Memorial events in honor of WW2 veteran Capt Nikolai Krustalev took place in Malo-Sdovoye, Sevastopol region; 70 years ago Khrustalev died after the first “fire ram” in Black Sea Fleet (BSF) naval aviation’s history.
On Nov 5, 1941 twenty airplanes of 11-th air wing took off Baidary airfield to attack German troops concentrated at the Belbek River’s valley. One of two groups was led by Capt Nikolai Khrustalev. As a result of non-equal air battle, his plane was shot down. The pilot had a chance to eject, but the area was occupied and his landing would mean captivity. He took a hard nosedive and directed his aircraft at crowds of enemy vehicles.
Representatives of BSF command, veterans, BSF aviators and Khrustalev’s relatives took part in the memorial activities.
An orthodox litia was served for the fallen hero.
Participants laid wreath at the hero’s grave.
Naval Today Staff, November 16, 2011