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Acron Volunteer Search Club Takes Expedition Trip

Facing the Victory Day, the Members of the Sokol volunteer search club sponsored by Acron took an expedition trip during which they located the remains of 18 Red Army soldiers and a Pe-2 bomber.

Two groups took part in a new expedition trip with Acron’s Sokol volunteer search club. From 16 April through 3 May, the first group led by Igor Kun explored the wetlands near Omychkino village in Starorusskiy district, where the Ramushevo Corridor was located during WWII. The remains of 17 Red Army soldiers were found, ten of whom from the 200th rifle division. Two lockets were found, one of which was empty. On the last day of the expedition trip, the parts of a Pe-2 bomber were found in a bog. Using the parts identification numbers, the group was able to establish that the plane flew combat flights within the 240th reconnaissance squadron of the North-Western Front and that it was shot down on 28 December 1941. The bomber’s debris is scheduled to be lifted from the bog this autumn.

At the end of April, the second group led by Evgeniy Antipov scouted the area near Zemtitsy village in Novgorod district, 7 km from Myasnoy Bor. The 52nd Army of the Volkhov Front fought in this area and held the line for the 2nd Shock Army. The remains of one soldier were found in a trench shelter. Heavy rains prevented the group from continuing, so the work was rescheduled for the end of May. Executive Director of Acron (Veliky Novgorod) Vladimir Gavrikov took part in the expedition. Gavrikov joined the Sokol volunteer search club thirty years ago and continues to participate in expedition trips.

The history of the Sokol volunteer movement goes back to Nikolay Orlov, who worked at the chemical plant in 1967 when it was still under construction. Young people from all around the country flocked to work at the new plant. Alexei Skala headed the company’s Komsomol committee at the time and he asked Orlov to form a group of employees for camping and exploration trips. On 18 April 1968, a group of nine people left for the first trip to Death Valley, where soldiers and commanders of the 2nd Shock Army passed through during the war. Over more than 40 years, Sokol members have identified thousands of fallen soldiers of the 2nd Shock Army, whose remains have been buried with full military honours. The obelisks and memorial stones were erected at the mass graves. The company’s personnel consider it its duty to treat the military burials and treasure the relics of the war found by the club members at the battle sites and held at the Acron’s military and labour hall of fame.