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eMedals-Russia, Soviet Union. A Superb Flying Ace Group to Major Nikolai Fyodorovich Denchik, 1st Squadron, 64th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment

Item: M0281-2

Russia, Soviet Union. A Superb Flying Ace Group to Major Nikolai Fyodorovich Denchik, 1st Squadron, 64th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment

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Russia, Soviet Union. A Superb Flying Ace Group to Major Nikolai Fyodorovich Denchik, 1st Squadron, 64th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment

Gold Star Medal (in Gold, weighing 40.2 grams inclusive of its suspension frame and screwback, number impressed "9471" on the reverse, measuring 29.8 mm (w) x 32 mm (h) inclusive of its integral ring, original ribbon, suspended from a traditional Soviet-style rectangular brass frame with screwback, the screwback with the Monetny Dvor mint mark); Order of the Red Banner (in silver with red and white enamels, number impressed "19375" on the reverse, measuring 36.5 mm (w) x 41.7 mm (h), screwback, flaking in the red enamels on the flag); Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class, Type I (Gold hammer and sickle insignia, on a red and white enamelled silver star, mounted to a Gold five-pointed star base, number engraved "11402" on the reverse, measuring 44.5 mm (w) x 48 mm (h) inclusive of its integral ring, suspended from a traditional Soviet-style rectangular brass frame with screwback, the screwback with the Monetny Dvor mint mark, intact enamels); and Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class, Type II (Gold hammer and sickle insignia, on a red and white enamelled silver star, mounted to a Gold five-pointed star base, Monetny Dvor mint marked and number engraved "38670" on the reverse, measuring 44 mm (w) x 45.5 mm (h), screwback, intact enamels); Soviet Army Guard's Badge (in bronze gilt with red and white enamels, measuring 33.5 mm (w) x 45.8 mm (h), maker marked "З-ДПОВЕДА MOCKBA" (Z. Dpoveda, Moscow) on the screwback, chipping evident in the red enamels on the flag); and Denchik's Awards Booklet (named in Russian to Nikolai Fyodorovich Denchik, dated 1945, numbered "A No. 390908", stating that he was the "Hero of the Soviet Union" and was the recipient of the Order of Lenin (38536), the Gold Star Medal (9471), the Order of the Red Banner (19375), the Order of the Red Banner (14917), the Order of the Red Banner (491), the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class (11402) and the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class (38670), the booklet containing eight pages with the text printed in black ink, the cover in cloth on card and printed in gold-coloured ink, measuring 73 mm (w) x 105 mm (d)). Accompanied by a book entitled "Yakovlev Aces of World War 2", one of the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces (No. 64) by George Mellinger (with Denchik's story featured on pages 70-71 and his aircraft illustrated on page 43, containing 96 pages, consisting of 86 pages printed in black ink, with ten pages of colour plates illustrating 40 aircraft, plus colour cover, measuring 183 mm (w) x 247 mm (h)), along with assorted research papers. Near extremely fine.
 
Footnote: Nikolai Fyodorovich Denchik (1920-1996) was a Major in the Soviet Army, a participant in the Great Patriotic War (Second World War) and a Hero of the Soviet Union (1944). He was born on May 1, 1920 in the village of Olshany (now Dergachevsky district, Kharkiv region of Ukraine) to a peasant family. After having finished his seventh year of school, followed by a school factory apprenticeship, he worked as a mechanic at the Kharkov Locomotive Plant. Meanwhile, at the same time, he studied at the local aeroclub. In 1940, Denchik was called up to serve in the "Workers and Peasants" Red Army and in 1941, graduated from the Chuguev Military Aviation School for Pilots. Beginning in June 1941, he participated in air combat missions, which, during the course of the Second World War, would include the battles for Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk, the liberation of the Baltic, along with the Berlin operation. From March to September 1942, he flew with the 33 IAP (33rd Fighter Aviation Regiment). After a short break, perhaps in the hospital, he returned to the front on December 1942 with 910 IAP. In May 1943, he was assigned to 64 GIAP (64th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment) as a Deputy Commander of the 1st Squadron. By September 1943, he was a Senior Lieutenant of 64 GIAP (64th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment), 4 GIAD's (4th Guards Fighter Aviation Division) of the 1 GIAK (1st Guards Fighter Aviation Corps) of the 15th Air Army of the Bryansk Front. Denchik had completed 63 sortis and scored 13 individual and three group victories in 18 air combats. Now acknowledged as an Ace, by Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 4, 1944, Guards Senior Lieutenant Nikolai Denchik was honoured with the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" (HSU), for "courage and heroism in aerial combat against the German invaders", and was awarded the Order of Lenin (38536) and the Gold Star Medal (9471). He was also a recipient of the Order of the Red Banner (19375), the Order of the Red Banner (14917), the Order of the Red Banner (491), the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class (11402) and the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class (38670). Shortly afterwards, Denchik was promoted to Captain. After being awarded the HSU, Denchik went on a brief leave, and was able to return to his home in the town of Menchenki. When he left, pride in their native son led the people to collect funds to buy him a dedication Yak-3 (aircraft). Arriving in the autumn of 1944, it saved him from serious difficulties. During Operation Bagration, 1 GIAK (1st Guards Fighter Aviation Corps), of which 4 GIAD's (4th Guards Fighter Aviation Division) 64 GIAP was a component, he was assigned to 3 Belorussian Front. The Soviet advance was so rapid that numerous German units were cut off, nearly intact, behind Soviet lines, much to the surprise of both sides. At the same time Soviet rear support units and aviation bases struggled hard to keep up with the advancing front. Fighter units often based themselves just behind the front lines, and so were frequently in danger. Near Minsk, 3 and 4 GIAD encountered a German infantry force fighting its way through westwards through Soviet lines. Having managed to evacuate its aircraft, 3 GIAD  was able to organize a successful perimeter defence of its airfield. Things did not go quite so well for Loshintsa-based 4 GIAD, however. On the night of July 6th, the Germans subjected the airfield to a severe artillery bombardment, which killed four men and wounded 23. It also destroyed six aircraft and damaged 20 more. The bombardment was followed up by an infantry assault, which penetrated the airfield perimeter. Seeking to preserve his aircraft, Denchik took off under fire in a Yak-9 and was the only pilot to succeed in doing so. His Yak-9 bore the inscription "За Родину" (For the Motherland), which was repeated on both sides of the fuselage. Denchik strafed the enemy and flew to a safe landing field. Meanwhile, the ground crews and other pilots improvised a perimeter defence until Soviet rank units arrived and the Germans surrendered. The regimental staff was seriously compromised by its failure to provide adequate security or reconnaissance. It had also panicked under attack, and lost control of the situation. Now it was looking for scapegoats. Instead of interpreting Denchik's feat of taking off at night under fire as an act of bravery, they called it cowardice and planned to haul him up before a tribunal. By the time it was convened, Denchik's donation aircraft had arrived for presentation. As the political officer argued, Denchik was a Hero of the Soviet Union with numerous victories, so what could they say to the good people of Manchenki? The matter was quietly forgotten, at least by the authorities if not by Denchik, and he was even promoted to Major in early 1945. By the end of the war, he had completed 534 sorties and scored 19 individual and three group victories in 120 air combats. In the rank of Major, Denchik was discharged from active service in 1946. He would go on to live and work in Kharkiv (modern northeast Ukraine). He died on August 24, 1996, at the age of 76 and is buried in the Kharkiv Cemetery, Plot Number 2. 
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