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Low_Flyer_MkII
09-12-2005, 03:12 PM
As is often the case, I stumbled upon this remarkable tale while looking for something else and thought the good people here might be interested. Some of you may know of Alexei Maresyev, I hope you€ll agree that his story is worthy of a wider audience.
There are minor discrepancies, so have posted both versions.

€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ €¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ ¦..


€œWhile the R.A.F. had its Douglas Bader, €œThe Legless Wonder,€ so did the Soviets. Maj. A. P. Maresyev lost his legs in combat as the result of a harrowing experience. He had flown in an escort mission against an airfield near Staraya, Russia in April, 1942, which had begun successfully in that he had sent two Junkers 52 transports crashing into the dust of their own aerodrome. Then nine 109s dove to give combat. Maresyev could not escape and crashed into a pine forest.

For nineteen days he suffered excruciating pain as he dragged himself with two broken legs. Berries, a hedgehog and even ants were his food until he was reported by Russian peasants and an ambulance plane was sent to pick him up. More dead than alive, he was taken to the hospital where it was found necessary to amputate his legs.

By the summer of 1943 he had mastered his new artificial limbs and had been appointed to the elite Guards Fighter Regiment. To show that he had lost none of his skill he went to work with a passion, and downed seven enemy aircraft on the Kursk front to bring his total to fifteen victories. He was to have a final score of nineteen.€

From €˜The Allied Aces Of World War II€ by W. N. Hess. Arco Publishing, New York. 1966.

€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ €¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦.. ....


€œMARESYEV, Alexei Petrovich Major

Alexei Maresyev was born on 20 May 1916 in Kamyshin, in the Volgograd region. His initial flying was learned in an aeroclub before he joined the army in 1937. He graduated from the Bataysk Military Air College in 1940, being posted to the front in August 1941. He operated initially in the defence of Odessa, and then as a member of the 296th IAP near Krivoy Rog. In a period of two months he flew 77 sorties and claimed six victories. During the winter of the first year of the war, he then flew with the 580th IAP on the North West Front as a Leitenant. On 4 April 1942 he was shot down, and although he was able to bale out, he broke both legs. It was to be 18 days before he was found, during which time he did not see a single human being, but managed to keep himself alive, eating plants and insects. Removed to hospital close to death, surgeons were obliged to remove both his legs beneath the knee. He rapidly learnt to walk with artificial legs, and by the spring of 1943 was able to return to operational flying. He then joined the 63rd GuIAP on the Bryansk front to fly La 5s. He quickly claimed three more victories, then taking part in the fighting over Kursk, where he was able to achieve more success. By July he had been promoted Starshii Leitenant and was deputy leader of an eskadrilya. By the end of the war he had claimed 19 victories, and was then demobilized during 1946 as a Major. His wartime story was written by Boris Polevoi under the title €˜Povest o Nastoyaschem Cheloveke€ (Story of a Real Man), which subsequently formed the basis for a film. In 1983 Maresyev became First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Committee of War Veterans, with the rank of Polkovnik (Retired). His own autobiography was published as €˜Na Kurskoi Duge€ (In The Kursk Salient).

Decorations: HSU an OL (24 August 1943); second OL; ORB; OPW 1st Class. In peacetime he received the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of Friendship and the Order of the Red Banner of Industry.€

From €˜Stalin€s Falcons: The Aces of the Red Star€ by Tomas Polak with Chrostopher Shores.
Published by Grub Street, London, 1999.
ISBN 1 902304 01 2


Maresyev is mentioned in the following links

http://english.mn.ru/english/issue.php?2003-9-8

http://www.vor.ru/English/Victory/vict_27.html

Low_Flyer_MkII
09-12-2005, 03:12 PM
As is often the case, I stumbled upon this remarkable tale while looking for something else and thought the good people here might be interested. Some of you may know of Alexei Maresyev, I hope you€ll agree that his story is worthy of a wider audience.
There are minor discrepancies, so have posted both versions.

€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ €¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ ¦..


€œWhile the R.A.F. had its Douglas Bader, €œThe Legless Wonder,€ so did the Soviets. Maj. A. P. Maresyev lost his legs in combat as the result of a harrowing experience. He had flown in an escort mission against an airfield near Staraya, Russia in April, 1942, which had begun successfully in that he had sent two Junkers 52 transports crashing into the dust of their own aerodrome. Then nine 109s dove to give combat. Maresyev could not escape and crashed into a pine forest.

For nineteen days he suffered excruciating pain as he dragged himself with two broken legs. Berries, a hedgehog and even ants were his food until he was reported by Russian peasants and an ambulance plane was sent to pick him up. More dead than alive, he was taken to the hospital where it was found necessary to amputate his legs.

By the summer of 1943 he had mastered his new artificial limbs and had been appointed to the elite Guards Fighter Regiment. To show that he had lost none of his skill he went to work with a passion, and downed seven enemy aircraft on the Kursk front to bring his total to fifteen victories. He was to have a final score of nineteen.€

From €˜The Allied Aces Of World War II€ by W. N. Hess. Arco Publishing, New York. 1966.

