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NavyFCO

What ALL Groups Have the Potential To Be...

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Tired of those "little" groups with just the decorations and the order book???

After 3.5 hours of scanning and 151 scans later, here is one of my largest groups of approximately 320 documents and photos to a former NKVD Captain. True, the medals aren't that impressive, but what's amazing is all the documentation!

What's sobering is to think that EVERY group has the potential to be like this one. Most of the veterans had lives after the War, and most were active with their veteran associations. But, all too often the "pickers" go in and just buy the awards and sadly leave the rest...

Ahhh... what the world could be like! :cheers:

Dave

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Now that is a lot of stuff!! Have you gone through it all yet?

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Very nice! When you let that one go, please let me know, Dave.

Fantastic! I think, i have never seen a group more complete.

Gerd

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Now that is a lot of stuff!! Have you gone through it all yet?

Interestingly, I have owned this group since 2001 (I think I paid a whopping $350 for it back then!) but hadn't really thoroughly looked at it until just last night. I found that it has a 12-page handwritten wartime autobiograhphy that details every action that this fellow took part in! He was part of the 165th Rifle Brigade that made the amphibious landing on Novorossisk on 6 February 1943. For the next 225 days, they were stuck on the beachhead in an operation that would become known as the "Little Land" (Maly Zemlya) operation. He eventually was wounded six times in a 72 hour period of combat crossing the Dnepr, was hospitalized for nearly a year and then, because of his invalid status, served as an NKVD officer in Samarkand.

In addition to what's in this photo, I have another bag of goodies that I forgot about until this morning including his map case, gold watch, shaving kit, veteran's buttons and more!

Dave

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Dave,

Please post the other stuff as well! What is the date on his Order of the Red Banner? It would be awesome if you had his original medal citation somewhere in there?!

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Dave,

Please post the other stuff as well! What is the date on his Order of the Red Banner? It would be awesome if you had his original medal citation somewhere in there?!

Here's his "revised" group to include his map case, flashlight, shaving kit, watch, two wallets and more! I tried to get the ugly tie he wore in a lot of photos, but never got it. :speechless:

His original citations weren't in the lot, but there was a nice eyewitness statement that talks about how he was nominated for an Order of Lenin for the actions where he received his Red Banner!

Dave

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Here's the inside of his order book. His Red Star dates 27 June 1943, and his Red Banner is 22 October 1943.

Dave

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Pretty spectacular David. I don't think I've seen one even close to this for scope & depth.

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Pretty spectacular David. I don't think I've seen one even close to this for scope & depth.

Yeah, it's almost a cradle-to-grave one though I don't have anything prior to his military service... but I do have his 1993 death certificate!

Here's the only one that I had that rivalled this one, but I think there were only about 150 documents in this group....

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To be fair to the group to the fellow I first posted about, here is his group on the same table as the other big one that I had. These photos were taken back in late 2001.

What's interesting is that I found that I never had his award citations translated. This group came with the "excerpt" citations that were the norm for research back in the mid-90s, and then I later re-researched the group and got his actual citations... but never bothered translating them. Re-reading them this morning, there's a ton more information in them than I had previously thought! For example, the excerpt citation for his Red Star talked about him building 800 gas masks. Interesting, but not really notable to most collectors. However, when you consider that he built them while almost entirely without supply while stuck on a beachhead, surrounded by heavy German units, it's quite a bit more spectacular!

I will post this group up in the "researched groups" forum when the translations are complete.

Dave

Edited by NavyFCO

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Now, if you like 'em big, here's my biggest HSU group. Not as big as the others, but still a very large group. This guy definately had the most Soviet medals of any group I've ever owned.

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Now for the biggest I ever owned... this is the group to Chief Marshal of Aviation Koldunov... this photo is ONLY the paperwork, not to include his awards or uniforms! :speechless1:

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Awesome. Just awesome. I hate to think of groups like the first one, to a "nobody" (except to him, his comrades, his family, his neighbors... and the victorious Soviet Union which could not have survived without all the millions just like him) being kept intact for 50 years and then...

thrown away

1) by family "embarassed" at putting things out for sale-- or utterly indifferent about it all

2) by the pickers, who toss everything without national Currency Signs invisibly stamped on "catalog" valued items

3) the (in my opinion, very worst of all, since they of all people should know better) "but I ONLY collect XYZ" deliberate group splitters.

