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Mefodiy Tyurikov (27 June 1926 – 24 October 1998)

Born in the village Onishovo, Arkhangelsk Region.

Graduated from the 6th grade. In 1941 was trained as a turner and worked at the shipyard in Maimaksa (district of Arkhangel).

In January 1943, at the age of 16 he became crewmember of icebreaker Anastas Mikoyan, served as a stoker of the 2nd class. M. Tyurikov served in the Soviet Navy until February 1947.

In 1949 he married and brought up four daughters and a son.

In 1953 he completed the courses for heavy fuel motorman of port navigator in the town of Molotovsk (now Severodvinsk). In 1954 enlisted as motorist in the Mudiug group.

From 1958 worked as the “Kumbysh fire” light-keeper and in 1960 was transferred to the Yagra group as longshoreman.

Before retiring M. Tyurikov worked as stoker at a state-run farm in the village of Lastola.


  • Order of Great Patriotic War of II degree.
  • Medal "Participant of the Northern Convoys".


"Framed photo"

I love visiting my grandparents in the neighbouring village of Onishovo. One Saturday evening, I noticed an unusual photo in a frame. It was on a shelf in a bookcase. A young lad in a cap with very familiar slightly arch look of serious eyes, and a man in a suit with the same charming smile, were looking at me from the picture. After inquiring with my grandmother, I found out that it was my great-grandfather, Mefodiy Grigorievich Tyurikov. He was a participant of the Great Patriotic War. Mefodiy Tyurikov was my grandfather Alexander's father.

I only know about the war from books, but I know how much grief the Great Patriotic War brought to all people.

On 22 June 1941, when the Soviet people were sleeping peacefully, Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union. The whole Soviet people stood up to defend their country. It was a hard road to victory. People fought, not knowing their fate a day in advance.

During the Great Patriotic War millions of people were wounded and killed. How much grief, tears and destruction the war brought! Everything was for the battle front, for Victory. How many children were left homeless and how many became orphans! Teenagers grew up before their time, replacing fathers, grandfathers and older brothers who went up the line. Moscow and Leningrad, Odessa and Sevastopol, Kiev and Brest, Smolensk... One can not name all the places where battles took place.

Natives of Arkhangelsk region heroically fought in the Great Patriotic War. Many of them didn't return from battlefields. In our village we have an obelisk to those who died and who have returned from the war. Every year on Victory Day the inhabitants of Lastola village and surrounding villages come to remember all those who forged the victory. My great-grandfather, Mefodiy Tyurikov, was among those who returned to his home village...

I was looking at the picture with interest. My grandfather, Alexander Mefodievich, quietly approached me:

‒ This picture was taken by my sister Tamara. We want you to know and remember great-grandfather Mefodiy.      

Grandfather smiled: 

- He was born in the village of Onishovo on 27 June 1926 in a simple Pomeranian family. He completed 6 classes. In 1941 he mastered the profession of a turner and worked at the shipyard in Maimaksa.

‒ Granddad, but that was just the time when war began..! - I asked in a low voice.

The furnace was heating the room, the wood was crackling. We settled on the sofa.

‒ In 1943, in January, at the age of 16, he became the crewmember of icebreaker Mikoyan. I do not know exactly whether he was recruited or someone he knew put him there. The icebreaker was a military ship, but she was converted into a cargo one. And then she took part in the Northern Convoys, ‒ my grandfather continued his story.

‒ My father was taken to the ice-breaker Mikoyan as a stoker of the 2nd class. He said the bombing was very heavy and terrifying but the whole crew kept the watch bravely. They couldn’t let themselves be distracted, - grandfather's voice trembled and he got silent.

‒ Granddad, what happened next?

Grandfather stroked my head and whispered:

‒ My father didn't like to talk about it.

Embracing me Granddad, I kept looking at the picture and listening intently:

‒ Next, from 1944, he worked on the icebreaker Joseph Stalin already as a 1st class stoker. The ship was damaged in a bombing raid and was stationed in an American port. Our Mefodiy Grigoryevich served till February 1947. He was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of II degree and the Medal "Participant of the Northern Convoys".

