In early 1934, the whole country watched the rescue of Chelyuskin crew members. It took the rescuers long to find and save them. Poor communication, unreliable airplanes, polar night – all these factors made the operation on rescuing Otto Schmidt’s expedition a real heroic deed. The whole world knew that real heroes did it. Thus the Communist Party and Soviet Government decided to institute the title of the Hero of Soviet Union. Pilots Anatoly Lyapidevsky, Sigizmund Levanevsky, Vasily Molokov, Nikolay Kamanin, Mikhail Vodopyanov, Mavriky Slepnev and Ivan Doronin became the first heroes, Each of them was awarded with the Order of Lenin and certificate of merit. What about the famous golden star? Yes, it was also handed over to them, but later. Medal Golden Star was instituted only on August 1, 1939. This was the reason behind the confusion: Kamanin holds Certificate of Hero No.1, while the medal with this number belongs to Lyapidevsky.
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