David Chernovskii was born in 1922 in Pavlograd, a town in central Ukraine. The family observed the Jewish traditions, but spoke Russian. In 1930, the Chernovskiis moved to the city of Zaporizhzhia in eastern Ukraine. In 1940, David was drafted into the Red Army, becoming an artilleryman. He served in Przemyśl, a Polish town that had been partitioned between Germany and the Soviet Union in September-October 1939, in the aftermath of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
In June 1941, the Soviet-German War broke out. For the first several days, Chernovskii's regiment resisted the onslaught of the Wehrmacht, but was then forced to retreat. In late August 1941, the remaining men of Chernovskii's regiment were taken prisoner by the Germans. As a POW, Chernovskii was registered as Fedor Koshubarov, an ethnic Russian, and this saved his life. From August 1941 until spring 1942, he worked in road repairs. In early summer, Chernovskii and two of his fellow POWs, one of whom was also a hidden Jew, escaped from the POW camp and managed to get close to the frontline. However, they were recaptured by the Germans – this time as vagabonds, rather than enemy combatants. They were able to escape yet again, finally crossing into Soviet territory in the spring of 1943. Chernovskii was screened by the SMERSH (a military counter-intelligence agency) for a rather long time, but was eventually cleared of suspicion. In August 1943, he was assigned to a reserve regiment, and in October that year he was attached to the 719th Light Artillery Regiment of the 26th Artillery Division, as a gun-layer of 76-milimeter anti-tank cannons. Even in the Red Army, Chernovskii kept his Jewish identity secret and continued to serve under the alias "Fedor Koshubarov". He took part in the liberation of eastern Ukraine. In February 1944, his unit crossed the Gulf of Syvash, which led into the Crimean Peninsula, and he participated in the liberation of the Crimea in April-May that year. From the Crimea, David's regiment was transferred to the 1st Belorussian Front. In late July 1944, during an ill-planned operation (in which the enemy decimated his regiment), Chernovskii hit an enemy Tiger II (Königstiger) tank with his cannon; after his cannon had also been hit, he went on fighting as a rifleman. For this, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star (his sole wartime military decoration). Chernovskii continued to fight in Poland, and then in East Prussia. In March 1945, he was seriously wounded near Stettin. He met V-E Day in a hospital. After his discharge, he was declared unfit for service.
After the war, David Chernovskii restored his prewar identity and real name. He went on to work as a bookkeeper at various plants and factories in Zaporizhzhia. In the early 1990s, following his children, he immigrated to Israel.