Jump to content

A Decorated New Hampshirite In The Red Army.

Recommended Posts

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.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Looking for any WWII 104th "Timberwolf" Division items.

Including items from the 413th, 414th, and 415th Infantry Regiments 104th Recon Troop, 329th Engineer Battalion, 329th Medical Battalion

385th, 386th, 387th, and 929th Field Artillery Battalions 804th Ordnance Company 104th Quartermaster Company 104th Signal Company

555th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 750th Tank Battalion 692nd Tank Destroyer Battalion 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

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



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Semper Fi





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

In memory of Dr. Leo P. Krall, USPHS
USS Uniontown (PF-65)

Interested in uniforms / groupings from Massachusetts and New England veterans

(particularly 26th "Yankee" Division), and original propaganda leaflets from WWI and WWII.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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




Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.