Accession consists of photographs and textual records that document Yakov's experience in the Soviet army during the Second World War. Included is a photograph of Yakov in uniform with his family, Yakov's graduation portrait from pharmacy school (1951) and a photograph of Yakov's father (Gregory) in his military uniform, which he sent home from his military base in Lithuania (1944). Also included are various credential cards for medals Yakov received and a letter that was sent to Yakov from Toronto's Russian consulate.
The originals are in the possession of the donor. They were loaned to the Archives for copying and returned to the donor the same day as part of the Russian Jewish war veteran oral history program.
When the Seond World War began Yakov lived in Odessa, and assisted the Soviet Union's war effort by digging trenches. He was army unit was mobilized in 1943, just after he graduated from military college. After serving for three months he was wounded in an attack. He recovered from his wounds and went on to fight in Northern Donetsk and Dneper. His unit also passed the Kharkov and Poltavskaya regions. After his unit forced the crossing of Dneper the Khrushchev got involved and transported the army to Kiev where they were supported by 209 Armoured Brigade. Here, Yakov's unit sometimes experienced up to 20 bombing and shooting attacks per day. During these attacks, Yakov was wounded twice in his legs. First, a bullet hit his leg, and then a mine exploded. He still has shrapnel in his legs from this explosion.
Accession consists of electronic copies of photographs and textual records related to the Vesyoly's service with the Soviet army during the Second World War. There are also photocopies of a newspaper article and other documents detailing their military service attached to the accesssion form.
Yeugeny was born in Gomel Region, Belarus. He moved to Canada in 1981 with his wife, Sima. At the start of the Second World War, Sima was working in a hospital in Belarus as a civilian. She was drafted in 1943 at the age of nineteen and went to the Third Belarusian Front and served in Berlin and both North and South Korea as a nurse to Japanese prisoners.
Yuegeny was eighteen years of age at the start of the war and served in the air force in the Normandy Regiment and at the Ukrainian Front. He worked as a mechanic on the planes returning from battle. After the end of the war, Stalin sold the Soviet planes to the Chinese and Yeugeny tought their pilots how to operate them. He served for twenty-five years in the Soviet military.