GROMOV, Mikhail Mikhailovich (1899-1985 ) , Soviet Pilot, Air Force Colonel-General. The son of a doctor, he was born on February 12(24), 1899 in Tver.
He entered the Higher Technical School in 1916 which Professor N.Zhukovsky had started during World War I, and he graduated from there in the next year. Joining the Soviet Army in 1918, Gromov became one of the first students at the Air Force School. After completing his courses there in the summer of 1918, he stayed on there as an assistant instructor; later becoming a senior instructor. During the Civil War he saw action on the Eastern Front.
From 1921 to 1926 he was a test pilot at the Department of Experimental Aircraft Construction Section under the Central Aerodynamic and Hydrodynamic Institute. In the meantime, in 1923, he had been the USSR Heavyweight-Lifting Championship. He made a flight from Moscow to Peking in 1925. A year later he followed this up with a flight in a single-engine biplane ANT-3 from Moscow via Berlin, Paris, London, Rome, Vienna, and Prague and back to Moscow, a distance of 7,150 kilometers which he covered in 34 hours.
In 1929 he made a flight in a three-engine ANT-9 plane, Kryl'ya Sovetov, from Moscow-Berlin-Prague-London-Rome-Warsaw-Moscow, a flight of 9,040 kilometers. In 1934 he was proclaimed a Hero of the Soviet Union for his nonstop flight in that year over a closed course in which he remained aloft for 75 hours. In 1937 he successfully flew over the North Pole, with his copilot Yumashev, and his navigator, Danilin, from Moscow to San Jacinto, California, a world-record distance of 6,302 miles. Given the title of professor of State Aircraft Test Flights, in 1940-1941 he was the head of Flight Research Institute.
During World War II he was commander of long range aircraft corps on the Kalinin Front (1942); and the commander of the Third Air Army (1942-1943); and the First Air Army on the Western Front (1943-1944).
In 1944 he returned to testing and he served as the Deputy Commander for Combat Training of the Front-Line Air Force (1944-1945).
In the post-World War II period, he tested the T-7O heavy bomber, which had been designed by Tupolev and Arkhangelskii on the basis of the American B-29. His awards include four Orders of Lenin; four Orders of the Red Banner; and three Orders of the Red Star.