Roman Markovich was born in 1922 in a large Jewish family in Rudnya (Smolensk Oblast). He was the eldest of many siblings.
In the mid-1930s, the Markovich family moved to Leningrad. In the late 1930s, Roman joined a flying club, and was later admitted to a flight school.
At the time of the German invasion of the USSR in late June 1941, Roman was a cadet at the flight school. As was often the case in these war years, military cadets would undergo accelerated training and be assigned to attack squadrons.
Roman's father, Yankel, remained in besieged Leningrad with his younger children (his wife Bluma, Roman's mother, had died giving birth to her sixth child back in the 1930s). They did not starve to death thanks to Yankel's job as administrator of a grocery store, which enabled him to procure nutritious beer yeast. Roman's younger brother, Leib, worked as a driver all through the siege, evacuating people from the city.
After completing his flight training, Roman Markovich was dispatched to the front lines, where he served as a navigator in a long-range aviation division. Markovich flew missions on the Li-2 heavy bomber, which was notoriously difficult to control. The aircraft was equipped with external holders for up to four bombs, and there was a night bombsight mounted outside the cockpit. In order to aim, the navigator would have to stick his head out.
In June 1943, the navigator Markovich was serving in the 54th Long-Range Aviation Division, which would later take an active part in the Battle of Kursk.
The decisive battle on the Kursk Salient, which began in early July and ended in late August 1943, claimed the lives of some 860,000 Soviet soldiers. Roman Markovich was among them. He died together with the rest of his bomber crew during a combat assignment on the night of July 17-18, 1943. He was buried in a common grave in the village of Odrina, between the cities of Orel and Bryansk.