Vitaly Popkov (1922-2010) was a Soviet ace pilot, participant in the Great Patriotic War, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Lieutenant General of Aviation.
Vitaly Popkov was born on May 1, 1922, in Moscow. He finished the Krasnopresnensky Aero Club in 1940, and later graduated from the Chuguev military aviation pilot school in 1941 and from the Bataysk military aviation pilot school in 1942. From March to May of 1942, he underwent additional training in the 4th Reserve Aviation Regiment of the 3rd Air Brigade of the Military Air Forces of the Moscow Military District (Gorky). Since May of 1942, Popkov was in the acting army at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. He participated in the battles for Rzhev and Stalingrad, as well as in many offensive operations in the composition of the 5th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment at the Kalinin, South-Western, 1st and 3rd Ukrainian fronts.
By May of 1945, Popkov performed 358 sorties, conducted 85 air battles, and himself shot down 40 German airplanes. During the war, he was wounded twice; after one of his first air battles, he had to make a forced landing, and in the battle on August 3, 1942, he was shot down and escaped by parachute. He was at war on Russian fighters LaGG-3, La-5 and La-7. Popkov participated in the Victory Parade of June 24, 1945, in Moscow. After the War, he continued the aviation service in the Military Air Forces. He aviated jet fighters until 1979.
The envelope with a commemorative stamp provides an image of the logotype of the celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945; the main image features fighter pilot Vitaly Popkov and La-7 aircraft.
In addition to the issue of the envelope with a commemorative stamp, JSC Marka produced a special cancel for Moscow.
Photo: V. Stepanenko/TASS.
Design Artist: A. Moskovets.
Quantity: 500 thousand envelopes.