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Soviet Awards to Americans in WW2

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Since we have a thread on American Awards to Soviets in WW2, I thought I might start a thread about the reverse. I can't go into too much detail here (it's already a 9 page article -without photos- for the JOMSA) but I thought that at least I could give some numbers and a little bit of data.

There were three distinct periods of awarding Soviet awards to Americans. First, there were mid-war awards. The majority of these awards were awarded under a February 1944 Ukaz, but the actual awardings took place from April through October of 1944. The awardees in this group included officers that had been KIA with valor (such as COL William Darby of Rangers fame) and senior officers who had been involved with the fighting in the ETO up to that point, to include Eisenhower, Bradley, VADM Hewitt, amongst others.

The second period of awarding was immediately following VE Day. These awardings took place on a unit-to-unit basis (for the most part) and were awarded "in the field" (even Ike's Victory was awarded not in a political capital, but in the HQ in Frankfurth-on-Main) Nearly all of these awards went to US Army personnel, and the majority were either undocumented or had only temporary citations.

The third (and final) period of awarding was by an August 1945 Ukaz, which bestowed awards on US Navy personnel "for keeping open the sea lanes" in the Atlantic. Recipients had nearly all been awarded US Navy decorations for valorous acts while serving in the Atlantic, though only about half of the recipients actually were involved with convoys to the USSR and the like. Some never even saw a Soviet, or even a Soviet ship the entire War - but were still awarded a Soviet decoration.

A rough numerical breakdown is as follows:

Award Name - Army - Navy

Order of Victory 1 - 0

Order of Suvorov 1st Class 3 - 0

Order of Suvorov 2nd Class 11 - 2

Order of Suvorov 3rd Class 1 - 1

Order of Kutuzov 1st Class 2 - 1

Order of Kutuzov 2nd Class 7 - 1

Order of Kutuzov 3rd Class 2 - 1

Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky 2nd Class 1 - 0

Order of Nevsky 10 - 1

Order of the Red Banner 5 - 0

Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class 38 - 28

Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class 24 - 27

Order of the Red Star 10 - 28

Order of Glory 3rd Class 1 - 45

Medal For Valor 2 - 25

Medal For Military Merit 5 - 25

Ushakov Medal 0 - 5

Nakhimov Medal 0 - 15

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And here's a photo from the 2nd Armored Division of their award ceremony with the Soviets. Thus far, I've been too busy to make to the National Archives to scan more... I'll have to do that this next week!

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Was there not a large group of American Veterans who are entitled to a special version of the 40th Anniversary of Victory Jubilee medal(1985)?

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Was there not a large group of American Veterans who are entitled to a special version of the 40th Anniversary of Victory Jubilee medal(1985)?

British, yes. US, I don't think so.

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A rough numerical breakdown is as follows:

Order of Kutuzov 1st Class 2 Army/1 Navy

To all:

The U.S. Army awardees should be GENs Bradley (as previously discussed in another thread) and Patton. GEN Patton's Kutusov 1st is clearly visible as he stands next to MSU Zhukov on the reviewing stand during the 7 September 1945 Victory Parade in Berlin on what is now known as "Strasse der 17 Juni."

Regards,

slava1stclass

Edited by slava1stclass

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Was there not a large group of American Veterans who are entitled to a special version of the 40th Anniversary of Victory Jubilee medal(1985)?

Yes, there was, as well as on the 50th Anniversary, and this past year on the 60th Anniversary. However, since those were not technically "decorations" but rather jubilee medals, I did not include them in my research.

Dave

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Also, please note that my numbers are not exactly concrete. I have listings of probably about 70% of Army officers who were awarded Soviet decorations during the War (thanks General Cullum!) as most were USMA graduates (being that they were senior officers at the time.) I have only begun to scratch the surface with regard to non USMA officers and enlisted personnel, and I doubt there will ever be enough information to compile a concise list of Army recipients. I would estimate that, particularly with regard to the lower-end awards, Army award numbers equalled (if not surpassed) the Navy award numbers.

