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Silver Star Medal and Certificates to USSR Soldiers


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Not often seen is the Silver Star Medal or the Certificate for the medal awarded to soldiers of the Soviet Union. It was among several that were awarded to Soviet soldiers via the War Department and the United States Military Mission Moscow during and after WW2. Several good articles have been devoted to these awards, and I have noted them below.

 

The engraving/naming style on the Stepanenko Silver Star is examined and discussed in the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America Volume 65 Number 4

 

The different medals and certificates as a whole are examined and discussed in detail in the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America Volume 51 Number 3 and Volume 54 Number 4

 

These three examples are noted in General Orders from the US Military Mission Moscow in June 1944. The GOs are also listed by name in the Gleim/Planchet Press WW2 Silver Star indexes.

 

Stepanenko: General Order #6, June 1944

Komogortsev: General Order #3, 11 June 1944

Laikevich: General Order #7, 15 June 1944

 

I have had these examples in the collection for a long time and thought it time to share.

Thanks for looking.

 

 

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- Looking For USMC "Rim Numbered" GCM 26922 & USMC Yangtze Service Medal MNo1086 - - Looking for Attributed - US Campaign Medal Groups - Army or USMC WW 1 Silver Star & Purple Heart Medal Groups and WW 1 Groups with Mexican Campaign Medal or Mexican Border Service Medal

 

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two more

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- Looking For USMC "Rim Numbered" GCM 26922 & USMC Yangtze Service Medal MNo1086 - - Looking for Attributed - US Campaign Medal Groups - Army or USMC WW 1 Silver Star & Purple Heart Medal Groups and WW 1 Groups with Mexican Campaign Medal or Mexican Border Service Medal

 

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two more

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post-140407-0-53187100-1409632348.jpg

- Looking For USMC "Rim Numbered" GCM 26922 & USMC Yangtze Service Medal MNo1086 - - Looking for Attributed - US Campaign Medal Groups - Army or USMC WW 1 Silver Star & Purple Heart Medal Groups and WW 1 Groups with Mexican Campaign Medal or Mexican Border Service Medal

 

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This is going to be right up Dave's alley when he gets back

 

Very interesting stuff

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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last ones

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- Looking For USMC "Rim Numbered" GCM 26922 & USMC Yangtze Service Medal MNo1086 - - Looking for Attributed - US Campaign Medal Groups - Army or USMC WW 1 Silver Star & Purple Heart Medal Groups and WW 1 Groups with Mexican Campaign Medal or Mexican Border Service Medal

 

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

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now last one:

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- Looking For USMC "Rim Numbered" GCM 26922 & USMC Yangtze Service Medal MNo1086 - - Looking for Attributed - US Campaign Medal Groups - Army or USMC WW 1 Silver Star & Purple Heart Medal Groups and WW 1 Groups with Mexican Campaign Medal or Mexican Border Service Medal

 

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

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If Dave doesn't get drafted and end up in the ukraine

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A1C Matthew Seidler, Delta Company, 466th EOD killed in action. 05 Jan 12 at 1600L while conducting mounted route clearance patrols in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He turned 24 two days before his death. Cousin, Soldier, Hero.

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If Dave doesn't get drafted and end up in the ukraine

 

Not yet..I'm too old. LOL

 

The medal and documents are simply INCREDIBLE!!! It's pretty tough to estimate the rarity of these...there were very few that came out in the early days after the fall of the USSR. I think one dealer ended up with about 50 or so (Silver Stars, LOMs, etc.) and they've gone to the four winds...making them exceedingly rare!

 

Thanks for posting these Bill!

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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OK, I will ask... what does a Red Army soldier have to do earn a Silver Star? I guess I am thinking that there would / should be some American involvement in the action for which the Silver Star was awarded.

 

Otherwise, why didn't every soldier in the Red Army that did something heroic get a Silver Star?

 

Inquiring minds....

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OK, I will ask... what does a Red Army soldier have to do earn a Silver Star? I guess I am thinking that there would / should be some American involvement in the action for which the Silver Star was awarded.

 

Otherwise, why didn't every soldier in the Red Army that did something heroic get a Silver Star?

 

Inquiring minds....

I had the same question , Inquiring minds

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I had the same question , Inquiring minds

 

No, these had really nothing to do with the Americans - at least as far as the earning action was concerned.

 

Each nation, through diplomatic channels, requested the names of soldiers and sailors who distinguished themselves against the "foe". The names were then forwarded to the requesting government and the awards were made out to those people. Usually, a small citation was included to justify the award to the bestowing nation.

 

In this case, the US wanted to award "X" number of Silver Stars, so they gave guidance as to what would rate the award of a Silver Star and the Soviet general staff gave them a list of "X" number of names of people who had done things similar to what would rate the Silver Star for an American. Thus, the US then made the GO based on that information and processed the medals and certificates appropriately. These, as far as I know, were then awarded by the Military Mission to Moscow. Sometimes these awards were done to the individual soldier/sailor and sometimes they were given to a representative of the general staff. It was a pile of these documents, some still with the awards, that had been given to the general staff, that made their way out of the former Soviet Union in the early 90s. Unfortunately, no one knows if these medals were ones actually given to the recipient and later sold by their families or if they were the ones that came from the stock of those given to the general staff and released in the 90s. Of those that were released without having been awarded, the reason for awarding was not known as it was known that in many cases, the veteran did not die in the war and for whatever reason, the award simply never made it to them.