€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€ ¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦ €¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦.. ....


€œMARESYEV, Alexei Petrovich Major

Alexei Maresyev was born on 20 May 1916 in Kamyshin, in the Volgograd region. His initial flying was learned in an aeroclub before he joined the army in 1937. He graduated from the Bataysk Military Air College in 1940, being posted to the front in August 1941. He operated initially in the defence of Odessa, and then as a member of the 296th IAP near Krivoy Rog. In a period of two months he flew 77 sorties and claimed six victories. During the winter of the first year of the war, he then flew with the 580th IAP on the North West Front as a Leitenant. On 4 April 1942 he was shot down, and although he was able to bale out, he broke both legs. It was to be 18 days before he was found, during which time he did not see a single human being, but managed to keep himself alive, eating plants and insects. Removed to hospital close to death, surgeons were obliged to remove both his legs beneath the knee. He rapidly learnt to walk with artificial legs, and by the spring of 1943 was able to return to operational flying. He then joined the 63rd GuIAP on the Bryansk front to fly La 5s. He quickly claimed three more victories, then taking part in the fighting over Kursk, where he was able to achieve more success. By July he had been promoted Starshii Leitenant and was deputy leader of an eskadrilya. By the end of the war he had claimed 19 victories, and was then demobilized during 1946 as a Major. His wartime story was written by Boris Polevoi under the title €˜Povest o Nastoyaschem Cheloveke€ (Story of a Real Man), which subsequently formed the basis for a film. In 1983 Maresyev became First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Committee of War Veterans, with the rank of Polkovnik (Retired). His own autobiography was published as €˜Na Kurskoi Duge€ (In The Kursk Salient).

Decorations: HSU an OL (24 August 1943); second OL; ORB; OPW 1st Class. In peacetime he received the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of Friendship and the Order of the Red Banner of Industry.€

From €˜Stalin€s Falcons: The Aces of the Red Star€ by Tomas Polak with Chrostopher Shores.
Published by Grub Street, London, 1999.
ISBN 1 902304 01 2


Maresyev is mentioned in the following links

http://english.mn.ru/english/issue.php?2003-9-8

http://www.vor.ru/English/Victory/vict_27.html

Kuna15
09-12-2005, 04:03 PM
I've heard of that pilot. That is really amazing story.

horseback
09-12-2005, 05:35 PM
There was a one-legged IJAAF ace as well. Lost his leg in combat with Mustangs (P-51As) over Burma in late 1943. Hit by a grossly overmodelled .50 caliber round in the leg, he managed to make it back to base, and the leg had to be removed (I got the impression that it was removed pretty high up on the thigh). Returned to the Home Islands, he managed to convince the authorities that he could manage a fighter just as the first B-29 raids were beginning.

I'm at work, so I am working from memory, but someone with the Osprey Aces of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force should be able to fill in the rest...

cheers

horseback

Enforcer572005
09-12-2005, 05:43 PM
i wonder if the movie has ever been translated or subtitled,and what its called. That might be interesting, as ive not seen any soviet WW2 movies, and im sure theres gotta be a bunch...i bet they had lots of original equipment in it.

this is why im so fascinated by the eastern front air combat.....its amazing some of the stuff that went on, like in the west, but its not seen the light of day in the west.

Xiolablu3
09-12-2005, 06:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Hit by a grossly overmodelled .50 caliber round in the leg, he managed to make it back to base, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

p1ngu666
09-12-2005, 06:51 PM
his boots filled with snow and ice, that melted and froze again etc

there was one guy who rammed 2-3 aircraft in 1 sortie with the same wing aswell http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

jensenpark
09-12-2005, 07:39 PM
Stuka ace of aces Hans Ulrich Rudel finished out the war flying with one of his legs just a stump as well.

Low_Flyer_MkII
09-13-2005, 11:42 AM
Wasn't aware of the Japanese pilot, interesting, will look out for more info'.

As for Rudel, I've heard of him...interesting similarities in devotion to opposing political causes with Maresyev, from my brief research.

Pingu, got any more info'?

geetarman
09-13-2005, 03:21 PM
So he flew with artifical legs ... big deal. Mere flesh wounds Greg Boyington flew with a constant hangover.

Low_Flyer_MkII
09-13-2005, 03:26 PM
Anyone posting stuff about getting legless is in for a slap. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

F0_Dark_P
09-13-2005, 04:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by geetarman:
So he flew with artifical legs ... big deal. Mere flesh wounds Greg Boyington flew with a constant hangover. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>ugh poor man, artifical legs pales in comparison http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

fighter_966
09-16-2005, 02:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by F0_Dark_P:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by geetarman:
So he flew with artifical legs ... big deal. Mere flesh wounds Greg Boyington flew with a constant hangover. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>ugh poor man, artifical legs pales in comparison http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I was thinking could we get artifical leg skizmo for the game??

woofiedog
09-16-2005, 10:56 PM
Excellent story http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

F19_Ob
09-17-2005, 03:27 AM
.