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A Lone Star To A GOOD Commissar

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Order of the Red Star # 117,655 was awarded to Commissar Colonel Fedor Ivanovich Chertov 25 March 1943.



Unfortunately, since his personnel record card dates from 1938, there is no stamp sized photo on the Xerox of his file sent as research:


Born in 1900 in Min'yarsky Zabod, Chelyabinsk Province, he was a member of the Red Guards/Army from 1917. graduating from the Military Political academy in 1932. Fought against the Finns, Dutov, Chekhov, and Kolchak 1917-20. He ended WW2 as Chief Commissar of the 72nd Guards Rifle Division, with Orders of Lenin (21.2.45 long service) and two Red Banners: for length of service (3.11.44), as well as a "real" Red Banner (16.10.43), Patriotic Wars 1st (Nov '43) and 2nd (Dec '44) Classes, and this Red Star for valor, as well as the 1938 Red Army "Jubilee" Medal and Victory Over Germany Medal. Somewhere along the way, he picked up the ability to speak German.

Citation for the Red Star above, won when he was acting as Assistant Commissar of the 4th Miners-Sappers Brigade--

"Over the period of 23 November 1942 through 28 January 1943, Colonel Chertov was at the most important areas of the front and facilitated successful execution of combat tasks given to the unit by the command of the 40th and 60th Armies.

On 19-20/12/42 at the bridgehead to the west of Dukhovenskoe as well as on the 31/12/42, 2/1/43, 4/1/43, and 12/1/43 he was constantly among the soldiers and commanders operating on the front under continuous rifle, machine-gun, and artillery fire of the enemy. During the night time and in difficult meteorological conditions, he always took decisive and timely measures, showed outstanding self-control, firmness, and initiative, thus facilitating accomplishment of combat tasks (pillboxes, trenches, etc). All task were completed in time, with productivity of up to 160% to 200%, and with good and excellent quality. Thus he created favorable conditions for successful breakthrough of the enemy defense and successful offensive operations by our units.

Over the period of 23-28 January 1943 he organized and led the work of two battalions attached to the 60th Army, arranged the passage of nearly 250 motor vehicles with ammunition during the blizzard of [smudged original]--25 January 1943. Commanders and soldiers who distinguished themselves in this action have been awarded State Decorations by the Army Commander.

Comrade Chertov deserves to be awarded an Order of the Red Star. Signed, Commander of the 4th Miners-Sappers Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel [smudged], 30 January 1943.

Final Decision: Deserves to be awarded an Order of the Red Star, Commander of the Voronezh Front, Colonel-General Golikov 3 [smudged--?March] 1943."

As an early award, this Red Star seems typically not-quite-recognition-enough. A bit later in the war, and this would have been an OPW1 or even tweaked a bit into an ORB.

And if the tiny little town in the middle of nowhere sounds somehow ...



That's because we are having ourselves a Town Reunion right here on this Forum, folks.

You may now all break into rousing choruses of the

"It's A Small World After All" song! cheers.gif

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Reverse of the strange little "Award Record Card" SIZE personnel record mini-card. Gave the dates on the first side for his awards, but no serial numbers. sad.gif A few more clues as to his service could be derived from the usual format (hideously handwritten) Red Star Citation.

Here's the other side of the personnel card:


It all goes to show... you never know what will turn up.

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  • 2 weeks later...


you probably know, but the 72nd Guards RD was the former 29th Rifle Division. Here is the OOB of the 29th Rifles Division:

29th RD

Was formed from 14th December 1941 from the 458th Rifle Division(Central Asia Military District) with:

106th Rifles Reg.

128th Rifles Reg.

302nd Rifles Reg.

77th Artillery Reg.

125th Antitank Battalion

78th Sapper Battalion

104th Reconnaissance Company

350th Medical Battalion

The 29th Rifles Division was formed in Kazakhstan at full strength, with 11.840 men. In March 1942 the Divsion was shipped to the Tula area south of Moscow, and assigned to the STAVKA Reserves. In April the 29th became part of the 1st Reserve Army forming near Tula, an on 10. July 1942 that force became the 64th Army. By 1. August the 64th Army and the 29th RD were assigned to the Stalingrad Front. Although mauled on the steppes west of Stalingrad, the 64th Army defended the southern approaches to the city through the fall an then took part in the counteroffensive in November and the final destruction of the Germans in Stalingrad in January-February 1943, under the Don Front. The obliteration of such a large German force resulted in a mass of Guards designations among the "Stalingrad"-Divisions, and by People?s Commisariat of Defense (NKO) order number 104, dated 1. March 1943 the 29th Rifles Division became the 72nd Guards Rifle Division.

(source: Charles C. Sharp, Sovie order of battle)

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