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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Heroes of the Soviet Union

    http://collectrussia.com/DISPITEMWINDOW.HTM?item=33020

    Hero of the Soviet Union ID Card (aka "Small Certificate" for the Title of Hero), issued on 25 April 1946 to Ivan Timofeevich Frolov.

    Hero of the Soviet Union ID Card (aka "Small Certificate" for the Title of Hero), issued on 25 April 1946 to Ivan Timofeevich Frolov.

    The document measures 3" by 4 ", similar in format to the order booklet but bound in fine maroon leather, with gold inscription "Hero of the Soviet Union" impressed on the front cover. The main internal pages show the date of the award decree, 18 August 1945, and a standard WW2 Hero citation from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR: "For your act of heroism performed while executing combat tasks given by the command at the front of struggle against the German invaders." The first internal page has provision for a photo, with the usual stamp "valid without a photograph".

    The document is hand-signed by Nikolai Shvernik, Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, and Aleksandr Gorkin, the Secretary of the Presidium. The opposite page has the date 25 April 1946 - which is both the date of issue of the document and also the date of the special ceremony in Moscow Kremlin when the recipient was actually given the Gold Star Medal (#8943 based on the reference guide "Heroes of the Soviet Union" by Vorobyov and Efimov.)

    The document is in very good to excellent condition, far better than the vast majority of Hero's IDs that survived to our days. There is mild wear to the corners, but the cover is otherwise extremely preserved. The leather is supple and has "healthy" sheen; its deep maroon color is still strong. The gold impression of the state seal and inscription is bright and almost perfectly preserved. The binding is tight and all the pages are firmly attached. The interior shows only normal age toning and very minor foxing, but is completely free of the usual water stains, finger prints, ink stains or blotches. All the stamps and hand-written entries are perfect and clearly legible.

    It is important to remember that unlike the Large Hero Certificates and order booklets, Hero's IDs were issued specifically so that Heroes of the Soviet Union could claim various privileges provided to them by law. Therefore they often carried the IDs on almost daily basis. As a result, the surviving "Small Certificates" are usually heavily worn, and often torn and soiled. Condition wise, this example is among the best Hero's IDs we have seen.

    Ivan Frolov was born in 1918 to a peasant family in a village of what is the Lipetsk region of western Russia. In 1939, he joined the military and in 1941, graduated from the Tambov Military Pilot School. On 5 July 1943, he started flying combat missions in the Battle of Kursk as pilot of an Il-2 Shturmovik ground attack airplane. Serving with the 241st Ground Attack Aviation Regiment, 291st "Voronezh" Ground Attack Aviation Division, 2nd Air Army, Frolov soon proved to be an outstanding pilot. By September of that year, he had completed 40 highly effective combat missions and had been recommended for this first decoration, an Order of the Red Banner. This decoration was followed by an Order of the Patriotic War 1st cl. bestowed in December 1943, another Red Banner awarded in August 1944, and a third one awarded in April 1945.

    Frolov particularly distinguished himself on 3 November 1943 during the liberation of Kiev, when flew 3 sorties on a single day making 4-5 dives on the target in each of them, inflicting tremendous damage on the frontline German troops, and forcing their retreat. On 12 October 1944, he twice struck German artillery and mortar positions in the face of extremely intensive AAA fire. On his return trip he was jumped by twoBf-109 Messerschmitt fighters that cut one of his main turning struts and severely damaged the left wing. Nevertheless, Frolov managed to nurse the severely damaged machine to his home airfield and safely landed there. On 21 October, he once again made two dives on heavily protected target. When his group of 12 IL-2s got attacked by enemy fighters, Frolov took control of the group and formed a circular defense that frustrated all enemy attempts to bring down the Shturmoviks.

    On 22 September 1944, while serving as a flight leader in the 166th Guards Ground Attack Aviation Regiment, 10th Ground Attack Aviation Division, 17th Air Army, Frolov's aircraft was hit on the approach to the target by ground fire. Despite the damaged altitude controls and difficulty in piloting the machine, Frolov completed the attack killing 35 enemy soldiers and neutralizing a mortar battery. He then returned and successfully landed on his home airfield. On 17 October, Frolov was the first to spot an enemy antiaircraft battery while on a mission near the city of Belgrade. He immediately struck the AAA position with bombs and machinegun fire silencing it and thus allowing the other pilots of his group to go unimpeded and destroy the other ground targets.

    By 7 April 1945, Frolov had completed 114 ground attack missions making him eligible for the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union. The recommendation for the highest Soviet award submitted by his regiment commander was approved within two days by the division commander. On 12 May, it received the approval of the 17th Air Army commander and a day later, of Marshal Tolbukhin, Commander of the 3rd Ukrainian Front. The Title of Hero was officially bestowed by the Supreme Soviet on 18 August 1945 - in slightly over four months from the initial recommendation, extremely short time for an award of this level.

    Frolov retired from the military soon thereafter, in 1946. He then returned to his native region and became a director of a printing shop in the city of Lipetsk. He died in 1977.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendations from the Russian archives for all five WW2 decorations (incl. the Hero Star, Order of the Patriotic War, 1st cl., and three Orders of the Red Banner); Xerox copy and complete English translation of the article about Frolov in the official Soviet catalog "Heroes of the Soviet Union" (contains his photo.) Information about Frolov is also available in numerous Russian-language Internet sources such as www.Warheroes.ru.


    $750.00  

     
       
     
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