FDR Awards Russian Colonel The Legion Of Merit

The Legion of Merit was created by Act of Congress on July 20, 1942, and made retroactive to September 8, 1939, the day on which Roosevelt proclaimed a state of emergency prior to WWII. The only U.S. decoration with specific degrees of rank, the degree of "Officer" may be awarded to foreign personnel  below the equivalent rank of a U.S. Chief of Staff but is usually awarded to personnel of general or flag officer rank. This citation, which came in an attractive case with a portrait of President Roosevelt, was awarded to "Colonel Nikolai Karpovich, Red Army, U.S.S.R. For exceptionally meritorious  conduct in the performance of outstanding services...His achievements contributed to the freeing of Leningrad from the enemy's barbarous  artillery fire and from the blockade." Signed, "Franklin D. Roosevelt"