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Air Force ETS Major General Petukhov

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I just realized that one of my first groups has never actually appeared at my usual Michener-esque epic length before, so here goes, starting with this ancient posting from the 1st days of our Soviet subforum here. Rick 4 March 2006

This camera was presented in 1969 on his 50th birthday to airforce Major General of Engineer Technical Service Dmitry Fedorovich Petukhov, from the commander of the Soviet Air Force. I'm not sure WHO that was, since command of the air force changed at some time unknown to me in 1969, leaving two possible givers.





Born 28 October 1919. Alive March 1995 in Kharkov, Ukraine. Possibly alive at time these items were obtained (May 1996), since Orders are NOT included, presumably retained by him for wear.

Petukhov entered the Red Army in 1939 after a technical education as an officer cadet at the Ulyanovsky Military Signals School. He was a Major by 1945 (!!), Lieutenant Colonel by 1949 (!!), Colonel between 1955-59, Major General by 1965, serving on active duty at least until February 1970--probably still active April 1972. Transferred to the reserves by 1975, but on retired list by 1977-78.

In 1945-46 he was a Guards Major in the 15th Signals Regiment/15th Air Army/2nd Baltic Front. He apparently remained in the Baltic Military District 1945-55. A 1955 graduate of the Riga Higher Air Force Engineering School. Petukhov was serving in the Transbaikal Military District in 1958, and the Siberian Military District in 1960, in both cases almost certainly as senior air force engineering officer of those districts. From May 1961 to at least February 1970 he was Commandant of the 2nd Kharkov Air Force Technical (Aviation Engineering) School--?2ro XBATY.? Accoding to "Suvorov," that was the COVER DESIGNATION for a secret school for photographic reconnaisance evaluation.

?Zorky 4? camera, serial #69029481. In black leather case with carrying strap and metal lens cover. Engraved on back of camera in Cyrillic ?To Air Force Major General Petukhov, D. F. from the Commander in Chief A(ir) F(orce), 1969.? Working condition with a roll of film inside. Probably from Hero of the Soviet Union, WW2 fighter ace Marshal Pavel S. Kutakhov (1914-1984). Top of the line quality!

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  • 9 months later...

I got ALL his medals, badges, and miscellaneous items EXCEPT his Orders, which are all still "out there" somewhere. He was still alive in 1995 at age 76, but I got the group in 1996: he may have wanted to keep the decorations, or some picker haphazardly split the group up.

At last I have his photo in the OB-- as a Major:


There are some rather odd Red Stars here, which may have to do with certain :unsure: highly classified activities


The advantage to having a good photo in an Orders Book versus a horrible archives file xerox are obvious, though he's not wearing ANY awards here on his gimnastyorka, alas!


1945 edition Orders Book, issued 24.12.45 with first award (all Orders but MMM are missing) in February 1943, Contains photo of Petukhov as an Air Force Major in M1943 field shirt with no awards and no branch device on his shoulder boards. Photo overstamped by Baltic Military District. His awards were: Order of the Patriotic War 1st class #156,943 (circa May 1945), Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class #177,657 (ca 1944/45), THREE Orders of the Red Star-- #392,930 (January 1943), #3,455,290 (among the 140,000 plus long service awards all made on 30 December 1956-- though this was 2 years LATE in his case!??), #3,743,090 (ca 1983-- and about 10 years AFTER he retired!!! ???), and a Military Merit Medal ?without number? probably 1949 for long service.

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Victory Over Germany Medal, 24.9.45, certificate # G ( )0112283. As Guards Major. Signed by Lt. Col. ?Svirin? as CO of 15th Independent Signals Regiment with unit stamp.


1948 Armed Forces Jubilee Medal, 25.1.50. As Lt. Col. Signed by Major General of ETB ?K. Ivan?enko,? CO of (stamp) Unit #75320.


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1958 Armed Forces Jubilee Medal, 17.6.58. Name only. Signed by Major General ?Kuchma,? Air Force CO of Transbaikal Military District.


Armed Forces 20 Years Service Medal, illegible.2.60. As Engineer-Colonel. signed by Major Gen?l ?Kolomentsev,? AF CO of Siberian Military District. Medal is the silvered 1st type.


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1965 Victory Jubilee Medal, 18.8.65, certificate #A 0084244. As Major General. Signed by Lt. Gen?l ?Kolesnik? with stamp of AF CO, KMD. Hero of the Soviet Union, WW2 fighter ace Vasily A. Kolesnik (b. 1914) retired from the Soviet Air Force in 1973.


1968 Armed Forces Jubilee Medal, 15.2.68. As Major General of ETB. Signed by Major General ?Kamenin? as AF CO of KMD.


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In addition to the camera (which still has film in it :speechless1::rolleyes::ninja: ), General Petukhov also got, and kept, this presentation folder from his military colleagues upon the momentous occasion of his 50th birthday in 1969 (a milestone I'll reach in another year myself!)

This is too big to scan, hence these crappy old shots taken with a borrowed camera (NOT HIS!!!)


