He joined the Soviet air force in 1941, and was soon assigned to a ground-attack unit flying the Ilyushin Il-2 "Shturmovik". He flew some 185 combat sorties during the course of World War II and rose quickly through the ranks, finishing the war as a Captain and Squadron Commander. He flew some 185 combat sorties and was decorated as Hero of the Soviet Union.
Following the war, he became a test pilot, and over the next sixteen years test-flew some sixty different aircraft, rising to the rank of Colonel and the position of Deputy Chief of the air force's flight testing department. In 1962, he appplied and was accepted for cosmonaut training.
Beregovoi's flight in Soyuz 3 was less than successful, and he was never selected to fly another mission. He eventually took up a position at the Centre for Cosmonaut Training, and in 1972 was made Director of that facility.
He died in 1995 of natural causes and is buried in the Novo Devichy cemetery in Moscow