Gold "Hammer and Sickle" Medal of a Hero of Socialist Labor,
Type 2 Variation 2, #7063, awarded on 11 January 1957 to
Ivan Vasilenko, director of the Topchikha Machine and
Tractor Station, Altai Region. The name of the recipient has
been determined using the serial number table in the
reference guide Heroes of Socialist Labor by Vadim Latysh,
C. 2020, Moscow.
The medallion is in solid 23 K gold; the suspension device
is in silver gilt. The medallion measures 33.0 mm in height
including the eyelet, 30.9 .6 mm in width; weighs 16.3 grams
not including the suspension and connecting link; overall
weight with suspension and screw plate is 28.8 g. The
medallion is approx. 4.3 mm thick in its mid-section and
averaging approx. 1.6 mm thick at the tips of the arm, a so-
called "thin" sub-variation. The serial number is stamped in
small numerals on the upper arm, a distinguishing feature of
the Variation 2.
In very fine to excellent condition. The obverse shows only
mild wear to the ridges and tiny dings that are barely
noticeable without a magnifying glass, no major flaws of any
kind. The facets are nice and clean, the details of the
hammer and sickle emblem remain beautifully crisp, and the
edges of the star are free of significant bumps. The reverse
has a few minor dings to the raised edge, some tiny contact
marks and mild wear to the tips of the lower points of the
star; otherwise nearly pristine with perfectly preserved
stippling and lettering.
Comes with original suspension device which includes the
original rectangular back plate, hexagon nut and mint marked
screw plate. The original gilt finish is pale but still
visible on all parts of the suspension. The screw post is
nearly 12 mm long measured from the rectangular screw plate,
has not been cut. The ribbon old but perfectly preserved and
clean. The connecting link appears to be original and its
ends are soldered.
Overall, a very attractive example of the highest Soviet
decoration for labor achievements!
According to the information find on several Internet sites
including wiki2.net (Russian version of Wikipedia), Ivan
Vasilenko was born in 1894 in the village of Pokrovka in the
Altai mountainous region of southern Siberia. Starting from
the age of 12, he worked as a farmhand and after being
conscripted into the Imperial army, took part in WW1.
During the Russian Civil War, he joined the Bolsheviks and
after becoming a member of the Communist Party in 1920,
served as a Red Army political commissar.
Being a trusted veteran and party member, in pre-WW2
years Vasilenko was appointed chairman of executive
committees in various rural districts of his native Altai
region and later, became the director of a machine and
tractor station. In 1947, 1951 and 1957, he was "elected" a
deputy of the Supreme Soviet (member of the government) of
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The highest
achievement of Vasilenko's career came in January 1957 when
he was made a Hero of Socialist Labor by a decree of the
Supreme Soviet of the USSR. His award was one of several
bestowed upon collective farmers and managers for successes
in cultivating virgin or previously underdeveloped lands, a
part of the Khrushchev's attempt to jump-start Soviet
agricultural production. After his retirement, Vasilenko
lived in the Moscow region where he passed away in 1985.