Hero of the Soviet Union squadron commander of the 4th Guards Aviation Regiment Guard Senior lieutenant Gennady Tsokolayev in the cockpit of his I-16 fighter “board 21-red.” On the fuselage the sign “Guards” is marked, the 4th Guards Air Regiment was armed with I-16 fighters until March 1943.
Tsokolaev Gennady Dmitrievich – a participant in the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940, a participant in the Great Patriotic War from the first days. By April 1942, the Guard Senior Lieutenant G.D. Tsokolayev made 309 sorties, in 38 air battles personally 6 and in the group of 11 enemy planes were shot down. June 14, 1942 “for exemplary execution of combat missions of the command on the front of the struggle against the German-fascist invaders and shown with courage and heroism” Tsokolayev was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (No. 651). In total for the war years G.D. Tsokolayev made more than 500 successful sorties, destroyed 10 boats with crews in the Baltic Sea, shot down 26 enemy aircraft in air battles, conducted 82 reconnaissances in the enemy’s rear area. In 1944, doctors forbade the pilot to repeatedly fly in battle to fly.