Red mock leatherette presentation folder containing 50th birthday greetings, 8 5/8? X 12 3/8? size. Embossed with gilt laurel leaves, ?50,? and ?To Major General Petukhov, Dmitry Fedorovich.? Inside are two identical letters of salutation in gilt print, differing only in the printed persons? names on each. One letter is signed by Lieutenant General ?N. Skomorokhov,? Air Force Commander of Kiev Military District (Nikolai M. Skomorokhov(1920-early 1980s),twice Hero of the Soviet Union as tenth ranking (of 1,000!) WW2 fighter ace), Air Force Major General ?N. Burlyai,? and by Colonel ?A. Lebedev,? KMD AF Chief of Staff. Other letter with four names is unsigned. Includes a two page typewritten Order of the Day (#119 of 24.10.69) from Skomorokhov lauding Petukhov on his birthday for his 30 years service, signed by a Colonel ?Pekarsky? of Unit #21233 (stamp). Also another typed letter of birthday congratulations 28.10.69 from three unidentified typed names, apparently either student representatives or staff at Petukhov?s school.


What little I know about Petukhov's career is cited IN these citations.

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Lenin Centenary Medal, military issue, 11.2.70. As Major General of ETB. Signed by Lt. Gen?l ?Skomorokhov? with stamp of Unit # 55127 (AF CO of Kiev Military District--see above).


1970 Ministry of Defense Victory Jubilee Badge. Blue mock leatherette covered little ?certificate,? not the usual plain paper one, has never been folded. As Major General of ETB. Certificate serial #AB #27749. Badge is gilt aluminum with soft enamel details. Uncommon certificate style. This had previously been shown here at:


But here are his 1970 Lenin Jubilee, the Ministry of Defense 1970 jubilee, and a civil defense badge that will come up in due course:


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  • 2 months later...

Aside from the information on each medal award paper, what I know of Petukhov's career PRE-receipt of his service records is FROM his 50th Birthday Greetings!!!

Here is Order of the day, Prikaz #119 from Military Unit 55127 (Air Force Command Kiev Military District) lauding Petukhov's 30 years of service, noting his date of birth, the schools he graduated from and the fact that he has commanded the 2nd Kharkov Air Force Technical Aviation Enginerng Military School since May 1961:


page 1 of 2

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page 2 of 2


What this does NOT say, but what "Victor Suvorov" (the defector GRU Major Vladimir Rezun) said in his 1984 book "Inside Soviet Military Intelligence" on pages 141 and 158 is that the "2ro XBATY" of such innocuous sounding boring technical name was ACTUALLY

:unsure: the COVER NAME :unsure:

for the Intelligence Directorate Technical Facilities Group of the GRU (Military Intelligence) school for training top secret aerial reconnaissance photo interpreters. :ninja:

As a delver into blurs and smudges myself, I can only feel a certain professional kindred spirit. :rolleyes:

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Alas, due ironically to photographic technical deficiencies at my end, I am unable to scan his entire M1949 "Zoot Suit" service tunic, but here are scans of a tab and one Lieutenant Colonel technical engineering board from that short-lived uniform model:



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and parade dress M1949 visor cap which unfortunately does NOT match the tunic. (Service uniform cap did not have the pronged on visor seaweed.) Such is the randomness of partial groups.


All from Igor Moiseyev in the not so distant Good Old Days.

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The special blue mock leatherette version of the Ministry of Defense 1970 Victory Jubilee badge, which he never bothered to fold, since ieven this "de luxe" version is the sub-normal size of the general issue paper ones:



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In 1972 Headmaster Dumbeldor of Hogwarts-on-the-Lopan went through what was probably compulsory training for everybody, and came out with the Excellence in Civil Defense of the USSR badge as seen above with the 1970 pair:



As "knowable" from the group, this seemed to have been his last award while on active duty.

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Unfortunately I do not have ANY of General Petukhov's ORDERS, but asked for research on his final "1983" serial numbered one:

And the :Cat-Scratch: here is that it was awarded on 17 February 1975 !


What came back was only a very small part of his personnel file, but this was probably his retirement (or close thereto) "present" for having been School Commandant for 14 years.

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and we we have the documentary evidence, to be added to the serial numbers/dates data base:


This was approved all the way up to Air Defense of the USSR Command as a Red banner (!) but was downgraded by Presidium Ukaz to a Red Star. Ironically, a month or so later and he would have gotten the newly created Order for Service to the Homeland 3rd Class in the first mass bestowals of THAT award.

The school received its long honorific "in the name of" under his command in 1970, per the citation.

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I was hoping for more basic career details from his file-- promotion dates and actual retirement date, but...


? "Viktor Suvorov" "Inside Soviet Military Intelligence," Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, 1984


I wonder if buried deep in the photo catacombs there is a picture of Young Ricky looking up and going " :o " taken by one of those "friendly flying Bears" back in the day...


Long Range Aviation was always quite cheerful when they used to fly over on 3-mile-limit flights....

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