Investigative Committee turn over remains of pilot killed in Great Patriotic War in Samara Region to be buried

An Ilyushin IL-2 attack plane, made in 1942, was found some 2 meters under the ground on 13 April 2016, 2 km from the settlement of Pridorozhnoye, Volzhsky District, Samara Region during digging in an area meant for the construction of a housing estate. A pilot’s skeleton was found in the plane. The Samara Region Office of the RF Investigative Committee has conducted a preliminary investigation into the fact.

Investigators found some intact documents in the plane: there was a telegram addressed to Ivan Cherkassky and dated 17 June 1942 and a route sheet in the pilot’s breast pocket. The plane was travelling from Bezymyanka to Kryazh. Based on the found documents, investigators were able to identify the pilot as Junior Lieutenant Ivan M. Cherkassky born in 1918 in the settlement of Brusovka, Voroshilovgrad Region, a pilot of the 7th separate ferry air squadron of the 1st reserve air brigade. On 20 December 1942, Cherkassky was killed while ferrying the Il-2 from plant No 18 to the airfield in Kryazh.

At the initiative of the Samara Region Office of the Investigative Committee, the body lied in state on 31 August 2016 on the square of the monument to the soldiers killed in the Great Patriotic War in Brothers Glubokovykh Street in the settlement of Lopatino, Volzhsky District, Samara Region. The ceremony was attended by war veterans, representatives of the regional government and duma, NGOs, military patriotic and veterans’ organizations, search squads of Samara Region. Battle planes flew over the square and the guards of honor saluted the pilot with guns.

On 3 September 2016, the pilot’s remains were resigned to the earth in the settlement of Lozovskoye, Luhansk Region. Before the remains were buried a rally in honor of the hero was held on the square in front of the settlement recreation center. It was attended by the head of the district administration, chairman of the territorial office of the NGO Peace in Luhansk Region Aleksandr Deineka, deputy of the People’s Council of the Luhansk People’s Republic Svetlana Gizai, activists of the children and youth organization Young Guard of Peas in Luhansk Region organization, representatives of the Samara branch of The Search Movement in Russia, international NGO Officers of Russia, search movement The Memory of Donbass, Lt. Cherkassky’s relatives, school students, young people and general public.

On behalf of the family, the niece of pilot Cherkassky Lyudmila Dubovik thanked all who had taken part in the search operation for their work and opportunity to bury the hero’s remains. The pilot’s relatives got his personal items and documents, flag of the RF Air Force, and a death certificate issued more than 70 years ago.