Burned, but saved the children: about the unprecedented feat of pilot Alexander MamkinBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/burned-but-saved-the-children-about-the-unprecedented-feat-of-pilot-alexander-mamkin
The name of Alexander p. Mamkin has gone down in history thanks to his exploits during the great Patriotic war. One of them is the salvation of Polotsk pupils of orphanage No. 1, which the Germans planned to use as blood donors.
The brave pilot managed to evacuate the children into Soviet territory, but did it at the cost of his own life...
The event, which will be discussed in this article occurred in the winter of 1943-44, when the Germans took brutal decision to use children from Polotsk to orphanage No. 1 in as blood donors for wounded German soldiers. It is easy to guess that during the great Patriotic war, the children in the orphanage had hard times — they lacked food, many children were malnourished and had health problems. But the Germans are not stopped — they needed blood.
Pilot Alexander Mamkin
Then the orphanage Director Michael S. of Trinko took a risky step: male personally addressed to mayor with the request to briefly delay sending the children to Germany. He said that in children's organisms too little iron and vitamins and suggested to start to feed and treat them, and then used as donors. The Germans agreed with the arguments of the Director and in the fall of 1943 was transferred to children and caregivers in the village Belcice, near Polotsk.
At the new place Michael S. contacted the guerrillas group "Fearless" and described the situation to them. Then began a long and thorough preparation. Orphans had to casually bring in a liberated partisan area and then to transport on the plane on Soviet territory.
Partisans during WWII
And so the night of 19 February 1944, 154 children's home, 38 educators and members of the underground group "Fearless" with their families and partisans imeni Shchorsa came from the villages.
The eldest carried the youngest on his hands, wrapped them in warm clothes. Near the village were on duty partisans if the Germans suddenly decide to start chasing. All knew the dangers and was afraid to make the slightest sound. Even children three or four years, kept complete silence, they knew what awaits them if the Nazis discover the plan.
In the forest, the fugitives waited for the sledge train with three dozen carts. They went to the village of Elleniki, which was in the area of control of the guerrilla unit named Shchorsa. There are kids fed, warmed, and soon transported to the village of Slovenia.
The Aircraft P-5
In the spring of 1944 the Germans began an offensive against partisan detachments of Polotsk-Lepel zone. In the forests was in full swing fierce fighting, so the children decided to evacuate on the "mainland" aircraft. The task instructed the pilots of the 105th guards aviation regiment Nikolay Zhukov, Dmitry Kuznetsov and Alexander Mamkin. Some days the planes were taken in small groups of children and educators. During the night of 11 April, Lieutenant Mommy will make its ninth flight, which will be his last.
In a small plane P-5 placed of ten children, two wounded partisans and a teacher of orphans Valentina Latko. To Board fit as many people as possible to the wings of the aircraft attached special capsules-cradle. The pilots were flying without navigators saved a spot for passengers.
Orphans in the plane of the Lieutenant Mommy
It turned out that the plane flew a German fighter. It happened already when approaching the front line. The pilot was wounded, but he did not show it, followed by passengers and continued to operate the aircraft.
Lieutenant Mommy and baby
Soon the flames from a burning aircraft reached the cockpit: from high temperature its flight glasses literally stuck to the skin. Burning clothes, headset, and smoke and fire almost no visible land. By some miracle, Mommy still managed to land the plane near the Soviet troops. Alexander even managed to get out of the cab. He said, "the Children are alive?" These were the last words before he lost consciousness...
Saved by Alexander Mommy's children at the airport
When the group was discovered, Mommy sent a private plane in which he was taken to a military hospital. Doctors were unable to explain how a person in such a serious condition could control the aircraft and successfully to put it: on the feet of men virtually no skin left, glasses paplavinis to face, a large part of the body suffered from burns...
17 April 1944 the hero left this world, having to evacuate during the operation "Asterisk" 90 children, caregivers and wounded partisans. All the years of his life Alexander p. Mamkin made more than 70 night flights, brought the partisans of the 20 tons of cargo and evacuated from the combat zone nearly 300 wounded soldiers.
Farewell to Alexander Mamkin
Alexander p. Mamkin was buried in the village Malloc near the town of Velizh in the Smolensk region. In 1970-e years, his remains were solemnly reburied at the military memorial cemetery "According to the mountain".
For courage and heroism Mommy was awarded the Order of Patriotic war I degree, Order of the red banner, the Medal "Partisan of the Patriotic war" of I degree. Fearless heroism during rescue operations "Asterisk" hero was posthumously promoted to the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union. But for unknown reasons, the title Character, any awards he has not been.