Yefim Yakovlevich Marushchenko
Medal for Combat Merit nr. 22861 was awarded by Order of the Baltic Fleet of February 19, 1942 to 28-year-old Chief Petty Officer Yefim Yakovlevich Marushchenko, antiaircraft battery first sergeant aboard the battleship Marat, Baltic Fleet.
Battleship Marat was commissioned in January 1915 as Petropavlovsk. During the first years after the October Revolution of 1917 she was the only battleship available to the Soviets. She saw service during the Russian Civil War and the Winter War of 1939-1940, during which she bombarded Finnish coastal defense guns. Before World War Two Marat was refitted several times, with various types of anti-aircraft armament being installed. After sailing to Tallinn following the Soviet occupation of Estonia, she returned to Kronstadt on 20 June 1941, only two days before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. From the harbor Marat bombarded troop positions of the German 18th Army on 8 September. She was lightly damaged by German 15 centimeter guns on 16 September 1941.
Marat was attacked by German Stukas on September 21, 1941 and sustained several direct hits. Two of the bombs hit almost simultaneously near the forward superstructure, causing a detonation in the forward magazine and destroying the bow, including the conning tower and A turret. 326 men of Marat's complement were killed and the battleship was sunk at her moorings. The fatal hit is commonly credited to famous German Stuka pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Sinking to the bottom in 11 meters of water, the battleship was later refloated and given back her old name of Petropavlovsk. She spent the remainder of the war as a stationary battery and provided gunfire support during the siege of Leningrad. Marushchenko continued serving on the ship as an antiaircraft gunner. After the war the battleship served as a stationary training ship until stricken in 1953.
Order booklet nr. A-350164
1. Last name: Marushchenko
14. List of all awards he received:
Signature of the recipient: [signed]
I confirm the correctness of the data and the signature of the awardee (position and signature):
Section chief with _______, Organization and Personnel Section, Kronstadt Naval Defense Area, North Baltic
Concerning (military rank; first name, patronymic, and last name; position; and name of the ship, troop unit, formation, institution, or establishment): Chief Petty Officer Yefim Yakovlevich Marushchenko, antiaircraft battery first sergeant aboard the battleship Marat
Name of the award: Medal for Combat Merit
1. Year of birth: 1913
Brief, concrete description of his feat of arms or achievements
During combat on September 16 comrade Marushchenko was thrown overboard by an explosion. Coincidentally, his gas mask got caught behind a broken pole. From the cold water he got back onto the ship and immediately returned to his battle station. Risking his life, he put out the burning ammunition stocks. Upon extinguishing the fire, he put together a gun crew using four seamen from other sections and opened fire at the enemy troops who had reached the shores near the Pishmash Factory.
On September 23, 1941, when fascist aircraft launched an airstrike on our ship and aerial bombs were falling, he put together a gun crew using men from outside the antiaircraft section in order to ward off additional attacks by the fascist aircraft and opened fire at the enemy aircraft attacking the ships in Kronstadt harbor.
Commander / chief
Medal for Combat Merit nr. 22861, obverse and reverse
Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the image. Click on the magnification to shrink it back.
All rights reserved / alle rechten voorbehouden © Auke de Vlieger 2008-