The Navy recipients are as complete as I can get them, as they were listed in several sources, notably the bi-monthly All Hands magazines and for the latter awarding, the Soviet Embassy sent a copy of the Ukaz - with names - in English to the recipients of the awards.

This is one of those research projects that will probably never end. I've been researching these for quite a few years now, but in some areas have only started to uncover significant information.

Dave

Edited by NavyFCO

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After the initial presentations... I'd be VERY interested to see these being worn routinely during the coldest of the Cold War years....

I can't imagine ANY U.S. officer wearing Soviet ribbons in the 1950s or 1960s!!! :speechless1:

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I can't imagine ANY U.S. officer wearing Soviet ribbons in the 1950s or 1960s!!! :speechless1:

Or the other way around . . . .

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I can't imagine ANY U.S. officer wearing Soviet ribbons in the 1950s or 1960s!!! :speechless1:

Of course, that's covered in my article, as that's a question I asked during my intereviews. Responses ranged from "Yes, of course I wore it because I earned it" to "I just stuck it in a box and mailed it back to those Commie bastards" (or something to that effect.) :cheeky: For most people, they didn't really care about any sort of "consequences" for wearing it and not a single one (both Navy and Army) recalled any sort of reprocussions for wearing or having an award from the USSR.

Dave

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One thing to add about wearing the awards though during the Cold War was not so much because of reprocussions, but those who did not wear the ribbon didn't wear it simply because the actual ribbon length was unobtainable! (Also, it was a bit of hassle wearing the smaller sized ribbon as well.) The same reason goes for wearing the actual medal during ceremonies... Most didn't wear them because of the hassle (and in the case of screwback awards, the permanent damage) of wearing them on their uniforms.

Dave

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Wow, Dave . . .

Much to anticipate in your article. But don't give it all away here, leave it for us to read in JOMSA!

;)

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To all:

Here is a Medal of Honor winner who was also awarded the Order of the Patriotic War. The citation for his Medal of Honor follows.

Regards,

slava1stclass

SLATON, JAMES DANIEL

Corporal, U.S. Army

Company K, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

Date of Action: September 23, 1943

Citation:

The Medal of Honor is presented to James Daniel Slaton, Corporal, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company K, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, in action with the enemy in the vicinity of Oliveto, Italy, on 23 September 1943. Corporal Slaton was lead scout of an infantry squad which had been committed to a flank to knock out enemy resistance which had succeeded in pinning two attacking platoons to the ground. Working ahead of his squad, Corporal Slaton crept upon an enemy machinegun nest and, assaulting it with his bayonet, succeeded in killing the gunner. When his bayonet stuck, he detached it from the rifle and killed another gunner with rifle fire. At that time he was fired upon by a machinegun to his immediate left. Corporal Slaton then moved over open ground under constant fire to within throwing distance, and on his second try scored a direct hit on the second enemy machinegun nest, killing two enemy gunners. At that time a third machinegun fired on him 100 yards to his front, and Corporal Slaton killed both of these enemy gunners with rifle fire. As a result of Corporal Slaton's heroic action in immobilizing three enemy machinegun nests with bayonet, grenade, and rifle fire, the two rifle platoons which were receiving heavy casualties from enemy fire were enabled to withdraw to covered positions and again take the initiative. Corporal Slaton withdrew under mortar fire on order of his platoon leader at dusk that evening. The heroic actions of Corporal Slaton were far above and beyond the call of duty and are worthy of emulation.

General Order No. 44, May 30, 1944

Born: 4/2/1912 at Laurel, Mississippi

Home Town: Gulfport, Mississippi

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Here is a Medal of Honor winner who was also awarded the Order of the Patriotic War.

Boy was it a pain trying to track his name down... I literally spent several years on it before a member from another forum was able to pin him down by random chance. What was neat was that I was able to send the photo to the 45th Infantry Division Museum as it was one that they had never seen of Slaton before. This photo will be in my upcoming article.

