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Thread: Douglas Barber Russian Medal of Valour

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    Default Douglas Barber Russian Medal of Valour

    Does anyone know why the Medal was awarded? London Gazette 11 April 1944. He is now deceased.

    I have his RAF service record (son-in-law), married to his daughter. The rest of the family have no idea why he received the medal.

    Cal Sikstrom

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    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...Russian-Awards

    Much of the following is drawn from file Air 2/4798, which also contains recommendations for several officers which were not approved. There is much discussion in the file as to how the honours were to be worn, as Russian practice was to wear the whole medal when possible, and not merely indicate an award with a ribbon.

    BARBER, Douglas, F/O (49574) - Medal of Valour (Soviet Union) - No.180 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 April 1944. Citation from Air 2/4798, courtesy of Tom Thorne.

    "This officer has been engaged on active operations since 1940 and has completed 74 sorties involving attacks on a wide variety of targets. During the fighting in France, in the early stages of the war, he was shot down and wounded after completing five missions. In the role of wireless operator/air gunner Flying Officer Barber displayed great skill and determination and his successes include the destruction of two enemy aircraft on the ground. He is now employed as gunnery leader. Throughout his long tour his efforts have been characterized by by great courage and unswerving devotion to duty and his example has been worthy of the highest praise."
    Ottawa Citizen of 7 December 1944 describes the ceremony:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6235,1073223
    Last edited by alieneyes; 5th March 2015 at 21:47.

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    Hello,

    A little more on Douglas Barber:

    Tuesday, 14 May 1940
    No.226 Sqn
    Battle I K9383:MQ-

    T/o 1525 Reims-Champagne in a formation of six aircraft ordered to bomb bridges near Sedan. Returned to base, though badly shot about, and with AC1 Barber requiring treatment for an injury to one of his ankles. Two days later, as the Squadron withdrew to Faux-Villecert, K9383 was destroyed in order to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

    580023 Sgt (Pilot) Eric Edward HOPKINS RAF - Safe (later 52809 AFC)
    565694 Sgt (Obs.) James Benedict CALLAGHAN RAF - Safe (+ 13-6-1940 - 226 Sqn - BCL1[2nd.ed.]/293)
    613054 AC1 (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Douglas BARBER RAF - Injured (later 49574 Soviet Medal for Valour)

    See:
    Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War Vol.1 1939-1940.
    Chorley,W R.
    Hersham:Classic Publications,2013(2nd.ed.)
    p.284

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th March 2015 at 01:36.

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    Default Barber Russian Medal of Valour

    The number on the medal is 525533

    Victory Day is May 9

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    Thank you for info. on his wounding in France. We knew he was wounded there so the specifics are helpful. A Russian friend is trying to help me from there regarding the Soviet Medal for Valour by chasing the medal number.

    Cal Sikstrom

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    Perhaps a pool of medals was destined to be given to RAF airmen, with no particular Soviet connection, as a good will and friendship gesture.

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    Default Re: Douglas Barber Russian Medal of Valour

    Quote Originally Posted by alieneyes View Post
    I would like to access AIR/6798 to see the original recommendations after much unsuccessful searching, unable to find. Have found Soviet Decree 21 March 1944 for Medal of Valour for 7 RAF fliers in Russian records Also the decree awards. 7 Mov's to Navy and also Army recipients. By this Decree 90 medals in total were approved. (30/30/30) My focus only RAF. Commendations (courtesy Tom Thorne) spotty on detail e.g. Chandler actually a 617 squad Dam Buster; Jephson aan Operation Fungus hero. Want to see actual recommendations for the 7 men. Considerable errors in what see so far. Waiting for my Russian Embassy Moscow requests for recommendations to Presidium before the Decree. Overdue at present.

    The 7 RAF recipients are presently all on the Russian memorial database page but without photos or any summaries of the reasons for the honour awarded to them.

    I would like to see the original recommendations for the 7 RAF MoVs to properly understand their contributions Any help would be appreciated

    Cal Sikstrom
    Canada phone 780 812-91256

    P.S. After more than 70 years Mister Barber's 1940 RAF engraved Rolls shaving kit has been recovered for the family due to the existence of this forum. He engraved his service number on it.

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    Default Re: Douglas Barber Russian Medal of Valour

    Presidium decree for 90 medals 21 March 1944 to Great Britain army, navy and air force recipients. 7 RAF recipients of Medal for Valour (or Courage). Several medal commendations obviously linked to Soviet efforts e.g. protection Murmansk convoys; one not obvious i.e. Operation Fungus support of Yugoslavian Partisans Soviet. Operation Chastise (Dam Busters 617 squad seems unrelated and only one of the squad received MoV. Similarly Spitfire battle over Malta unless it too can be linked to convoy protection. Recommendation for Barber still unclear. Seems no Soviet relationship. There was a 226 squadron plane named "Stalingrad." with tail identification "S".

    Clause 8 of the identification certificate does state (in Russian) that setting an example for bravery, manliness, and valour against Soviet enemies is a criteria. Also as a model for other citizens for the performance of civic duties but all of these recipients were combat veterans.

    Another interesting matter: 4 French fighter pilots received the award, "Hero of the Soviet Union." Only 44 people of foreign states ever received this medal. Two of the French pilots flew missions with the RAF. At least one was with the Soviet Air Force for a time.

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    Default Re: Douglas Barber Russian Medal of Valour

    Hello

    The 4 Free French Fighter pilots all served on the Russian front, with the groupe de chasse n 3 Normandie, later renamed Normandie-Niemen. The HSU award was clearly made to them for their service on the russian front, not for their earlier operations with the RAF, for those concerned.

    Joss

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    Sikstrom (19th October 2021)

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    Default Re: Douglas Barber Russian Medal of Valour

    Hi,

    Soviet Medal Awarded to RAF Flier (from 3:10 to 4:05)

    https://www.onf.ca/film/canada_communique_no16/

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Sikstrom (6th October 2021)

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