Mauritius Sleepnev: a brief biography

Starting conditions

 In the current chronological period, the profession of pilot became available to all comers and fit for health reasons. But at the beginning of the 20th century, the situation seemed very different. The first aircraft were characterized by low reliability and weak technical characteristics. Plywood and textile materials were widely used in aircraft manufacturing. However, young men with a gaze burning these circumstances didn’t frighten. Among them grew up and mused Mauritius Trofimovich Slepnev. Village kid, purposeful and fearless.

The future Hero of the Soviet Union came to light on June 27, 1896 in a peasant family. The parents lived in the village of Yamskovitsy in the territory of Saint Petersburg Governorate. These places have since long been inhabited by people of the old Christian faith. Despite the fact that five children grew up in the house, each of them received primary education in the church-parish school. When Mauritius turned fourteen, he moved to Peter to his older brother and went to work in an electrical factory.

Professional activity

In those years, St. Petersburg people loved to watch the performances of the famous pilot Uchykin, who on weekends circled on his plane over the St. Petersburg racecourse. Mauritius looked admiringly into the sky and posed as a pilot. When the war broke out, Slepnev was called into the army. And here the young man was lucky — he was part of the cadets of the flight school, which was located in Gatchin. In 1917, he was given the rank of staff captain and appointed commander of an aviation detachment. A year later, the Civil War broke out and Mauritius volunteered to join the Red Army.

Together with his air detachment, Slepnev nomaded on different fronts. For several months, the unit operated as part of the famous 25th Division, which was commanded by Vasily Ivanovich Chapayev. When the White Guards were broken, the experienced aviator was sent to Central Asia to lay routes for air transportation. In 1929 Slepnev was transferred to Siberia. Flying over the taiga and tundra is no less dangerous than over the sands and deserts. The pilot’s stellar hour came in 1934, when an acute situation arose with the steamer “Semyon Chelyuskin”.

Recognition and personal life The

operation to rescue people caught on the ice floe was watched by the whole world. Mauritius Trofimović turned out to be one of seven pilots who in difficult weather conditions carried victims to the Big Land. The party and government praised the pilot’s courage and professionalism, Slepnev was awarded the honorary title Hero of the Soviet Union. The Gold Star at number 5 sparkled on his chest.


pilot’s personal life developed safely. He found his happiness in marriage to the ballerina Lyudmila Merzhanova. They had no children. Mauritius Slepnev died in December 1965.

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