Dave

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Looks like a British Military Medal in his group as well.

He's actually quite a mixture of awards and such... He's wearing a Type IV MOH, and on his shirt is the ribbon for the OGPW2 (oddly) before the MOH ribbon, then the British MM, then his next US ribbons. Quite an odd assortment!

Dave

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Boy was it a pain trying to track his name down... I literally spent several years on it before a member from another forum was able to pin him down by random chance.

Dave

Dave,

Sorry to hear you had such a difficult time in nailing down his I.D. I'm glad that it's no longer a mystery.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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To all:

These service ribbons/unit citation represent the personal decorations of a legendary World War II figure. In keeping with the theme of this thread, can you identify him?

Let the contest begin.

Regards,

slava1stclass

Edited by slava1stclass

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To all:

These service ribbons/unit citation represent the personal decorations of a legendary World War II figure. In keeping with the theme of this thread, can you identify him?

Let the contest begin.

I'm at school right now, so with no books or references, I'm going to say....... General Mark Clark.

Am I right????

Dave

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It does not match awards for Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower or Clark. MacArthur is excluded because there is no Medal of Honor. Here are Clark's awards:

General Clark has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the

Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak leaf Clusters, Navy Distinguished

Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with "V" for valor, and Purple

Heart. His foreign decorations include the British Honorary Knight of the Most

Honorable Order of the Bath; the British Honorary Knight Commander of the Most

Excellent Order of the British Empire; The French Grand Cross of the Legion of

Honor, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, Commander of the Legion of Honor

and Croix de Guerre with Palm (2 times); Russian Military Order of Suvarov, First

Degree; Brazilian Order of the Southern Cross {Degree of Grand Officer), Order of

Military Merit, Medal of War, and Campaignic Cross; Czechoslovakian Order of the

White Lion for Victory (First Class) and Military Cross of 1939; Polish Order of

Virtuti Militari (Fifth Class); Italian Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savor,

Military Order of Italy (Degree of Grand Officer), Knight of the Grand Cross, Grand

Cordon of the Order Sts. Maurice and Lazarus, and Silver Medal for valor;

Moroccan Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaoute Cherifien (First Class);

Maltese Order of Malta (Cross of Merit First Class) ; Belgian Order of the Crown,

Rank of Order of George I with Swords; Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of

Command er); Japanese Grand Cordon of the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun; and

the Republic of Korea Order of Taeguk with Gold Star.

Edited by ehrentitle

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I am not aware of any Soviet awards to him; but I will guess General James Gavin?

Edited by Wild Card

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I am not aware of any Soviet awards to him; but I will guess General James Gavin?

Wid Card,

Good guess, however, Gavin was airborne qualified and this person was not.

Rgeards,

slava1stclass

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My vote would be BG William O. Darby founder of the Rangers. Kevin

I think Kevin's right... Just pulling out my refs (the last one was off the top of my head) it turns out that Darby had 2DSC-DSM-SS-LM-BSM-3PH... However, my 1950 Cullum register got packed so I can't confirm his foreign awards. Looks like Kevin hit it! (Of course, this wasn't exactly "fair"... technically he never wore these awards...) :cheeky:

Dave

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I think Kevin's right... Just pulling out my refs (the last one was off the top of my head) it turns out that Darby had 2DSC-DSM-SS-LM-BSM-3PH... However, my 1950 Cullum register got packed so I can't confirm his foreign awards. Looks like Kevin hit it! (Of course, this wasn't exactly "fair"... technically he never wore these awards...) :cheeky:

Dave

Kevin and Dave.

BG William O. Darby it is. Of his decorations, only the DSM, one PH and the the Order of Kutusov 3rd Class were posthumous. What's also interesting to note is that he was not authorized the CIB as his basic branch was Field Artillery.

Regards,

slava1stclass

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