Ivan Polbin was born on February 11, 1905 in Simbirsk Governorate to a peasant family. Even in pre-revolutionary time he finished a rural three-year school and always dreamed of continuing his education. However, ordinary peasant children only dreamed of it. Especially since Ivan died early his father and he, the eldest son in the family, had to take care of the maintenance of the family together with his mother. It was very difficult during these years: he had to be a teenager to go to work on the railway, to Vyra station of the Ulyanovsk region, where his father often worked.
Autumn 1922 Polbin entered a boarding school opened under Karlin High School. And already there was his main character trait — irrepressible desire for study, education and public work. Polbin was and one of those who provided military and sports training at the school.
Ivan Semenovich of childhood was fond of weightlifting. But instead of a barbell, he was engaged with 2 puddy kettlebells. Military comrades of the pilot told that Polbin didn’t part with weights and even took with him to the plane and at the first opportunity trained on these sports projectiles. Moreover, and in the staff at the entrance to the office of General Polbin lay 2 puddy kettlebell and each pilot who passed to it had to raise several times this weight, which was reported to him. And if the amount of lifting weights was decent, he said to the entered: “Well done, the helm of the plane will be in strong hands.”
It is known that the question who to be, often excites children still on the school bench. Ivan Polbin seriously said he would definitely become a military pilot. Classmates thought Vanya was joking. But soon the boy got carried away with aviation seriously. Ivan told his friends about military pilots who proved themselves heroes in the first imperialist war, about domestic aircraft “Russian Vityaz”, “Ilya Muromets”. He read a lot about aviation, its history, and could talk about the subject for hours.
It’s hard to imagine, but Ivan Semenovich could not have become a heroic pilot. The fact is that the first time the medical commission on recruitment to the Red Army didn’t miss him to flight school “for health reasons”. The chief medical officer of the commission found serious damage to his left hand. The fact is that Ivan Semenovich early in childhood learned to pry rye with a sickle and cut very strongly the little finger on his left hand. There was a cut, obviously a tendon and a finger bent. His friend Mikhail Tupitsyn recalled telling him this Polbin during a walk, and stopping, “looking somewhere beyond the Volga, he said: “Not true, I will still be a pilot, without aviation I won’t have life. And you will see, Misha, I will still reach mine, and prove to this esculap that I will be an aviator.” And already in 1929. Ivan Semenovich said that the question of his training in aviation school in St. Wolske decided positively.
Before the war, Ivan Semenovich wrote of himself that he worked as a land farmer and a deliveryman. Few people know, but Polbin really worked in a boy-read way.
During the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. Ivan Semenovich Polbin passed the battle route from major to major-general, commander of the 2nd Guards Air Corps. The military pilot showed genuine courage and heroism, more than once risked his life. It was he who introduced in tactics of fighting Polbinsk “turnpike” – special piking of the aircraft, which was widely used in battles with fascist troops.
Ivan Semyonovich’s wife and three children never waited since the war: two daughters and a son. In April 1945. Polbin was posthumously awarded his second Gold Star Medal. Ivan Semenovich was and remained a legendary pilot who made a great contribution to the cause of victory over the enemy. He is one of 35 soldiers who were awarded the title of Twice Hero of the USSR. In the front print of the war times of the Great Patriotic War there were headlines: “Beat the enemy as the pilots of Polbin beat it.”