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Ivan Ustinovich Kharchenko
File:Иван Устинович Харченко.jpg
Born (1918-09-23)23 September 1918
Died 1 July 1989(1989-07-01) (aged 70)
Place of birth Komarivka village, Chernigov Oblast, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine)
Place of death Kyiv, Ukraine
Buried at Berkotets Cemetery, Kyiv, Ukraine
Allegiance Soviet Union Soviet Union
Service/branch Red Army
Years of service 1938 - 1964
Rank Colonel
Unit 31 Detached Engineering and anti-gas battalion of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, NKVD
Battles/wars
Awards

Hero of the Soviet Union — 1944
Order of Lenin

Order of the Red Banner
Order of the Patriotic War 1st class
Order of the Red Star

Ivan Ustinovich Kharchenko (Ukrainian language: Іван Устинович Харченко , 23 September 1918 - 1 July 1989) was a Soviet Army Military engineering Colonel and Hero of the Soviet Union. During World War II, he was a platoon commander. Kharchenko received was promoted to Junior lieutenant in 1939, lieutenant in 1943 and senior lieutenant in 1944. He reportedly personally defused more than 50,000 explosives, including bombs, mines and shells. For his actions in defusing explosives, Kharchenko was named a Hero of the Soviet Union and awarded the Gold Star and Order of Lenin on 2 November 1944. In the citation for the Hero of the Soviet Union award, it was stated that Kharchenko personally defused more than 1500 bombs weighing more than 500 kilograms each and 25,000 other explosive objects. After World War II, Kharchenko continued his military service until retirement in 1964. Until 1956 he was personally engaged in rendering innocuous explosive items left over from World War II.[1] In March 1961, the battalion commanded by Kharchenko led a rescue operation after the Kurenivka mudslide in Kiev.

Early life

Ivan Kharchenko was born on 23 September 1918 in Komarovka village of Nizhyn Uyezd in the Chernigov Governorate to the family of a peasant. He graduated from seven classes and worked as a factory carpenter in Khimki. In 1938, Kharchenko joined the Red Army[1][2]

World War II

In 1941 Kharchenko became underleitenant and a platoon commander in the 22 Detached Engineering and anti-gas battalion of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops. In 1942 he came back to the unit were he had served in non-commitioned positions—to the 6th Engineering and anti-gas regiment of the NKVD antiaircraft defense troops.[3] He helped to defuse more than 26,000 German shells, mines and bombs during the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kiev (1943). On 2 November 1944, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin for his actions in defusing unexploded ordnance and mines.[1][2]

Postwar

After the end of World War II, Kharchenko defused more than 16,000 unexploded bombs, as well as other explosive devices. In 1950, he graduated from the High Officers' Engineering School in Moscow. In 1964, Kharchenko left military service and worked in the Ministry of Assembly and Special Construction Works in Kiev until his retirement in 1986.[2] He died on 1 July 1989 and is buried in the Berkovetskaya Cemetery.[1]

Military service

  • 1938—1941 — 31 Detached Engineering and anti-gas battalion of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, NKVD (Zaporizhia), cadet, squad leader, company's petty officer
  • 1941 — Courses of Unterleutnants in Leningrad Command school of the Head Department of Military engineering, cadet
  • 1941—1942 — 22 Detached Engineering and anti-gas battalion of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, NKVD (Gorky), commander of a platoon
  • 1942—1943 — 31 Detached Engineering and anti-gas battalion of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, NKVD (Stalingrad), commander of a platoon
  • 1943—1945 — 6 Engineering and anti-gas regiment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, NKVD (Kyiv), commander of a platoon
  • 1945—1951 — 6 Engineering and anti-gas regiment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, Interior Ministry (Kyiv), commander of a company
  • 1951—1955 — 3 detachment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, Interior Ministry (Kyiv), commander of a pyrotechnical team
  • 1955—1956 — 6 Engineering and anti-gas regiment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, Interior Ministry (Kyiv), commander of a pyrotechnical service
  • 1956—1960 — 6 Engineering and anti-gas regiment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, Interior Ministry (Kyiv), commander of an engineering battalion
  • 1960—1962 — 120 Detached Engineering and anti-gas regiment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, Soviet Army, Kiev Military District (Kyiv), commander of an engineering battalion
  • 1962—1964 — Headquarter of the Civil Defence of Ukrainian SSR,(Kyiv), officer in charge of combat training organisation

Honors

References


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