Hero of the Soviet Union
The Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.
The Hero of the Soviet Union medal was established on April 16th, 1934 by Decree of the Predidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet.
In total, 12,500 people were awarded the title. Many of them received the award during the Great Patriotic War when 11,635 people were recipients of the title.
The first recipients of the Hero of the Soviet Union award were a group of pilots who participated in the successful aerial search and rescue for the crew of steamship Cheliuskin which sunk in arctic waters in February, 1934.
Over 100 people received the award twice. The second award meant that the recipient was entitled to a bronze bust of his likeness with a commemorative inscription built in his homeland.
In 1988, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR banned the award from being given more than once.
The title was also awarded to twelve cities and the fortress of Brest for collective heroism during the war.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, this title was succeeded by the Hero of Russia in 1992.