Picture courtesy of Matei Florian
Alexandru Popisteanu at the time he was just a 1st lieutenant
Born: 3 January 1904
- 1 June 1940 - 21 August 1941: 7th Fighter Group
Combat missions: 33
- Mihai Viteazu Order 3rd class
- Virtutea Aeronautica Order Knight class
On 21 August 1941, lt. cdor. Alexandru Popisteanu, the CO of the 7th Fighter Group, led a formation of Bf-109Es in a patrol around Dalnik, near Odessa. They met a formation of Il-2s from the 42 OShAE escorted by 9 I-16s of the 69 IAP. Popisteanu ordered cpt. av. Alexandru Manoliu (CO 57th Fighter Squadron) to engage the Sturmoviks, which were attacking the Romanian infantry. He and the other four Bf-109Es climbed to meet the Soviet fighters. However, these did not wait for the Romanians to gain altitude and dived on them. Lt. cdor. av. Popisteanu's aircraft was damaged from the first pass and he was wounded. He tried to land near Marienthal, but died in the crash.
Died: 21 August 1941, Marienthal, near Odessa
The tomb of Alexandru Popisteanu in the Ghencea Military Cemetery. The text reads: Hero aviator cpt. cdor. Alexandru Popisteanu fallen during the fights near Odessa on 21 August 1941, Knight of the "Mihai Viteazul" Order. "The commander is the first one who has the right to die! Do you know what it means to die for your country? How can you command others if you are not yourself an example?" An example he was, an example he will remain
His image on the monument beside the tombstone.