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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Heroes of the Soviet Union

    Large certificate for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, issued to Michman (Warrant Officer) Ivan Perov.

    Large certificate for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, issued to Michman (Warrant Officer) Ivan Perov.

    The document is enclosed in 8 " by 12" leatherette folder with gold impression "To Hero of the Soviet Union" on the cover. The internal pages contain a citation from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet "For your act of heroism performed while executing the tasks given by the command on the front of struggle against German invaders"

    The document shows that the title of Hero was bestowed upon Perov on 22 July 1944. The date of issue of the certificate, 4 November 1945, is near the bottom, just above the certificate serial number 6169 (as it was often the case, it took quite a long time between the award decree and the official award ceremony in Kremlin when the medal and certificate were issued to the Hero). The right side of the same page is hand-signed by Mikkail Kalinin, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Just below the Kalinin's autograph is a signature of Aleksandr Gorkin, the Secretary of the Presidium.

    The document is in very good to excellent condition. Nether the hard cover nor the internal pages have significant damage of any kind. The cover shows only very light wear to the spine and corners, some minor indentations, and tiny white spots in the lower right corner, greatly exaggerated in our photo. It is free of the usual soiling; the background red color and the gold impression of the text are unfaded and bright. The internal pages have mild age toning only, no usual finger prints or water stains. The pages are perfectly sound and have only very tiny (no more than 5 mm) tears along the fold at the top and bottom from the silk retaining tape. The printed and hand-written text as well as the rich gold impression of the Soviet state emblem are bold and clear. Overall, the appearance of the document is very nice and solid.

    Ivan Perov was born in 1910 in a small village in the Pskov Region of Russia. He joined the Soviet Navy in 1932. At the beginning of the Patriotic War in 1941 he was already a distinguished sailor having earned several monetary rewards from his command and the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and a special citation for outstanding conduct from the government of the Crimean Autonomous Republic. Serving as the boatswain of the submarine L-4 "Garibaldiets" of the 1st Squadron, 1st Submarine Brigade, Black Sea Fleet, Perov took part in five combat sorties in the first year of the war. During this early period he already proved to be an exemplary sailor by rendering great help to his skipper, especially while mining sea-lanes used by the enemy. By May 1942, the L-4 had been credited with setting mines that destroyed five enemy ships. At that time, Perov was awarded with his first decoration of the war, an Order of the Red Star.

    Perov continued to serve with distinction through the rest of the war. By the beginning of May 1944, he had taken part in 25 successful sorties of his submarine (many while assisting in the defense of Sevastopol) - a very impressive total considering the terrible attrition suffered by Soviet submarines in WW2. By then, the L-4 had sunk seven enemy vessels, an almost unprecedented result by the Soviet standards. In the last of these voyages the sub came under an attack and its horizontal (stern) control planes were damaged. At severe risk to his life, Perov remained in a ballast tank during an emergency dive and managed to repair the damage. By doing so he allowed the sub to stay on combat patrol. Following this feat, he was immediately recommended for an Order of the Patriotic War by his skipper. At almost the same time, he was also recommended for the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union by the submarine squadron commander. As luck would have it, Perov received both awards in the end, the latter bestowed by the Supreme Soviet on 22 July 1944 - which was a very early date for a "naval" Title of Hero. It's worth mentioning that such awards to naval personnel were in general extremely uncommon: out of some 11600 people who earned the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union in the Patriotic War, only 513 were Soviet sailors and naval airmen. Submariners were of course just a small minority among them.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendations for the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of the Red Star, and Order of the Patriotic War, 1st cl.; Xerox copy and English translation of the article about Perov in the official catalog "Heroes of the Soviet Union" (contains his photo).


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