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Soviet Order of Lenin #65464



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Soviet Order of Lenin #65464


Васильченко Александр Григорьевич


Awarded to HSU (test) pilot Aleksander Grigorievich Vasilchenko (Александр Григорьевич Васильченко) 1911-1960



Bestowed by the decree of 20.09.1947 for “testing of the new aviation equipment”. In case of Vasilchenko, for the testing the new jet technology


After his death Vasilchenko was honored with both a monument and a statue


Made out of solid gold, platinum and enamels. Measures 43.18 mm in height including its eyelet, 38.42 mm in width and it weighs 32.6 grams without its suspension. The serial number and the mint mark are located on its reverse.

The order is in great condition with light overall wear and crisp details to even Lenin’s face. The red and grey enamels are beautiful and show a small internal crack underneath the eyelet only. The crack did not result in chipping or flaking so all enamels are fully present. The gold base on its obverse is essentially flawless without traces of wear and its reverse shows some contact marks and a small scratch at the 9 o’clock position. Its connection ring has been cut and the steel suspension is time period to the award.


Short biography on HSU Vasilchenko:  

Hero of the Soviet Union (05/1/1957), Honored Test Pilot of the USSR (09/20/1960), colonel (1956). He was born on March 21 1911 (according to other sources 25 December 1911) in the village of Staraya Bezginka, now the Novooskolsky district of the Belgorod region. In 1931 he graduated from an industrial technical school in the city of Bar, now Vinnitsa region (Ukraine), in 1932 – a workers’ faculty, in 1933 – the 1st course of the Kyiv Institute of Chemical Technology. In the army since August 1933. In August-December 1933 he studied at the Stalingrad VASL, in 1936 he graduated from the Kharkov VASL.

He served in combat units of the Air Force (Belarusian Military District). Member of the Soviet-Finnish war: in February-March 1940 – commander of the 39th high-speed bomber aviation regiment; made 24 sorties on the SB [Soviet high-speed bomber of World War II.].

In 1941-1943 – commander of the 1st ferry squadron of the Red Army Air Force; he ferried Pe-2 bombers to the front from aircraft factories No. 22 (Kazan) and No. 39 (Irkutsk).

Since May 1943 – test pilot of the Kazan Aviation Plant (since 1947 – senior test pilot of the plant). Raised into the sky and tested the head Tu-16 (10/26/1953) of the plant. Tested Pe-2RU (1943-1945), Pe-2I (1944). He tested Pe-2 (1943-1948), Tu-4 (1947-1953), Tu-16 (1953-1960), Tu-110 (1958), Tu-104 (1958-1960) and their modifications.

On May 12, 1945, during a test flight of the Pe-2RU, when the jet engine was turned on at an altitude of 7000 meters, an explosion occurred that destroyed the engine and damaged the tail unit of the aircraft. Head engineer – S.P. Korolev received burns. A.G. Vasilchenko managed to land the plane safely. In a test flight on June 5, 1945, a disaster occurred – while landing on one engine (the second one was on fire and turned off), the pilot Vasilchenko caught on a village house and crashed into another. The leading engineer of the aircraft L.A. Dyakonov and three residents (including two children) died, and Vasilchenko himself was seriously wounded and miraculously survived. The indirect cause of the disaster was the negligence of the management of the flight test station of plant No. 22, which released the prototype aircraft into flight simultaneously with the planned flight of production aircraft. One of these “pawns” prevented Vasilchenko, who was pulling to land, he had to make a “snake” and lose precious seconds and meters of altitude.

In the summer of 1947, during tests at the Flight Test Institute of the city of Zhukovsky, the third Kazan serial Tu-4 caught fire in the air. The dedication of pilot A.G. Vasilchenko and flight engineer I.I. Filizon made it possible to save the crew and the plane. The cause of the fire was established.

For courage and heroism shown during the testing of new aviation equipment, Colonel A.G. Vasilchenko was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union on May 1, 1957 with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal #11139.

Total flight time – 4167 hours or about 3.5 million km Lived in Kazan. Tragically died on November 8, 1960. He was buried in Kazan, at the Arskoye cemetery. He was awarded 2 Orders of Lenin (09/20/1947, 05/1/1957), Orders of the Red Banner (11/3/1953), Patriotic War 1st degree (08/19/1944), 4 Orders of the Red Star (05/19/1940, 08/07/1943, 07/31/1943. 1948, 06/20/1949), medals. Streets in Kazan and Novy Oskol are named after him. The bust was erected in his native village.


Tons of interesting reading material can be found online on Vasilchenko. Below a nice selection of links:


Also in the picture gallery are scans of  Vasilchenko’s order booklet. These were found online and are not phisically present in this lot 



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