Rudenko, Serhi Gnatovich, born 20-10-1904, in Korop, Russian Empire, a shoemaker’s son, volunteered into the Red Army in 1923. At 1926 he completed his studies in the Leningrad Military Theoretical Flight School and graduated from the Crimea Military Flight Academy a year later. At 1928 he joined the Communist Party. From 1932, Rudenko commanded a reconnaissance squadron. At 1936 he matriculated from the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy, and was soon appointed commander of the 118th Bomber Brigade. On January 1941, Rudenko was put in charge of the 31st Air Division of the Western Special Military District, an office he held when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
On November 1941 he was transferred to command the Air Forces of the 20th Army, and on December he was assigned to supervise the Air Forces of the 61st Army.
On January the following year, Rudenko was made chief of the air component in the Kalinin Front. From April to June he headed the 1st Air Operations Group at the Stavka, and then posted as deputy commander of the air component in the Southwestern Front. On October 1942, Rudenko assumed command over the 16th Air Army. Under his leadership, the Army participated in the battles of Stalingrad, Kursk, Belorussia, Poland, Pomerania and Berlin – as part of the air component in the Stalingrad, Don, Central and Belorussian (later, 1st Belorussian) Fronts.
On 11-05-1944 Rudenko was promoted to Colonel-General. On 19 August that year, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (Medal no. 3087) .
Rudenko remained in charge of the 16th Army until February 1947, when he was appointed a commander of an airborne corps. From December 1948, Rudenko commanded the Soviet Airborne Troops. On September 1949, he became Chief of Staff and First Deputy to the Supreme Commander of the Air Force. At 11-03-1955, he received his final promotion to Marshal of the Aviation. From May 1968 to August 1973, Rudenko headed the Gagarin Military Academy and then became an inspector in the Ministry of Defense.
Death and burial ground of Rudenko, Serhi Gnatovich.
He was also a deputy in the 2nd and 6th Convocations of the Supreme Soviet, and candidate member of the Central Committee in the years 1961-66.
Rudenko died on 10-07-1990, age 85 in Moscow, Soviet Union and was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery, My friend Radek Hroch visited the cemetery and made many grave photo’s for me, with great thanks.