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     Home > FEATURES > WW2 Soviet Pilots

    http://collectrussia.com/DISPITEM.HTM?item=30549

    Order of the Red Star, Type 4, Variation 1, Sub-variation 2, #21298, awarded on 22 October 1941 to Aleksey Koshelev.

    Order of the Red Star, Type 4, Variation 1, Sub-variation 2, #21298, awarded on 22 October 1941 to Aleksey Koshelev.

    Silver, enamel; measures 47.2 mm in height, 49.3 mm in width; weighs 31.1 grams not including the screw plate. A very early piece with slightly curved up "Monetnyi Dvor" mint mark; another distinguishing feature is the absence of the circular depression around the screw post base. The enamel is of magnificent quality, in deep cherry red tone. Manufactured in 1940 by the Leningrad Mint. /N. Strekalov, V. Durov, "Order of the Red Star", pp. 226, 227/.

    In very fine overall condition. The enamel is retains beautiful luster and appears practically perfect to the naked eye. There is a tiny amount of surface flaking at the tip and edges of the upper right arm, and some microscopic contact mark elsewhere, but none of it can be easily found without a magnifying glass. The center medallion has light wear and minor dings, but its details are nicely defined. The reverse shows even dark patina. The screw post has been reduced in size to nearly 5 mm (measured from its base), but its remaining length is enough to accommodate the screw plate. The screw plate is original, an early model in silver, and shows patina nicely matching the reverse of the star.

    Aleksey Koshelev was born in 1907, joined the Red Army in 1929, and became a member of the Communist Party in 1930. In 1939-40, he took part in the "Winter War" against Finland and earned his first decoration, a Medal for Valor. During the Patriotic War, he was on the front lines from July 1942, initially as a military commissar of a long range air division. Although no information could be found so far in the archives about his specific unit, it is clear that it performed unusually well. In October 1941, its commissar Koshelv was awarded with an Order of the Red Star #21298 (his first award of the Patriotic War) for "excellent organization and good political work which facilitated the completion of combat tasks". The Soviet long range bombers by large did not suffer the fate of the tactical bombers and fighters decimated by the Luftwaffe from the offset of the war. In fact, twin motor Il-4s even managed to bomb Berlin and several other cities deep in the Axis territory literally in the first days of the war; in doing so they of course did not achieve any significant military goals but scored much needed propaganda points - akin to the Doolittle Tokyo raiders in 1942. Judging by the decoration awarded to its political commissar, it seems highly likely that Koshelev's unit successfully conducted some of those early raids.

    During the rest of the war, Koshelev went on serve as political commander of several aviation units and was promoted to colonel. By the end of WW2, he had earned many other decorations, including another Red Star, three Red Banners, and Order of the Patriotic War 2nd cl. The recommendation for the latter, submitted while he was serving with the 282th Air Division, showed that on at least one occasion during his prior service with the long range aviation Koshelev personally flew a bombing mission deep into the enemy rear.

    After the war, Koshelev continued to serve in the air force. He was transferred to the reserve in 1959 having the rank of Major General, and later worked as instructor of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and referent (senior advisor) of the Soviet War Veterans Committee.

    Research Materials: copy of the award record cards (compiled in various years) and award commendations for the Order of the Patriotic War and the second, 1943 issue Order of the Red Star.


    $490.00  

     
       
     
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