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     Home > FEATURES > WW2 Soviet Pilots

    Order of the Red Banner, 2nd award, Type 5, Variation 2, #22448, awarded on 20 April 1953 to Colonel Aleksey Chistyakov.

    Order of the Red Banner, 2nd award, Type 5, Variation 2, #22448, awarded on 20 April 1953 to Colonel Aleksey Chistyakov.

    Silver gilt, enamels; 45.2 mm in height (measured from the bottom of the plaque to the top of the eyelet), 36.7 mm in width; weighs 23.8 g not including the suspension and connecting link. This is the last version of the Red Banner, 2nd award (Type 4 according to McDaniel classification) featuring a two-line mint mark in large font. The flame of the torch consists of four small flames, three in the lower row and one above. The plowshare is small and stubby compared to the earlier versions; the triangle under the numeral plaque is very pronounced. This particular specimen is a part of the series manufactured in 1951 at the Leningrad Mint /see V. Durov, N. Strekalov "The Order of the Red Banner", p. 148/

    In excellent condition. The red enamel on the banner, star and scroll, as well as the white enamel on the background of the medallion is pristine with the exception of a couple miniscule contact marks completely invisible to the unaided eye. The enamel fully retains its magnificent original luster. The gold plating is beautifully preserved and bright. The reverse is likewise pristine, with attractive even toning to silver. Comes on original suspension, a two- layer model in steel, with new ribbon. The connecting link is original and has not been cut.

    Aleksey Chistyakov was born in 1908. In 1932, after completing two years of studies at the Gorky Pedagogical Institute, he joined the military as a cadet of a Military Aviation School for Special Tasks (!) at the Moscow Military District. After graduation and a three year stint as an aviation technician, he enrolled in a Higher School of Military Pilots and Recon Pilots which he finished within a year in 1936. He was commissioned with the rank of Lieutenant and became a senior navigator with the 41st Bomber Regiment. He clearly excelled in this capacity earning his first decoration, an Order of the Red Banner on 2 February 1939. At the time, this was an extraordinary high honor achieved by only a selected few; although the award commendation for it is currently unavailable it is certainly worth further research. Chistyakov was soon promoted to Major (skipping one rank) and distinguished himself again in the "Winter War" against Finland earning another decoration, an Order of the Red Star.

    In May 1941, just before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Chistyakov was appointed an inspector for bomber aviation readiness with the Transcaucasian Military District, and after 22 June for a few months served as Deputy Chief of the Operational Department of the Air Force in the same district. Later during the war he served as Chief Navigator Inspector in the air forces of the Volga Military District (which later yet became Stalingrad Front) and eventually became a senior inspector of the Navigation Agency of the Red Army Air Forces. After the war he served as Chief Navigator with the 17th and later, 57th Air Army. In 1953, he was awarded with his second Order of the Red Banner for length of military service. Chistyakov retired in 1958 having the rank of Colonel.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award record card and service record; Xerox copy of Chistyakov's WW2 order booklet which lists both Red Banners as well as his other decorations and has a nice early photo of him.


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