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Old 12-07-2019, 01:01 PM   #1
CtahhR
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1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

Here is the standard issue Russian Federation Jubilee Medal "50 Years Of Victory In The Great Patriotic War 1941-1945".
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

It was awarded to "Klotild M. Govoni" on 24th April 1995.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

Although awarded on 24th April, it wasn't sent out until 21st June 1995, 51 years to the day after enduring a German Air Raid on her position in the Ukrainian SSR.

"Dear Sir" - a rather telling sign on how few of these were actually sent to female recipients. Of the ~1,300 US service personnel that were part of the American Military Mission To Moscow only 13 were women.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:22 PM   #4
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

Her serial numbered "Goolie Chit" and American Military Mission To Moscow sleeve insignia.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

The tiny female contingent to the Soviet Union was a propaganda goldmine.

The first photograph shows Govoni in the centre and was taken on 7th June 1944 at Mirgorod Air Base by the 8th USAAF First Combat Camera Unit.

In the second she is also in the centre, standing by an aircraft of the Red Army Air Force.

In there third, in the middle again, she is photographed on her wedding day, 20th May 1945 at Poltava. She married William Roman Kaluta of the Corps Of Engineers who was later a Lieutenant-Colonel in the USAF. I believe that their wedding was the only one between US service personnel within the Soviet Union. It was big enough news to make Stars And Stripes.
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File Type: jpg Clotilde Govoni Middle.jpg (79.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Poltava Middle.jpg (27.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Kaluta Wedding Poltava 20th May 1945.jpg (181.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

These papers cover her to June 1944.
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File Type: jpg 1944-04-05.jpg (208.4 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 1944-06-12.jpg (189.3 KB, 2 views)
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:04 PM   #7
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

Two more commendations (one covering the air raid on her position) and a promotion before 1944 was out.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:10 PM   #8
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

A rather inaccurate article on her and the Medal from the Russian Embassy with some journalistic liberties "a few weeks back" was in fact 7 years.

She was buried at Arlington.
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File Type: jpg Kaluta Grave.jpg (117.2 KB, 4 views)
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:25 PM   #9
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Different countries and time periods have different insights into people and research results can vary considerably. There's lots of information out there and in this case her story can be padded out by the 1930 and 1940 censuses. The first she is an infant at the family, in the second she is gone and has two housemates.
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File Type: jpg Govoni 1940.jpg (210.4 KB, 2 views)
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic

What an extraordinary story for such an "ordinary" medal. Thanks for sharing.
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