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A Decorated New Hampshirite In The Red Army.

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#1 CtahhR

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:13 PM

As a quite avid collector and researcher of Soviet awards I've come across all sorts of strange and obscure stories. Absolutely randomly this Medal "For Bravery" turned out to be awarded to an American born member of the Red Army when researched. My further research has found that ~120 Soviet awards were awarded to US born members of the Red Army (this is a lower number than US born members of US armed forces that were awarded by the Soviet Union). Considering over 8,000,000 Orders and Medals were awarded for personal feats by the Soviet Union for actions between 1941 and 1945, finding one of the ~120 awarded to US born Red Army recipients is an exceptional stroke of luck.


I have recently compiled a presentation on western Pennsylvanian born Red Army award recipients which will be exhibited in the very near future. Whilst I was searching through the Russian archives for these US born recipients I also found a captured German record that contains the information of a Pennsylvanian that served in the Waffen-SS in Ukraine, whom I discovered returned to the USA on Polish documents in 1948 and remained in the US until his death. I will be presenting his story at a later date - one project at a time.



Medal "For Bravery" #3221767.

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#2 CtahhR

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:22 PM

1. Family, Tomitskij
2. Name And Patronym, Nikolaj Mihajlovich
3. Military Rank, Guards Corporal
4. Sex, Male
5. Year Of Birth, 1917
6. Place Of Birth, America, Manchester, 36 Concord Street
7. Party Membership, Non-Partisan
8. Education, None
9. Nationality, Ukrainian
10. From Which Year In Red Army, From August 1944 to May 1946.
11. Which Service And Position At Time Of Award, 870th Rifle Regiment, 287th Rifle Division - Heavy Machinegunner
12. Place Of Service And Position At Current Time, Farmer
13. Current address of awarded, Drogobych Oblast, Stryj Region, Lisjatichi


For Bravery 3221767 Temporary Document I-072871 Order of the 287th Rifle Division #5/N of 01-04-1945

For Victory Over Germany Document M-0206558 Decree of 09-05-1945


Stryj Regional Military Commissar

10th April 1947


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#3 CtahhR

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:29 PM

1. Family, Name, Patronym. Tomitskij, Nikolaj Mihajlovich
2. Rank. Corporal
3. Position and unit. Signaller, Command Battalion, 870th Rifle Red Banner Regiment, 287th Rifle Novograd-Volynskij Twice Red Banner Order Of Bogdan Hmel'nitskij Division
Presented For The Governmental Award Order Of Glory III Class
4. Year of birth. 1917
5. Nationality. Ukrainian
6. Party Membership. Non-Partisan
7. Participation in the Civil War, subsequent military activity in defence of the USSR and Patriotic War /where, when/ Patriotic War from 1944. From August 1944 1st Ukrainian Front
8. Has been wounded, contused in Patriotic War.
9. From which time in Red Army. From 1944.
10. Which Regional Military Commissariat called. Stryj Regional Military Commissariat, Drogobych Oblast.
11. Has received awards (for which distinction). Not awarded

Comrade Tomitskij N. M. for the time of crossing the river Oder 29-01-1945 were there was broken telephone communication, under heavy enemy artillery-mortar fire ensured live communication to the battalion, which made it possible for the commander of the battalion to lead combat subunits, to accurately and timely perform all orders of the commander of the battalion.
During the offensive for the chalk factory 19-02-1945 on the river Bober for the time of the heated battle ensured live communication in the battalion, which made it possible to occupy the factory.
Comrade Tomitskij N. M. is worthy of the Governmental award Order Of Glory III Class.
Commander 870th Rifle Red Banner Regiment Major Sarykov
19th March 1945


Award the Medal For Bravery

Commander of the 287th Rifle Division Major-General Pankratov

2nd April 1945


The order of the 287th Rifle Division #27/N of 02-04-1945 awarded the Medal For Bravery

Head of the department of Cadre

Captain Administrative Services Komarov

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#4 Timberwolf

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:10 PM

This is cool! I'm curious how he ended up in the Red Army? Did his family return with to the USSR and was drafted at some point or did he return alone to join the red army on purpose?

#5 CtahhR

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:39 PM

I don't have my notes on hand (everything's currently in the museum and I can't remember every detail of every award in the collection - 9,000 stories is far beyond my memory) but I believe his parents immigrated to the USA from the Russian Empire (and spoke Ukrainian according to a census). The area he was drafted in was until 1939 part of Poland, so it was probably the case that some or all of his family left the USA sometime during the depression. Due to the Molotov-RIbontrop pact he became a Soviet Citizen. I have no idea when he left the USA or arrived in Europe but he will have no doubt have had a rough time before August 1944. German occupation then liberation? Soviet labour force further east? Something else?

He remained in and died in Ukraine - which is where I obtained this naked award from.


He must have been well trusted by the Soviet authorities to place him in a combat role. A signaller could easily find a way to communicate sensitive information to the enemy or sabotage his own communications.


Unfortunately he never rose in rank to officer, so there are no service records on him in the archives. He probably had children and grandchildren that know more but I've not been able to find them.


I had to do a double take on the record card when I received it. "Manchester" was far more pronounced to me than the smudged "America" so I originally thought he was English.


I've found US born members of the Red Army from a fair few different places, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Pittsburgh and some tiny towns too. The highest ranking as well as most decorated American in the Red Army I've found was a Major from Pittsburgh - his highest wartime award was the Order Of The Red Star.

#6 Dave



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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:42 PM

Now that's fascinating!!! I've not seen one of those before!

#7 BagmanL6

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 03:36 AM

How interesting.  Thank you.  Can't wait to see your other awards/research when you post them.

#8 The Meatcan

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 04:08 AM

Fascinating and nice work with quality research!

#9 jguy1986

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:11 AM

Im a half hour away from Manchester, and it was not a heavy center of Ukrainian immigration like Chicago or Cleveland. Tons of French Canadians but not so much Eastern Europeans, so this is quite fascinating to see.

#10 MAW

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:30 AM

That is both fascinating and bizarre.  Hopefully someone can piece together more of the story.

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