Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union. It is an honorary rank awarded for heroic feats or distinguished service to the Soviet state and society during fighting, as well as in time o peace as an exception.
The award was established on April 16, 1934, by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union. Regulation on the awarding the title voiced the following: “To establish the highest distinction – the conferment of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union awarded for heroic feats of personal or collective services to the Soviet state” No distinctions were foreseen, only a Certificate of the CEC of the USSR was presented.
The practice of awarding the title was fixed in the Regulation on the title of Hero of the Soviet Union by the CEC Decree on July 29, 1936. In this version the citizens, awarded the title, were also resigned to the Order of Lenin.
By the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 1, a special insignia for the Soviet heroes – the medal of Hero of the Soviet Union – was established. The other Decree of October 16, 1939 established appearance of the medal and its title – The Gold Star medal.
Unlike the first Provision, a hero could be awarded the title again. A double Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded the Gold Star medal and he was constructed a bronze bust at home. Three times Hero of the Soviet Union was given the third Gold Star, and his bronze bust had to be installed at the Palace of Soviets in Moscow.
An additional Order of Lenin was not given while awarding the second and third medals. The Decree said nothing about awarding the title for the 4th time, as well as about the possible number of awards per person. Numbering of medals for the first, second and third award was separate. As the construction of the grandiose Palace of Soviets in Moscow was not finished because of the war, the busts of the triple heroes were installed in the Kremlin.