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Andrey Titanko
Titanko in 2020
Native name Андрей Лаврентьевич Титенко
Birth name Andrey Lavrentievich Titanko
Born 15 December 1918(1918-12-15) (age 104)
Place of birth Zhikhovo village, Novgorod-Seversky Uyezd, Chernigov Governorate, Ukrainian People's Republic
(now Seredyna-Buda Raion, Sumy Oblast, Ukraine)
Allegiance Soviet Union Soviet Union
Service/branch Red Army
Years of service 1941—1945
Rank Sergeant
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union

Andrey Lavrentievich Titanko (Russian: Андрей Лаврентьевич Титенко) (born 15 December 1918) is a former Soviet soldier who served during World War II and recipient of the title Hero of the Soviet Union.[1]

Early life

Titanko was born on 18 December 1918 in the village of Zhikhovo in Chernigov Governorate of Ukraine, into a peasant family of Russian ethnicity. After graduating from seven classes of school, he worked as a tractor driver on a collective farm.[1]

Military career

He joined the Red Army in 1941. Following the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa in July 1941, he fought with the Southern, 1st Baltic and 3rd Belorussian fronts from March 1942. Titanko fought in the battles of Caucasus and Stalingrad, and in the Donbass, Dnieper–Carpathian, Crimean and East Prussian offensives. He was wounded twice during the war.[2][1]

On 18 March 1945, during the East Prussian offensive, Titanko served as the commander of a battery of 45 mm anti-tank guns within the 6th Red Banner Rifle Regiment. He distinguished himself during a battle for the fortified stronghold at the town of Deutsch Thierau in Königsberg. Bursting the guns, calculation was cut off from the rifle units. Having organized a perimeter defense, the five-man gun crew under his command managed to repel the attack by two platoons of German infantry. They killed 80 enemy soldiers and destroyed four machine gun emplacements. For this feat, Titanko was nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. After the battle, he was admitted to the hospital due to his injuries and underwent six operations in order to recover.[3][1]

By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 19 April 1945 for the exemplary performance of the combat mission of the command in the fight against the Nazi invaders and the courage and heroism shown at the same time, Titanko was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal. However, Titanko received no confirmation of the award. As a result, he had to apply to various institutions to find his award documents. The documents were found with the assistance of the headquarters of the North Caucasus Military District and Titanko received the Hero of Soviet Union on 24 October 1947.[3]

Following the end of World War II, he was demobilised from the Red Army.[3]

Later life

After his demobilisation from the military, he worked in factories at Kalmyk ASSR, and in the villages of Grigoropolisskaya and Novotroitskayaya in Stavropol Krai. Titanko joined the Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1953. From 1954, he has been residing in the town of Izobilny in Stavropol Krai, where he was in charge of a factory. He later worked as a director of a food processing plant and headed the fire department of Izobilnensky District for 27 years. Titanko was named an honorary citizen of the Izobilnensky District.[4]

In 2020, he was awarded the title of 'Honorary Citizen of Stavropol Krai'.[5]

On 15 December 2018, he turned 100 years old, making him a centenarian. As of 2022, at the age of 103, he is currently the oldest living recipient of the title Hero of the Soviet Union.[6][7]

Awards and decorations

Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Hero of the Soviet Union (19 April 1945)
Order of Lenin ribbon bar.png Order of Lenin (19 April 1945)
Order gpw1 rib.png Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class (6 April 1985)
Order of Glory Ribbon Bar.png Order of Glory, 3rd class (14 October 1944)
SU Medal For Courage ribbon.svg Medal "For Courage", twice (19 October 1943, 6 June 1944)
Defstalingrad.png Medal "For the Defence of Stalingrad" (1942)
Defcaucasus rib.png Medal "For the Defence of the Caucasus" (1944)
Capturekoenigsberg rib.png Medal "For the Capture of Königsberg" (1945)
Order of Glory Ribbon Bar.png Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" (1945)
  • jubilee medals

References

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