I remember well when we once went on an excursion to the Northern Maritime Museum in Arkhangelsk. The guide there was talking about the Northern Convoys. The Arctic Convoys of World War II were coming from Great Britain and Iceland to the northern Soviet ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. There were a total of 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945. About 1,400 merchant ships delivered important war cargoes to the USSR under the lend-lease programme. The Arctic convoys delivered about half of all lend-lease aid to the USSR.

Initially, all the convoys were heading for Arkhangelsk ‒ it was located far from the front line, had a stable railway connection to the rest of the country, and was the largest port in that region. Its peculiarity was that until 1941 it included two main ports: Bakaritsa, 6-7 km away from Arkhangelsk, and Ekonomiya, 25 km away. By 1942, Molotovsk (now Severodvinsk), 60 km away from the city, was included in the complex of cargo areas. All the areas were parts of Arkhangelsk commercial sea port. Each area later developed its own specialization, e.g. Molotovsk was the only place to receive oil cargoes from tankers coming with convoys to the White Sea. The port of Ekonomia specialized in receiving and shipping timber.

At the museum we were told the story of icebreaker Mikoyan. Initially called the Otto Schmidt, she was built in Nikolayev on the Black Sea. The icebreaker Lazar Koganovich, built at the same yard a little earlier, left for the Far East before the war, but the Mikoyan did not make it - she was launched, but did not pass even the commissioning tests before the beginning of military operations. Nevertheless, the standard was hoisted on it. The icebreaker joined the Black Sea Fleet as an auxiliary cruiser.

Three 130-mm guns and four 76-mm guns were installed on the vessel, and it was equipped with anti-aircraft machine guns. A considerable part of the crew was made up of Nikolayev shipyard workers ‒ their home town had already been occupied by the enemy troops in the middle of August. The ship's captain was appointed the experienced sailor Sergei Sergeyev. Perhaps this circumstance was decisive in the fate of the icebreaker.

In autumn the guns of the Mikoyan were defending Odessa, she helped evacuate troops and equipment to Sevastopol, but she was needed in the north, where the epic of the Polar Convoys began. On the eve of 1943 she arrived in Molotovsk, but it was in need of serious repairs.

It turns out that at the Northern Maritime Museum I listened to a story about my great-grandfather!

I know that in 1949 Mefodiy Grigorievich married. He and his wife had four daughters and a son. In 1953 he finished the courses of motorists and enlisted as motorist in the Mudiug group. From 1958 he worked as the “Kumbysh fire” light-keeper.

My granddad Alexander Mefodievich told that his father took him to Kumbysh, taught him how to fish and sail small vessels. In his turn, my granddad taught my father Anton.

Just before his retirement, great-grandfather worked in Lastola village as a stoker. He died in 1998 at the age of 72.

I am amazed at my great-grandfather's courage and bravery, endurance and patience. Too bad I never saw him, he died before I was born. But when I look at his picture, I feel as if a very dear person is looking at me. Grandfather Alexander is sure to tell me many more interesting things about the life of his father, my great-grandfather Mefodiy Tyurikov.

We must never forget heroic deeds of our great-grandfathers and old photos from the family archive help us in that!

Veronika Tyurikova

Icebreaker Anastas Mikoyan

Icebreaker Anastas Mikoyan.

The icebreaker was laid down in Nikolaev in November 1935. In August 1941 the Germans began an attack on Nikolaev, where the Anastas Mikoyan was being rebuilt from an icebreaker into a fighting ship.

An experienced seaman, 2nd rank captain Sergey Sergeev was appointed as captain of the icebreaker. On August 26th, 1941 with the crew consisting of the shipyard workers the icebreaker was put out to sea and headed for Sevastopol. There she was finally converted to an auxiliary cruiser. Then, under the guidance of Captain Sergeev, the Anastas Mikoyan made the heroic passage from Batumi across four oceans to Anadyr.

The passage started in November 1941 when the order was received to disarm the ship and prepare for its passage to the Far East through the Bosporus Strait and neutral Turkey: the country was in urgent need of icebreakers in the Arctic for the delivery of military cargo.