ONE group like this, ONE, would be the beating heart and soul of the sort of collection I have always wanted.

Not "exotic," or "expensive" but certainly rare by the very fact of being so incredibly A Whole Life Lived. Sometimes the "ordinary" is quite simply breathtakingly extraordinary.

This is one of those cases.

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What I found out later is that the NKVD guy's grandson was the seller of the group. Interestingly, his grandson can't be much older than I, or perhaps even still in his 20s... and this group was sold 10 years ago. Could you imagine a kid in his late teens selling all his grandfather's "stuff"???

The other thing interesting about the group is that the guy was a notable inventor. In fact, two of the documents are patents for his inventions. But, there's no RBL, Honor Order, not even a "For Valiant Labor" medal! Rather interesting what it took to get something...

Dave

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Never forget that these groups are not THINGS, they are a person's life. As close as they will ever get to immortality. A century from now, only the custodians of THEIR medals and DOCUMENTS will know or care about what they did. This ain't money, friends, this is recapturing and preserving a slice of lost history and faded humanity.

Groups like this are the real people come alive. We have a DUTY to study and preserve. This is why I am learning Russian, grumble . . . . .

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What WE are is

PRE-archaelogists.

:ninja:

You think people who spend their lives brushing dirt off of 3000 year old rubbish are CRAZY?

They HAVE to do that...

because there is nothing else LEFT.

Now if all that stuff had been cared for properly hand to hand across the millenia.... :rolleyes:

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Ed,

I agree with you 100% In a sense, I am thinking that if my childern have no interest in my military back ground I will sell(or give away) all of my stuff when I am of "age". I had rather someone take care of these items than to have a grand child toss them out!

Dave,

Based upon all of those award citation folders, Chief Marshal of Aviation Koldunov had a lot of stuff! What are some of the highlights in this man's career?

Paul

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Based upon all of those award citation folders, Chief Marshal of Aviation Koldunov had a lot of stuff! What are some of the highlights in this man's career?

Starting his military career in 1941, he started combat flights in June 1943. From that time through the end of the War in 1945, he was credited with downing 46 enemy aircraft (including 3 US P-51's) during 358 combat sorties, making him the 8th highest scoring ace of the Allied forces!

In 1952, he graduated from the Air Force Academy, and in 1960, graduated from the General Staff Academy. During that same period, he was promoted to Major General, and in 1970-71 was promoted to Colonel General along with the assignment of Commander, Moscow Air Defense.

Between 1978 and 1987, he served as the Chief of Air Defense Forces for the USSR. During his tenure, he oversaw the downing of the Korean Airlines 747 over Sakahlin Island, and later, the landing of Mathias Rust and his Cessna-170 in the middle of Red Square on 28 May 1987.

Two days later, he resigned from his post, and retired from the Air Force, having held the highest rank attainable for an Air Force officer, and only one of seven to hold the title of 'Chief Marshal of Aviation'.

He died of cancer shortly after the fall of the USSR, in 1992.

You can see photos of what I had (well, most of it... it got REALLY old taking photos of the folders!!!) on my website: http://www.forvalor.com/s90.htm

Dave

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That is a stunning, jawdropping collection Dave.

Just amazing.

Do you have Koldunov's double Gold Stars as well??

Marshall

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Do you have Koldunov's double Gold Stars as well??

No, the only Soviet awards that I had from the Marshal was his Homeland 3rd, Lenin Prize, and the medals "Excellence in Guarding the Borders" and "International Military Cooperation" all with their documents. I did have most of his foreign awards and their documents though. I'm sure that Koldunov's Soviet medals were sold at some point, but I've never heard of them being owned by anyone in the West.

Dave

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I have one of Koldunov's Soviet medals (incl. document) in my collection. Can't recall which one, a 'basic' one. Closest I'll get to a Soviet Marshall! :)

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