviation Regiment.
  • 303rd "Smolenskaya" Red Banner Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division (Ussuriisk, Primorsky Krai)
    • 18th "Vitebskiy" Guards twice Red Banner Order Recipient, Order of Suvorov Recipient Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Galenki, 30 km north-west of Ussuriisk): MiG-27[13]
    • 224th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Novoshakhtinsky under Ussuri): MiG-27. Disbanded 1992.[14]
    • 523rd "Orshanskiy" Red Banner, Suvorov and Kutuzov Orders Recipient Fighter-Bomber Regiment (Vozdvizhenka under Ussuri): Su-17МЗ, М4.[15] Disbanded October 1994.
  • Regiments reporting directly to Army HQ included:
  • 277th "Mlavsky" Red Banner Bomber Aviation Regiment (Khurba under Komsomolsk-on-Amur): Su-24. (Holm: 83rd Bomber Aviation Division)[16]
  • 26th Guards Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (10th Sector/10-й участок, under Komsomolsk-on-Amur): Su-17.
  • 299th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Birofeld, Jewish Autonomous Oblast): Su-17.
  • 293rd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Vozzhaevka, Belogarsky District Amur Oblast): Su-17.
  • [41st?] Fighter Aviation Regiment (Orlovka, Amur Oblast): MiG-29. (Holm says this was the 404th, disbanded 2000-2001 with awards and banners to the 23 IAP.)[17]
  • 216th Fighter Aviation Regiment (Kalinovka, near Khabarovsk): Su-27. (disbanded May 1998)[18]
  • 187th Attack Aviation Regiment (Chernigovka, Primorsky Krai under g.Sibirtsevo): Su-25.
  • 799th Separate Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment (Varfolomeyevka (village), Primorsky Krai, in the district of Arseniev): Su-24.[19]

The army's order of battle c.1988 according to Vad777 was:[11]

After the end of the war, the army was reformed within the Soviet Air Forces and served in the Far Eastern Military District until 1998.


  • Major General (of Aviation) Aleksandr S. Pronin (5 May 1942 — 9 August 1944)
  • Major General (of Aviation) Ivan M. Belov (12 February 1945 — May 1945)[4]

Chiefs of Staff:

Source:[10] Commanders:

Command structure

Throughout the war, the 1st Air Army made 290,000 sorties. Five of the Air Army's formations where reorganized as "Guards Units", 50 formations were given "honourable titles", 44 formations received various awards, 145 pilots and navigators received the title "Hero of the Soviet Union"[9] and over 17,000 of its servicemen were also given various medals and decorations.

  • 129th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 130th Fighter Aviation Division (Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast)
  • 303rd Fighter Aviation Division (Elblag, Poland)
  • 330th Fighter Aviation Division
  • 1st Guards Assault Aviation Division (Ketrzyn, Poland)
  • 182nd Assault Aviation Division
  • 277th Assault Aviation Division (Yudino, Kaliningrad Oblast)
  • 311th Assault Aviation Division
  • 6th Guards Bomber Aviation Division (Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast) (later a division of Military Transport Aviation)
  • 213th Night-Bomber Aviation Division (Paslek, Poland)
  • 276th Bomber Aviation Division
  • 1st Free French ('Normandie-Niemen') Fighter Aviation Regiment (Mamonovo, Kaliningrad Oblast)
  • 406th Night-Bomber Aviation Regiment
  • 10th independent Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment
  • 90th independent Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment
  • 142nd Transport Aviation Regiment
  • 117th independent Artillery Correction Regiment
  • 151st independent Artillery Correction Regiment
  • 1st Medical Aviation Regiment
  • 354th independent Communications Aviation Regiment
  • 1st independent Agitation Aviation Squadron
  • 33rd independent Communications Aviation Squadron
  • 203rd independent Communication Aviation Squadron

In May 1945, the 1st Air Army comprised the:[8]

offensive operations. East Prussian and Memel, Belarusian, Smolensk, Rzhev-Vyazma, Oryol, Rzhev-Sychevka. The Air Army later participated in the Rzhev and Gzhatsk, Yukhnov In 1942, the 1st Air Army fought alongside the troops of the Western Front, supporting them near [4]

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