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76th Air Army

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Branch  Soviet Air Force
76th Air Army
Active  13th Air Army: 25 November 1942 — 10 January 1949 76th Air Army: 1949-1980 VVS LVO: 1980-1988 76th Air Army: 1988-1998
Part of  Leningrad Front Leningrad Military District
Notable commanders  General-Colonel S.D. Rybal'chenko (13th Air Army) former commander of the Far Eastern VVS and the Far East Military District during 1950-1956

The 76th Air Army was a unit of the Soviet Air Forces from 1949–1980, and again from 1988-98. As the 13th Air Army, it was originally formed on 25 November 1942 and based on air units of the Leningrad Front.


13th Air Army's initial components were the 275th Fighter Aviation Division, 276th Bomber Aviation Division, and 277th Assault Aviation Divisions.

As the 13th Air Army, the formation participated in a number of offensives in 1943-45:

  • Operation Iskra - 12–30 January 1943. 13th Air Army supported the 67th Army's attack.
  • Leningrad-Novgorod Offensive - January 1944.
  • Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive - 13th Air Army, 1,600 aircraft strong, made an attack on the German positions on 9 June 1944, a day before the main assault. Glantz also states that 13th Air Army provided pre-offensive fighter cover to discourage enemy aerial reconnaissance which might have uncovered the offensive's maskirovka measures. The offensive lasted from 10 June to 9 August 1944.
  • Narva Offensive (July 1944)
  • Tallinn Offensive
  • Moonsund Landing Operation
  • During the war, the 13th Air Army made 120,000 sorties. Ten units of the army were transformed into Guards units for their services. Twenty units were awarded decorations. 151 pilots were awarded the Heroes of the Soviet Union, and one, Pyotr Pokryshev won the award twice. The 13th Air Army had but one commander throughout World War II. Stepan Dmitrievich Rybalchenko appears initially to have been a General-Major upon his appointment as commander. He was promoted to General-Lieutenant с 07.08.43, and General-Colonel с 02.11.44.

    13th Air Army components during World War II

    Allaces.ru gives the following composition of the Air Army:

  • 273rd Fighter Gomel Order of Suvorov Air Division (25 Dec 42 - May 43)
  • 275th Fighter Air Division Pushkinskaya Krasnoznamennaya
  • 276th Bomber Gatchinskaya twice Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Air Division
  • 277th Assault Krasnoselskaya Krasnoznamennaya Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Air Division
  • 281st Assault Novgorod Red Banner Air Division - activated August 1942 from the VVS/4th Army, assigned to 13th Air Army April 1944. In May 1945, in the Lithuanian SSR, the division comprised three assault aviation regiments of Il-2s: the 448, 703rd, and 872nd. Redesignated the 281st Military Transport Aviation Division on 27 April 1946, and resubordinated to Headquarters Airborne Forces (which appears to have controlled all military transport aircraft at the time.)
  • 269th Fighter Air Division Novgorod Krasnoznamennaya (269 иад)(26 Feb 44 - Apr 44)
  • 13th Separate Reconnaissance Leningrad Red Aviation Regiment (13 орап)
  • 407th Mixed Aviation Regiment (Nov 42 - Mar 43)
  • 914-D Mixed Aviation Regiment (Nov 42 - Mar 43)
  • 915th Mixed Aviation Regiment (Nov 42 - Mar 43)
  • 987th Mixed Aviation Regiment (Nov 42 - Mar 43)
  • 5th separate Distant razveryvatelnaya Aviation Squadron (5 одраэ)(Jan 43)
  • 10th Separate Fighter Aviation Squadron (Jan 43)
  • 12th Separate Fighter Squadron (12 окраэ)(25 Mar 42 - 14 Jun 44)
  • 240th Fighter Nevelsk Red Banner Order of Suvorov Division (240 иад)(19 Apr 43 - 11 Jul 43)
  • 742nd Separate Reconnaissance Ostrovsky Red Aviation Regiment (742 орап)(Feb 44 - Apr 44)
  • 87th Separate Night Bomber Squadron «Tasuja» («The Avenger") (87 онбаэ)(Jul 44 - May 45)
  • 553rd Army Aviation Squadron single connection (553 оааэс)(Jul 44 - May 45)
  • The 119th Fighter Aviation Division was subordinated to 13th Air Army from May 1942 - Aug 1943.

    On 1 May 1945, according to BSSA on tashv.ru, the army consisted of:

  • 5th Guards Bomber Aviation Corps (5 гв. бак)
  • 4 и 5 гв. бад
  • 14th Fighter Aviation Corps (14 иак)
  • (185, 315 иад)
  • 284, 313 нбад
  • 214, 225, 305 шад,
  • 336 иад
  • 99 гв. рап
  • 187 крап
  • 699 трап
  • 97th Aviation Regiment of the Civil Air Fleet (97 ап ГВФ)
  • 87 нбаэ
  • Postwar and redesignation as 76th Air Army

    In July 1945, three Aviation Divisions joined 13th Air Army in the Leningrad Military District from 1st Air Army:

  • 276th Bomber Aviation Division
  • 277th Assault Aviation Division
  • 330th Fighter Aviation Division. 330th 'Ostravskaya' IAD was part of 13th and 76th Air Armies from 7.45 - 1.49 (13th Air Army), and January 1949 - 3.1952 (76th Air Army).
  • In January 1949, 13th Air Army was redesignated as the 76th Air Army.

    In 1988, according to Feskov et al., the 76th Air Army comprised the 67th and 722nd (Smuravyevo) Bomber Aviation Regiments, 98th Guards Independent Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment (Monchegorsk), and the 138th Composite Aviation Regiment (Levashovo). 149th Bomber Aviation Division arrived back from Szprotawa, Poland, 23.5.55 in July 1992 to supervise these three regiments, but was disbanded in 1998.

    The Air Army was disbanded on June 1, 1998, when it was merged with the 6th Independent Army of the Air Defence Forces, also headquartered in Sankt Petersburg, to form the 6th Army of Air Forces and Air Defence.


    76th Air Army Wikipedia

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