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Thread: Hero of the Soviet Union

  1. #1
    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Default Hero of the Soviet Union

    Recently I was able to add a document of the Red Army to my collection, a small ID booklet of a pilot that was given the tittle of “Hero of the Soviet Union”, the highest bravery award in Soviet Russia.
    These “small certificates” were given together with the prestigious small gold medal so that the awardee could claim the benefits that came with his tittle such as a large house or apartment for less rent in his home town, free use of public transport, first row tickets for concerts, an annual free first class airline ticket,...etc.
    For WW2, or the great patriotic war like the Soviet called it, +/- 11.000 Hero of the Soviet Union medals were awarded, for an army that had more then 34 million people in its ranks that is a rather rare award.
    Because I can’t read Russian, I have to rely solely on the information that was given to me by the person that translated it, this is the story behind this document.
    Heroes of the Soviet Union are well documented, so there is a lot of detail known about him and his actions that led to the awarding of this bravery award.

    Ivan Frolov was born in 1918 in a peasant family in the Lipestk region in West Russia, in 1939 he joined the military and graduated in 1941 from the pilot school in Tambov.
    After further training as a Sturmovik pilot he finally joined 241st Ground attack aviation Regiment in the summer of 1943, which was part of the 291st “Voronezh Ground Attack Aviation Division, he flew his first mission on July 5 1943 during the battle of Kursk.
    Soon it became obvious that Ivan Frolov was an excellent pilot and by September 1943 he had flown 40 combat missions and was awarded his first medal, an Order of the Red Banner.
    More medals and decorations would soon follow, such as an Order of the Great Patriotic War 1st Class in Decemeber 1943 and two more orders of the red banner, one in August 1944 and one in April 1945.
    He particularly distinguished himself during the liberation of Kiev, on November 3 1943 he flew three combat missions during which he made five successful dive bomb attacks which forced the enemy to retreat.
    On October 12 1944 he twice hit an artillery position that was heavily defended by Flak, he was intercepted by Me109’s during his return flight, these German fighters seriously damaged his left wing but he managed to return to his base and landed his airplane safely.
    A few days later on October 21 1944 he again made two dive bomb attacks against seriously protected targets and once again he and his formation were attacked by enemy fighters, Frolov organized a circular defense formation that prevented the German fighters to inflict serious damage to the group of Sturmoviks.
    The list goes one and by April 1945 he had flown 144 ground attack missions and became eligible for the award of “Hero of the Soviet Union”; his most spectacular missions he flew on September 22 1944, he was then a flight leader in the 166th Guards Ground Attack Aviation Regiment (10th Ground Attack Aviation Division of the 17th Army), before Frolov reached his target his airplane was hit by Flak, despite the damage to his flight controls which made his machine extremely difficult to fly, he didn’t return to his base before he had finished the attack and destroyed a mortar position and on October 17 1944, near Belgrade he was the first to attack a Flak position and by knocking it out he paved the way so that the rest of his formation could attack their targets unopposed.
    On May 17 1945 the 17th Army approved his Hero award and it was official awarded on August 18 1945.
    He attended an award ceremony in the Kremlin on April 25 1946; also the day that he was given this booklet.
    He retired from military service in 1946 and became a director of a printing shop in his home town of Lipestk, the town where he passed away in 1977.
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  2. #2
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    Always love seeing the documents you share! Neat history.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

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    RKI- Reasonably Knowledgable Individual heavy_mech's Avatar
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    Amazzing story. Thanks again for your work in this area. I appreciate reading these.
    "Wen Tausend einen Mann erschlagen, das ist nicht Ruhm, das ist nicht Ehre, denn beinsen wird's in späteren tagen gesiegt hat doch das Deutsch Heer. Podest nicht die Paten der Soldaten doner die da Sterben sollen, soll man geben was sie wollen, sahs sie Herzen, sahs sie Küssen, den sie wissen nicht wann sie sterben müssen"

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    Senior Member jack944's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks again for these personal stories.

  5. #5
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Outstanding set and story Peter He must have been an excellent marksman with the aircraft as well as a pilot. The excellent fighter pilots who piled up kills had that ability, the aircraft itself being like a large “gun”. He certainly cause problems for the Germans. Amazing that a set like that could be had for far less than a RK set.
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    And a specially to Hambone for assisting with the logistical side of the deal.

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