The first twice Hero Soviet Union, Major Sergei Ivanovich Gritsevets – most productive Soviet air pilot in late thirties, according to official figures, shot down 42 enemy aircraft.
Sergei Gritsevets is мember Civil War in Spain from June to October 1938 as commander of a fighter aviation squadron. For 116 days spent on Spanish soil, captain Sergei Gritsevets had to participate in 57 air battles, having scored 30 personal victories on official data and 7 in the group (according to other data, 88 combat sorties, 42 air battles, 7 downed personally enemy planes on Captain Gritsevets account ). On February 22, 1939, “for exemplary fulfillment of Government’s special tasks for strengthening defense power Soviet Union and for showing heroism,” Major Gritsevets was awarded the title Hero Soviet Union with the award to Order Lenin.
Sergei Gritsevets is member of fighting on Khalkhin-Gol River from June to August 1939 as commander a separate aviation group of I-153 fighters. During 69 days of fighting, Major Gritsevets carried out 138 successful sorties, knocked down 12 enemy aircraft and made a marvelous bold adventure of his courage: he rescued the commander of the 70th Aviation Fighter Regiment, Major V. Zabaluev, shot down by the Japanese. Before the eyes the Japanese soldiers, seventy kilometers behind front line, Major Gritsevets landed in steppe, loaded Major Zabaluev into his I-16 and successfully delivered him to airfield. August 29, 1939 “for exemplary performance of combat missions and outstanding heroism, manifested in performance of combat missions” Sergei Gritsevets awarded the title twice Hero Soviet Union.
September 16, 1939, Major Gritsevets Sergei was killed in an airplane crash, when another fighter crashed into his plane on runway.