Stepan Kretov

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Stepan Ivanovich Kretov
Born 25 December 1919
Malaya Nichka,
Russian SFSR
Died 19 January 1975(1975-01-19) (aged 55)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Allegiance Soviet Union Soviet Union
Service/branch Red star.svg
Soviet Air Forces 1939-1958,
Strategic Rocket Forces
Years of service 1939–1974
Rank Colonel
Unit 24th Guards Bomber Regiment
Commands held Squadron commander
Battles/wars World War II, June 1941 - May 1945
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union — 1944 Hero of the Soviet Union — 1948 Order of Lenin Order of Lenin

Stepan Ivanovich Kretov (Russian: Степан Иванович Кретов; December 25, 1919 - January 19, 1975) was a Soviet military aviator. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union on two occasions (March 13, 1944 and February 23, 1948). Colonel Kretov was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, Order of the Red Star, and numerous medals.


Stepan Kretov was born into a peasant family in Malaya Nichka in the Russian SFSR. After completing middle school in Minusinsk, he trained at an agricultural college in Kansk. From 1939-1940, Kretov completed primary airforce training at Balashov Air School.

During World War II, Kretov served in long-range bomber units, flying his first combat mission in June 1941. By the beginning of 1944, captain Kretov's citation for the title of Hero of Soviet Union listed 336 combat missions, 60 enemy airplanes destroyed on the ground and 10 in the air. On eight occasions, Kretov bailed out from damaged airplanes, including ditching into Azov Sea after a raid on Kerch in December 1943. He flew his last mission of that war over Berlin on May 2, 1945.

After postgraduate military education from 1950-1958 Kretov transferred to emerging Strategic Rocket Forces; he trained cadets in Rostov and Moscow military colleges until his retirement in 1974. He was buried at Vvedenskoye Cemetery in Moscow.


  • Russian biography: Костин, Н., "Красные звезды свободы. Степан Иванович Кретов" в издании "Люди бессмертного подвига. Очерки о дважды, трижды и четырежды Героях Советского Союза", М, 1975, Книга 1 [1].