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Red Star Navy for campaign against Japan

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Hello! Another interesting catch from Kassel militaria show this year. 

Please, meet Lt.-Commander of Engineers CHEKMENEV Ivan Kuz'mich, 1903. Entered the service in 1925 as a cadet on Black sea Fleet. Later in December 1926 after finishing the Navy school, he was trasfered to Amour flotilla and began his service as an mechanic on monitor "Sverdlov". He rose in the ranks and by 1936 became the head of "Sverdlov" 5th battle station, i.e. the head of electromechanics crew. 1937-1941 - cadet of High Navy school. After finishing the school, he was sent to Pacific Navy  and entered as 5th battle station commander on minesweeper "Vekha". From 1943 he becomes chief engineer for the whole 6th minesweeper squadron. 


  1. Red Star in 1935
  2. Red Star in 1944 (long service award)
  3. Red Star for campaign against Japan (this one).
  4. Order of Red Banner in 1946
  5. Order of Lenin in 1949
  6. Order of Red Banner 2 in 1943.



Edited by Egorka

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This is the service record covering years 1925 - 1944. 



The Red Star citation: 

"Senior Lt. Engineer CHEKMENEV is hard working, persistent, and decisive officer. Since the beginning of the war against Japan, he skilfully organised and personally supervised the repairs of two minesweepers UMS #523 and AM #148, which were under repairs at the workshop. As the result, both minesweepers entered the service ahead of the schedule, 6 days and 9 days respectively, and departed to the mission for meeting in the ocean and convoying to the Petropavlovsk Navy base the ships arriving from USA. He excellently organised the equipment preparation of the 1st marine squad (MO-1) of the 6th patrol boat squadron for the passage from Patropavlovsk Navy base to the island Shumshu, for the mission supporting the amphibious landing of our troops. The material equipment of the 1st marine squad had no malfunctions during the whole mission.

He is worthy of medal For Combat Merits.

Signed: Head of Staff of Petropavlovsk Navy base, Pacific fleet, Lt.-Captain PANKRATOV.

10 September 1945"


Edited by Egorka

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The ships at which the veteran served:

River monitor "Sverdlov". Taifun "Typhoon" class (7 in class, but 3 armed 4x130mm, 3 armed 8x120mm, and 1 armed 4x152mm). Displacement: 965-977 tons. Speed: 10-15 knots.
Armament: 4 x 152 mm, 2 x 37 mm, 6 x 20 mm, 4 x 12.7 mm and 5 x 7.62 mm machine guns.
Armor: belt, 76 - 38mm; bulkheads, 9mm; turrets, 76mm; deck, 19mm; CT, 51mm.

Launched 1909, Tsarist Commision Sept 1910, Soviet Commission 24 April 1922. 
Repairs and upgrades in 1934 - 1935. 
In August 1945, participated fighting along the Songhua River and in the capture of Fuyuan and Jiamusi in Heilongjiang (Manchuria). 30 August 1945 awarded Guards title.
Scrapped, the 13 March 1958. 

In 1929, the monitor participated in the last and (possibly) the largest ever monitors and riverine gunboats battle in the modern history. Soviet navy had a total and decisive river's victory using monitors during conflict against Nationalist China. There were a number of Chinese boats and monitors sunk and no Soviet losses.



And here is the cherry: the photograph of the "Sverdlov" monitor engine mechanics crew. CHEKMENEV must be one of them! 

The year the photo is taken is not clear, but it must be before 1939, I think. The petty officer in the middle must me CHEKMENEV himself!



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The other ship where CHEKMENEV briefly served was minesweeper "Vekha".

Built in 1938. One of the 10 ship of its project (#53). Displacement - 410-503 tons ; length - 62m ; width - 7,2m ; draft - 2,3m ; speed - 17,8 knots ; engine - 2 diesel 2500hps ; fuel tank - 60 tons ; crew - 70 men. Armament: 1 - 100mm cannon ; 1 - 45mm cannon ; 1 - 20mm AA gun ; one 4 barrels 12,7mm MG ; 20 depth charges ; 28 floating mines. Scrapped in 1950s. 

minesweeper VEKHA photo 1.jpg

minesweeper VEKHA photo 2.jpg

minesweeper VEKHA photo 3.jpg

minesweeper VEKHA photo 4.jpg


Edited by Egorka

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I love your beautifully presented threads.  Yet another wonderful award to a sailor-  Beyond rare.  Thank you.

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