STEPANYAN Nelson was born on March 15 (28), 1913, in Shushi. He was twice awarded with the military title of the Hero of the Soviet Union (23.10.1942 and 06.03.1945, posthumously), was a Guard Lieutenant-Colonel (1944). He finished the Transcaucasian Preparatory Military School (1930), and Bataysk Military Aviation School (1935). 1935-38 Stepanyan worked as a flight instructor in Bataysk, 1938-41 at Higher Air Force training courses of USSR Civil Military Aviation of Mineralnye Vody.  At the beginning of the Great patriotic War he took part in defensive battles at Zaporozhye, Poltava, Odessa, Kakhovka, Mykolaiv. In September 1941 Stepnayan defended Leningrad as a member of the 8th Air Brigade of Baltic Air Force. In Autumn 1942 he was appointed commander of the squadron and the 47th Fighter Division in 1943. In April, 1944 N. Stepanyan was sent to Crimea with Fighter Division. He took part in the battles at Sevastapol, Feodosia, and Sudak. In May, 1944 he took part in the destruction of enemy forces at the Gulf of Finland and liberation of Baltic. Nelson Stepanyan died in Baltic Sea on December 14, 1944 (burning plane hit the enemy’s fleet) near the city Liepāja (Latvia). 

Until August 18, 1944 he undertook 239 combat sorties, sunk 53 ships in group and personally (personally 13), destroyed 80 tanks, 600 armored vehicles and 27 aircraft. For the courage and skills in the air battles over the sea Stepanyan was called "Storm Petrel” of the Baltic Sea. 

The bronze bust of Stepanyan is erected in Shushi, Stepanakert, Yerevan and the statue is in Liepāja. A school, street, youth organizations are named after him. 


 Source - "Who is Who, Biographical Encyclopedia", Volume 2. 

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