Hero's order was in the ground for 75 years

The award, which was right at the plowed field and perfectly preserved, Kryvyi Rih searchers hope to hand over to the families of the deceased one.

The land can keep secrets, but after decades and even centuries it reveals them to the humanity. One of such secrets was revealed to the activists of Union People's Memory NGO - fight at the plowed field, Ivanivka village of Kharkiv Region they found the Order of the Red Banner. Moreover, in just an hour they managed to find out who had owned the award.

It turned out, this was a Kievan Grigoriy Gashchenko born in 1912. During the war, the senior lieutenant was the commander of the communications platoon of 555th cannon artillery regiment, he led his unit from the environment twice. It's for this that it in December 1941 he was awarded with the order. But the hero couldn't come out from only one environment - Barvinkove boiler house. In the result of complete defeat of several armies, the German troops were able to start summer offensive to the South-East to Stalingrad and the Caucasus. It was the third and the failed attempt to liberate Kharkiv occupied in October 1941.

The battle claimed the lives of 239 thousand the Soviet militants, and about the failed Kharkiv Operation the Soviet authorities preferred to be silent - many burial sites of those times are still not found.

"During our excavations we exhumed the remains of 38 soldiers, - told KP.UA Yaroslav Zhylkin, Chairman of Board of Union People's Memory NGO. A total of seven burial sites - somewhere five people were, and somewhere just one. By the way, the bodies of soldiers are very close to the surface. A local resident recalled that after the battle the field was strewn with deceased soldiers and horses. They covered with soil some of them".

The searchers figured out the order's owner by the archive data using the award's number on the reverse side. So, it turned out that Grigory was married, resided in Kyiv at the address 61 Saksaganskogo Str., Apt 6.

For all this time the man has been listed as missing, it means that his wife did not receive his death notification, she was waiting for him the whole life and believed.

"If he had children or not is unknown", says Yaroslav Zhylkin. But he was 30 years old, so it's possible that he had. We'll check the address specified in the documents, perhaps his grandchildren live there, or his children are alive, and maybe even his wife. We'd like to hand over the award to his relatives.

  • Русский
  • Українська
  • English