On April 30, 1942, one of IL2, Soviet attack aircraft, missed in action. The pilot – Red Army Air Force Lieutenant Mikhail Petrovich Gavrilov, deputy commander of the 2nd Squadron of 568th Attack Aviation Regiment fought from the first day of the war. He made 27 27 strike missions, destroyed at least 6 German tanks, 45 vehicles carrying troops and cargo, 10 artillery guns, 4 anti-aircraft artillery batteries, 12-15 fortifications and more than 500 Nazis. Lt Gavrilov was reported as “missing in action” and had left behind his pregnant wife and two kids. This is how it happens in the war.
Lieutenant Gavrilov and his aircraft were found in a swamp in 2010. The commander of MIA search and recovery team “Demyansk” together with comrades spent several days recovering remains of the aircraft from the bog. The pilot who remaining forever 26-year-old was found in the cockpit. Search and recovery team discovered Lt. Gavrilov was shot down by a Nazi attack fighter over the Novgorod skies, the aircraft the crashed into a swamp.
68 years after the death, the pilot’s body was found and recovered from the wreckage of aircraft. The remains were delivered to his two daughters in Lt. Gavrilov’s hometown in the city of Mikhaylovka, Volgograd region. The hero was buried with full military honors at the “Alley of Glory”. This became possible by the generous efforts of the many people who were committed to carry out the pilot to his last journey.