Dmitry Filippovich Gotsutsov
Order of the Red Banner nr. 49960 was awarded by Order of the Black Sea Fleet of November 30, 1942 to 21- or 22-year-old Lieutenant Dmitry Filippovich Gotsutsov (Дмитрий Филиппович Гоцуцов), captain of patrol boat SK-042, 2nd Patrol Boat Squadron, Defensive Sea Area Command, Fleet's Main Port, Black Sea Fleet.
The patrol boat SK-042 (before the war designated as PK-133), an MO-4 class vessel, was built in 1939 as a border guard ship and attached to the 2nd Black Sea Border Guard Vessel Detachment of the NKVD, based at Sochi. The MO-4 class vessels, originally intended for anti-submarine warfare, were among the most common patrol ships in the Soviet Navy. Almost 300 of them were built in Leningrad between 1936 and 1945. They had a displacement of some 54 tons, an overall length of 26.9 meters, a beam amidships of 3.9 meters, and a draft of just 1.25 meters. They were armed with 2 45-mm guns, 2 12.7-mm machine guns, mines and depth-charge racks, and possessed an acoustic detection device. Three engines provided them with a maximum speed of 26 knots. They were manned by a crew of 24 men. The design turned out to be quite successful and the boats were known for their excellent seaworthiness, maneuverability, and durability. They were not armored, however, and had wooden hulls.
Immediately after the German invasion the SK-042 was attached to the Black Sea Fleet. Based at Sevastopol, she defended the harbor and communications. On January 4, 1942, the SK-042 and eight other small ships left Sevastopol and landed a landing force at Yevpatoria early the next morning with the aim of drawing German forces away from besieged Sevastopol. The landing operation had limited success: the troops succeeded in liberating the southern part of Yevpatoria and a German infantry regiment and a couple of batteries were drawn away from Sevastopol, but stormy weather prevented the ships from assisting the landing troops, and within three days they were wiped out by German forces.
On April 14, 1942, Gotsutsov's SK-042 was tasked with saving equipment from the steamship Chekhov, which had sailed onto a mine just outside the harbor of Kamysh-Burun in the Kerch Strait at 04:10 that morning. As she approached the Chekhov around 10:10, the SK-042 sailed onto a magnetic mine as well, and sank. Two other patrol boats came to her rescue and were able to rescue 8 crew members; the others had died. Gotsutsov was severely wounded, but was among those who survived.
The Chekhov, a 2400-ton medium-sized passenger liner, had been commissioned in 1931. Commandeered by the Navy following the German invasion, she was turned into a hospital and evacuation ship. She was fitted with 4 antiaircraft guns and 2 heavy machine guns. From October 1941, she sortied out 39 times to deliver supplies and evacuate people from besieged Crimean coastal towns. Instead of her regular limit of 500 people, she often carried 1000 or more during her sorties. She performed 9 evacuations out of Odessa (taking 2038 men on board), 19 out of Sevastopol (evacuating 5753 people), and 11 from the Kerch Peninsula (evacuating 5041 people), bringing the wounded to Novorossiysk or Batumi. On April 14, 1942, she sailed from Tuapse to Kamysh-Burun to drop off reinforcements and ammunition. One mile from the harbor the Chekhov sailed onto a mine dropped by a German aircraft. Her forecastle was torn off by the explosion and the ship ran aground in the shallow coastal waters, the upper half of the ship remaining above the surface. More than 230 people died, including 30 crew, and 50 people were wounded. Following her sinking, the part of the ship still above water was turned into an observation post, which was continually subjected to German air raids and artillery shelling. In the 1960s the ship was raised and scrapped.
Order booklet nr. V-028240, already issued
1. Last name: Gotsutsov
14. List of all awards received:
Signature of the awardee: [signed]
I confirm the correctness of the data and the signature of the awardee (position and signature):
Chief of the 2nd Section of the Personnel Department of the Black Sea Fleet
Concerning (military rank; first name, patronymic, and last name; position; and name of the ship, troop unit, formation, institution, or installation): Lieutenant Dmitry Filippovich Gotsutsov, captain of patrol boat SK-042, 2nd Patrol Boat Squadron, Defensive Sea Area Command of the Fleet's Main Port
Name of the award: Order of the Red Banner
1. Year of birth: 1920
Brief, concrete description of his feat of arms or achievements:
During the 11 months of the Patriotic War, the boat captained by Lieutenant Gotsutsov has made 216 combat sorties. It escorted 103 transports carrying troops and military materiel and fought off 50 attacks by enemy bombers and torpedo bombers in the process. Lieutenant Gotsutsov showed bravery and steadfastness while serving in the sea lines of communication between Novorossiysk and Kerch, escorting transport convoys in March and April. Faced with heavy storms and fog, aggressive actions by enemy aircraft, and a large number of magnetic mines and going virtually without rest for 35 days on end, comrade Gotsutsov's boat escorted 24 transports, and only because of his personal bravery and steadfastness, dozens of attacks by enemy aircraft were repelled and all transports were delivered unharmed.
During the Patriotic War the boat took part in the Feodosia operation, put a reconnaissance party ashore on an enemy-held shoreline, conducted short-range patrols to protect the main port, and sortied out to destroy enemy magnetic mines. On April 14, the SK-042, captained by Gotsutsov, was at Kamysh-Burun to save the equipment from the steamship Chekhov, triggered a magnetic mine, and sank. Lieutenant Gotsutsov suffered a severe wound, but he was saved.
He deserves to be nominated for a decoration.
Commanding officer of the 2nd Patrol Boat Squadron, Defensive Sea Area Command of the Fleet's Main Port
Military commissar of the 2nd Patrol Boat Squadron, Defensive Sea Area Command of the Fleet's Main Port
Order of the Red Banner nr. 49960, obverse and reverse
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