The citation for his HSU title, for which he was recommended in August 1944 and which was finally awarded on May 29, 1945:
On July 14, 1944, units of the 350th Rifle Division, commanded by Major General Vekhin, proceeded to the attack along an eight kilometer wide front from the entry bank at Stokhostavy and Kholotov.
Having broken through the enemy defense lines and having pursued the enemy to the Bug River, comrade Vekhin crossed the Bug in several battles and pressed a further advance on July 23, 1944, and threw the enemy across the San River hotfoot. In a battle, he took the city of Leżajsk fighting, which was a heavily fortified German defense point on the approaches to the Vistula River.
Having beaten down the fiercely resisting enemy, comrade Vekhin, on July 29, 1944, the first in the corps, crossed the Vistula River and expanded the bridgehead to a front line of 10 kilometers long and to a depth of 8 kilometers.
Repeated enemy attempts on July 27 and 28 to counterattack and retake the lost shores and throw the units of comrade Vekhin across the Vistula were repulsed, resulting in heavy enemy losses.
During the period of offensive combat since July 13, the units of comrade Vekhin captured 321 enemy soldiers and officers, 402 rifles and submachine guns, 20 machine guns, 5 mortars, 23 guns, 12 vehicles, 200,000 rounds, killed 3,002 soldiers and officers, destroyed 330 rifles and submachine guns, 18 machine guns, 18 guns, 17 vehicles, 17 armored personnel carriers, and 19 tanks.
In the same period, the division liberated an area of 2,600 square kilometers, 487 villages and 15 railway stations.
For his capable command of the division, the successful crossing of the Bug, San, and Vistula rivers, and his personal courage and bravery as a commander, he deserves the Hero of the Soviet Union title.
This is him as a Major in the 30s and as a Major General in de 2nd half of the 40s:
Vekhin was born on Januari 5, 1901 in a family of peasants in a village in the Vologda Oblast. He attended university but dropped out and joined the army on September 10, 1919. He became a Private in an independent ski battalion of the 7th Army, fighting during the Russian Civil War against Nikolai Yudenich in Northern Russia. Two months later Vekhin headed a ski team and was wounded in his right leg. In March 1920 he became an assistant ski platoon commander and was wounded again. Later that year he became a rifle platoon leader and in 1922 a company commander.
During the interwar period he attended several officers courses and was promoted steadily. He joined the Communist Party in 1926. He married and had two daughters.
In 1931 Vechin became chief of staff of a rifle battalion, after which he occupied several staff positions. By 1938 he was a Major and chief of staff of the 90th Rifle Division in the Leningrad Military District. Later that year he was promoted to Colonel. With this division he fought during the Winter War, for which he was awarded his first Red Banner in January 1940.
In August and November 1941, shortly after the start of the war, Vekhin suffered a couple of contusions. In December 1941 he was made commander of the 177th Rifle Division and in January 1942 commander of the 152nd Rifle Division, fighting in Northern Russia. In January 1943 he was promoted to Major General and between May and July 1943 commanded the 88th Guards Rifle Division. In September he was given the command of the 350th Rifle Division, a position he would hold until May 1946.
Vekhin's division fought from central Ukraine (Vekhin's division played an important role in the liberation of the cities of Pavlograd and Zhitomir) to Southeastern Poland and then to Berlin. At the end of the war the 350th Rifle Division - in full the 350th Sandomierz Red Banner Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky Rifle Division - was located near Prague.
After the war Vekhin commanded the 280th Rifle Division for a short time and in 1948 he attended the General Staff Academy. Vekhin left the army later that year and lived in Kherson. He had been awarded the HSU title, 3 Orders of Lenin, 4 Orders of the Red Banner, 1 Order of Suvorov, 2nd Class, 1 Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class, and 5 medals. Grigory Vekhin died on December 30, 1989.
You are so fortunate to have this in your collection; outstanding!
Absolutely outstanding. Fantastic medal to have in your collection.