Komarov was born in Moscow on 16 March 1927, where he grew up with his sister Matilde. His father was a labourer who worked at various low-paid jobs to support the family. In 1935, Komarov began his formal education in the local elementary school. Here he showed a natural aptitude for mathematics. In 1941, Komarov left school because of World War II and the German invasion of the Soviet Union, and he became a laborer on a collective farm. He showed an interest in aeronautics from an early age, and he collected magazines and pictures about aviation, in addition to making model aircraft and his own propeller. At the age of fifteen in 1942, Komarov entered the “1st Moscow Special Air Force School” to pursue his dream of becoming an aviator. Shortly thereafter, his family learned that Komarov’s father had been killed in an “unknown war action”. Of necessity because of the German invasion, the flight school was soon moved to the Tyumen Region in Siberia for the duration of the war. Students there learned a wide variety of subjects besides aviation – including zoology and foreign languages. In 1945, Komarov graduated from flight school with honors. World War II hostilities ended before Komarov was called on to enter combat.