Sunday, March 15, 2015

Victor Dmitriyevich Kuskov

Victor Dmitriyevich Kuskov never considered himself to be a Hero and always told others that he was simply doing his job.

Many service personnel earned their Hero status not by performing courageous acts during hand-to- hand fighting, but by inspiring others through their selfless devotion to duty. Victor Kuskov was one such man.

Kuskov was born in November 1924 in the Kalinin region. His family were peasants and he finished seven grades of school to become an accountant on a collective farm. He joined the navy in July 1942 and trained with the Northern Fleet. He was then posted to the 1st Naval Guard Battalion as the motor mechanic of a torpedo launch.

Kuskov fought during the whole war aboard ships on the Baltic Front. The motor launch in which he served took part in 42 battles and sank three enemy ships.

In one of the battles, Kuskov was concussed when an enemy shell hit the motor compartment of his boat, damaging an oil pipe. Overcoming pain, he covered the hole in the leaking oil pipe with his hands. The hot oil burned his hands, but he unclasped them only after his boat was able to escape from enemy fire.

On July 1, 1944, Kuskov again exhibited heroism when his boat was hit by another enemy shell. Although badly wounded, he stayed in the motor compartment to fight the fire and flooding. When the boat began to sink, he and another comrade worked to put life jackets on the wounded crew and help them into the water. He held the seriously wounded commander of the boat in his arms for over two hours until rescued by a friendly ship.

For his courageous conduct and devotion to duty, Victor Kuskov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union on July 22, 1944.

After the war, Sr. Lt. Kuskov finished the military marine political college and finally retired in 1955. He died on September 25, 1983.

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