After finishing fighter training and short unit practice, Panov voluntered in 1938 to group Soviet pilots designed to support communist forces in Spain. He took part in air battles over Ebro and Madrid. During one of many air combats Panov was wounded, then he was hospitalized by next 3 months. Next he returned to Soviet Union, where he was awarded twice by Red Banner Medal for his bravery during Spanish Civil War.
In 1939 he began again his studies, but now on Zhukowskii's Aviaton Academy and again his education was broke after 2 years - this time by Great Patriotic War. In first year of war he served as a second commander of 185 IAP. In that period he flew 70 sorties and in 15 aerial combats he downed 6 enemy planes. During Moscow defence in autmun 1941, he fighted alone against formation of 7 Ju 88 and killed 3 of them. Panov's fighters during Moscow battle engaged 200 air combats and scored totally 22 enemy planes.
In May of 1942 Panov took command of 736 IAP. After few months unit was renamed to 67 GvIAP and in April of 1943 this regimment was awarded by Red Flag Medal. In period of 2 years, pilots under Panov lead flew 4250 sorties and killed 265 foe aircrafts. Panov's score growed in this period by next 8 kills. In end of June 1943 30 fighters from 67 GvIAP, commanded by Major Panov, arrived near Kursk airfield. They were included into 1st Guard Fighter Division, commanded by Col. I. Krupienin. In one of hard July 1943 combats, 6 Soviet fighters encountered a group of 15 German bombers covered by 4 Bf 109. Enemy bombers were forced to drop bomb load without reaching target and Panov scored 2 victories in group battle.
On 2 August 1943 Lt. Col. Panov leaded a formation of 17 Soviet fighters with order to cover ground forces on Central Front. In Czern-Krasnikovo area they spotted large enemy group of 70 bombers with escort of 40 fighters. Soviets bravery attacked German bombers. Panov in first attack flammed 1 Ju 87, next he rammed by right wing another "Stuka". Ju 87 fell down. This day Soviets claimed destroy of 25 enemy planes.
In spring of 1944 Panov's unit stationed on Siewsk airfield (Bielorus). In June of 1944 Panov with Lt. Kuzniecov specially hunted one's of German reconn planes. They catched enemy 'eye', Panov opened fire from distance 75 meters and scored his next kill.
In August and September 1944 67 GvIAP battled over Polish territory. On 12 September 1944 Panov leaded a group of 12 fighters with mission to cover "Shturmoviks", ordered to attack German ground forces near Warsaw. Soviet formation was outnumbered by group of 30 FW 190's, but during all time of combat Panov well commanded his pilots. He downed 2 of them, but at last his plane cought a lot of hits. Panov was wounded and his fighter heavily demaged. He disengaged battle and with last pilot's will he returned over friendly territory. Panov was forced to belly-landing. Unlickily, the plane crashed and demaged cocpit not permitted him to exit. Near stationed Soviet cavalery soldiers arrived with help, but it was to late - in burning aircraft began ammunition explosions.
During Great Patriotic War Panov finished 241 battle sorties, took part in 41 air combats and scored 14 enemy planes. Posthumously, on 23 February 1945, he was awarded by Soviet Hero Title.