 

I hope that makes sense as a short answer. I just finished my book on awards going from the Soviets to the Americans so I can go on about this far beyond what anyone probably ever wants to know. :D

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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I forgot to mention...historically, it has been a diplomatically prudent gesture of goodwill to give the medals of one nation to the soldiers/sailors of other nations fighting against the same foe. I just spent the weekend in St Petersburg at the dedication of a memorial to the sailors of the Arctic Convoys...and all of the British veterans present had a plethora of both Soviet and Russian medals, given to them for their service, but later as a gesture of goodwill between the nations. For only an example, the British veteran from this weekend wears not only his British awarded medals, but also the Russian Medal of Ushakov on the left side, with a whole batch of Russian and Soviet medals on the right side (tough to see). He was also awarded the Purple Heart by the US for wounds received in Korea while serving as a small boat coxswain. However, as he told me, he was not approved to wear it, so he hasn't worn it (though I did encourage him to do so!)

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Dave, that is a great photo. Did the British veteran ever wear his Purple Heart at the dedication ceremony?

No, he didn't bring it with him. :-(

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Thanks for posting these super rare medals and certificates. These are the only ones I have seen other than in the excellent article in JOMSA a few years back!

 

To have one would be exceptional...to have 3....speechless!

 

Gary B

ANA LM #1201868, OMSA LM #60, OVMS LM #8348

 

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I forgot to mention...historically, it has been a diplomatically prudent gesture of goodwill to give the medals of one nation to the soldiers/sailors of other nations fighting against the same foe.

This proved true in Afghanistan, every now and then an Afghani would be awarded a commendation medal. As I assume they have a lacking award system, the pride these individuals had when we awarded them the medals was enormous...one would wear it everywhere, even on patrol

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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  • 1 month later...

OK, I will ask... what does a Red Army soldier have to do earn a Silver Star? I guess I am thinking that there would/should be some American involvement in the action for which the Silver Star was awarded.

 

Otherwise, why didn't every soldier in the Red Army that did something heroic get a Silver Star?

 

Inquiring minds....

 

 

No, these had really nothing to do with the Americans - at least as far as the earning action was concerned.

 

Each nation, through diplomatic channels, requested the names of soldiers and sailors who distinguished themselves against the "foe". The names were then forwarded to the requesting government and the awards were made out to those people. Usually, a small citation was included to justify the award to the bestowing nation.

 

In this case, the US wanted to award "X" number of Silver Stars, so they gave guidance as to what would rate the award of a Silver Star and the Soviet general staff gave them a list of "X" number of names of people who had done things similar to what would rate the Silver Star for an American. Thus, the US then made the GO based on that information and processed the medals and certificates appropriately.

 

Using two of Bill's Red Army Silver Star recipients, I'm able to shed additional light on the process.

 

Guards Senior Lieutenant (later Captain) A. G. Stepanenko commanded the 1st Rifle Battalion, 227th Guards Rifle Regiment, 79th Guards Rifle Zaporozhskiy Red Banner Division. His Soviet awards were two Orders of the Red Banner (ORB). The award recommendation for his first ORB served as the core of his Silver Star citation.

 

Sergeant (later Senior Sergeant) I. A. Komogortsev was a sniper assigned to 1st Rifle Company, 1st (later 2nd) Rifle Battalion, 895th Rifle Regiment, 193rd Rifle Dneprovskiy Red Banner Division. His Soviet awards were the Order of Patriotic War Second Class (OPWII) and three Bravery Medals. Elements of his OPWII award recommendation are found in his Silver Star citation.

 

As Dave notes, many of these U.S. Army award certificates to Red Army personnel hit the West in the early to mid-'90s. Here is an account I came across on a sister collector web site:

 

"At the annual Gunzenhausen, Germany militaria show in October 1994, one dealer from the former Soyuz had a stack of original Legion of Merit award certificates as awarded to Red Army personnel. All told, there must have been 15-25 - each with its associated citation on White House letterhead stationery with President Truman's autopen signature. In reviewing the stack, I noted most were awarded to Red Army field grade officers as either Legionnaire or Officer degrees. As I worked my way through the stack, to my surprise, I came upon four to five Silver Star certificates and one Distinguished Service Cross certificate all of which were also awarded to Red Army personnel.

 

Judging from their sheer number and generally excellent condition, it would appear all the certificates were purloined from an archive where they had been held - never having been presented to the original/intended recipients. In practice, the certificates and citations often lagged behind the medals which were presented in the field.

 

The thing that makes these certificates so interesting and collectible is that they were not awarded to U.S. Army personnel during WWII. According to the late U.S. military awards historian, Colonel (Retired) Albert F. Gleim, during WWII the only award certificates routinely presented to U.S. Army personnel were those for the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Purple Heart."

 

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Not often seen is the Silver Star Medal or the Certificate for the medal awarded to soldiers of the Soviet Union.

 

 

It's pretty tough to estimate the rarity of these...there were very few that came out in the early days after the fall of the USSR. I think one dealer ended up with about 50 or so (Silver Stars, LOMs, etc.) and they've gone to the four winds...making them exceedingly rare!

 

 

Now these are certainly something you don't see everyday! Those SS certificates are simply remarkable....great items. Thanks for sharing them with us here, they are the first I have ever seen!

 

 

Thanks for posting these super rare medals and certificates. These are the only ones I have seen other than in the excellent article in JOMSA a few years back!

 

Gary B

 

 

Over the years, the U.S. military award certificates to Red Army personnel I've been made aware of were those for the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit. The most commonly seen examples are those for the Legion of Merit - many of which often included their accompanying citation printed on White House letterhead stationery with President Truman's signature.

 

Silver Star certificates are much less common with DSC certificates exceedingly rare.

 

I have neither personally seen nor have knowledge of documented certificates to Red Army personnel for the DSM, DFC, BSM, Air Medal - and for naval personnel - the Navy Cross or Navy Distinguished Service Medal. One may assume, however, they were in fact produced.

 

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