The icebreaker arrived to Batumi, whence she sailed on 25th November together with the tankers Sakhalin, Tuapse and Varlaam Avanesov. At the outer harbor they were met by the caravan leader Tashkent and destroyers Sposobny and Soobrazitelny. On November 30, 1941, after enduring a severe storm, the caravan approached the Turkish shore. Here the warships turned back, wishing the icebreaker and the tankers a safe voyage.

After the passage of the Italian Rhodes, the Anastas Mikoyan was detected and subsequently, albeit unsuccessfully, attacked by Italian torpedo boats. Having exhausted their supply of torpedoes, the gunboats left for Rhodes and the icebreaker headed towards Cyprus.

On leaving the Cyprus the icebreaker went for repairs to Haifa in British Palestine, where she took part in extinguishing a tanker fire, and took on board the British soldiers who had guarded the port and suffered the fire. They were given medical treatment on board the icebreaker.

On 4 December 1941 Anastas Mikoyan safely completed another stage of the passage and arrived in the port of Suez, where, by prior arrangement with the British, the icebreaker was to be supplied with cannonries and machine-guns. However, only one small-calibre gun was mounted, and the crew decided to equip the icebreaker with dummy guns to create a psychological effect. The decision was made to sail to Cape Town, and then across the Atlantic and the Pacific, westwards, to the Soviet coast. On February 7, 1942 the icebreaker crossed the equator.

In Cape Town, the Anastas Mikoyan took on supplies and loaded up with coal. On March 26, the icebreaker left Cape Town and crossed the Atlantic Ocean, arriving on April 12, 1942 at Montevideo anchorage. She became the first Soviet ship to visit this port.

Having completed her voyage through the ports of Latin America, the Anastas Mikoyan arrived in San Francisco, from where she departed for Seattle. On 4 July 1942 the ship entered the port of Seattle, where remained for repairs. The icebreaker left port armed and escorted by two American warships. After a brief mooring in Alaska, in the port of Kodiak, she sailed west along the Aleutian Islands, arriving at Dutch Harbor Naval Base on 6 August.

On 9 August 1942, the icebreaker entered Anadyr Bay in Chukotka. This voyage lasted eight and a half months. Of the four vessels which left Batumi on this voyage, only the Mikoyan and the tanker Sakhalin managed to reach their home shores. Four oceans and 24,760 miles of foreign waters were left behind. A total of 138 crew members took part in the voyage and not a single member of the crew was lost.

On August 14, 1942 the icebreaker left Provideniya Bay to ensure the passage along the Northern Sea Route of 19 transports with cargo and three Pacific warships (the leader Baku, destroyers Razumnyj and Razyarennyj). At the same time 3nd rank captain Yuri Khlebnikov took command of the Anastas Mikoyan, and S. Sergeev left for Vladivostok, where he took over the warship.

After the caravan was brought to clear water, Anastas Mikoyan headed east again to provide icebreaker assistance to the other vessels. She then made several more voyages to the Kara Sea.

In September 1942 the Anastas Mikoyan was blown up on a mine barrier laid by German ships. The icebreaker did not sink, but needed extensive repairs, and with the opening of navigation season she set off for repairs in the US city of Seattle. The icebreaker took the Northern Sea Route unassisted, leading a caravan of ships.

After returning to the USSR, the Anastas Mikoyan repeatedly escorted ships through the Arctic Ocean, and in 1957 was transferred to Vladivostok as part of the Far Eastern Shipping Company.

Based on websites:

Icebreaker Iosef Stalin (renamed Sibir after 1958)

Icebreaker Iosef Stalin. Photo: fleetphoto.ru

The Soviet icebreaker Iosef Stalin was laid down on 23 October 1935 and launched on 14 August 1937. During the Great Patriotic War the icebreaker was under the command of the Soviet icebreaking fleet captain Vladimir Voronin.

At the beginning of 1942 during the German air raid the Iosef Stalin got damages and was sent for repairs to Seattle (USA).

In 1943 the icebreaker worked in the Sea of Okhotsk on escorting ships from the US Portland with lend-lease cargoes and also in the Eastern sector of the Arctic.

In 1972-1973, the icebreaker took part in a Far East oil exploration expedition. In 1973, she was scrapped.

Based on websites: