Award Document for a Defense of Stalingrad Medal, issued on
23 July 1943 to Captain Natalya Fyodorovna Zaitseva.
The document measures approx. 5 ¾ " x 8 ¼ ". This is one of
the early style, "large" certificates for the defensive
campaign medals which were replaced by booklet style
certificates for the campaign medals instituted later in the
war. Note the extremely early, July 1943 issue date - among
the earliest we have seen for the Stalingrad Medal document
(many of the award certificates for defensive campaign
medals were issued later, in 1944 and the following years).
The document shows a stamp of the 4th Fighter Air Regiment
and is hand-signed by the unit commander, Lt. Col. Mironov.
The document is in very good condition. There are the usual
separations at the edges along the folds, but the document
is sound and does not have tape reinforcements on the verso.
There are some minor, faint water stains in the lower
portion that are not detractive. The written text is intact
and fully legible.
According to the available archival information, Natalya
Zaitseva graduated from the Military Academy for Chemical
Defense in 1940 and volunteered for the front in July 1942,
just before the battle for Stalingrad. By August 1943, she
had the rank of Major and was serving in capacity of a Chief
of Chemical Section of the 4th Fighter Air Regiment. At that
time, she was recommended for her first decoration, a Medal
for Combat Service. The award commendation stated that
beside her main task in training the personnel for possible
chemical warfare, Maj. Zaitseva was also performing some
unspecified "operational planning duties". By the end of
the war, Zaitseva had been awarded with at least one other
decoration, an Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl. The
latter was a cumulative award bestowed in April 1945 for
carrying out double duties of the chemical section chief and
operational department officer in exemplary fashion
throughout the war.
Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendations
for the 1943 Combat Service Medal and 1944 Order of the
Patriotic War, 2nd cl.