Monument to Viktor Kholzunov

Aleksandr Zelikov/TASS

The statue of Viktor Kholzunov, Hero of the Soviet Union (1937), bomber pilot, and native of Tsaritsyn, is located on the embankment opposite the River Terminal and not far from Saint John the Baptist Church. In the 1930s Kholzunov served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War. He commanded the bomber aviation brigade from May 1937, and the Air Force from November 1937. When the hostilities ended, the legendary pilot returned to the USSR where he took command over test pilots. He died on July 28, 1939 during a test flight.

The bronze monument was erected in 1940, a year after the pilot's death, and was created by Mikhail Balashov and Yekaterina Alekseyeva-Belashova.

A year later, in 1941, the Great Patriotic War began. Fierce battles took place on the embankment of the Volga during the Battle of Stalingrad. Even though the statue was thrown from its pedestal in an explosion it was left practically unaffected. After the war, the monument was restored and returned to its original place.