In this article we will discuss the life of Endel Puusepp, a successful Soviet aviator.
Endel Puusepp’s Early Life
Endel Puusepp was born on the 1st of May 1909 in Siberia, Russian Empire. His parents were from Estonia and they were settled in his birthplace due to a land reform. Puusepp’s passion for aviation was evident even when he was a little boy.
Even though his parents wanted him to become either an educator or a professional agriculturist, his mind was focused on one thing. However, at first he had to comply with his parents’ wishes and went on to study at the Estonian-Finnish Teachers’ College in Leningrad in order to become a teacher.
But his passion for aviation was too strong to let go of and after a year of studying, he left the Teachers’ College to get his flight training. He went to two different pilot’s schools and completed his education as a pilot. After his graduation, he started working as a flight instructor in one of these schools.
His Career As An Aviator
Following his education as a pilot and brief work as a flight instructor Puusepp was transferred to a newly established squadron. There, he started focusing on instrument flight and night flying.
He served his country using his skills as an aviator and took part in many operations, including one that involves finding the plane of a fellow Soviet aviator, Sigizmund Levanevsky. For this mission he had to fly to the Arctic and he was awestruck by the beauty of this place. He loved the Arctic so much that he started working there.
While still working there he heard about the German invasion of the Soviet Union and decided to take part in the World War II and to defend his country.
On the 8th of August 1941, Endel Puusepp took part in his first bombing mission. The mission was successful but the aircraft was seriously damaged. Because of the damage, an emergency landing was necessary. So, Puusepp landed in Estonia which was then occupied by the enemy. However, he managed to find his way back to the territory controlled by the Soviets.
During the war he kept on going successful bombing missions. At some point, a group of representatives from Soviet Union had to fly to the United States for negotiations. It was a very dangerous mission to fly them there and it involved flying over the territory controlled by the enemy. Due to his skills as an aviator Puusepp was picked for this mission.
On the 29th of May 1942 Puusepp managed to successfully complete the operation and fly the Soviet delegation to Washington. After the negotiations took place, he also managed to fly back home. For this success, he was given the honorary title: Hero of the Soviet Union.
Throughout his career as an aviator Puusepp received many awards including the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner and more.
Puusepp’s Life After World War II
When the war was finally over, Puusepp went to live in Tallinn. There he worked in important positions within the government.
On the 18th of June 1996, Endel Puusepp died at the age of 86.
Anon. (n.d.), Endel Puusepp, Wikipedia, Retrieved 27 August 2021
Anon. (n.d.), Endel Puusepp, Military Wiki, Retrieved 27 August 2021