* Chief of the Operations Directorate-Deputy Chief of the Main Air Force Staff in 1961-1971, when K.A. Vershinin was in charge of the Air Forces.
A prominent military commander, Konstantin Vershinin devoted his life to serving his country and contributed in a big way to the development of its Air Force. Like many great men of his time he had his share of ups and downs.
Konstantin Vershinin was born June 3, 1900 into a poor peasant family. He had to work to earn a living as a young child. He reached adulthood during a crucial time in the history of the country.
Joining the Red Army in 1919, Vershinin devoted 54 years of his life to military service including 44 years in aviation. Showing an aptitude for being a commander during his first year of military service, he worked his way up to become a battalion commander in 1921. Then he attended the "Vystrel" advanced training curriculum and studied at the M.V. Frunze Academy.
As a promotable commander, Vershinin was sent to study at the N.Ye. Zhukovsky Air Force Academy in 1929. This marked the start of his aviation career. There he became an aerial observer, mastered aerodynamics, aircraft equipment and armament, tactics, and operational air force art. Upon his successful graduation from the academy, Vershinin worked for the Air Force Testing Institute but all the while he was thinking that he belonged in air force units. A short while after, he took charge of the operations section of an airborne brigade staff and finally became a squadron commander. But to fill the latter position he was required to be proficient in flying, and Vershinin went through a short-term flying course at the Kacha Air School to become a fully-fledged aviation commander who mastered nearly all the types of combat aircraft of the day.
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