David Kalontarov (variants: Kalantarov and Kallentrov) was born in 1925 into a large family in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). He finished school there in 1941, later enrolling in the Samarkand Medical Institute (University).
In 1943, after completing his first year at the Institute, the 18-year-old David was drafted into the Red Army and sent to a brief, intensive artillery course. He was dispatched to the front in 1944 with the rank of sergeant, despite lacking adequate military training. Nevertheless, due to his being a former medical student (i.e., his relatively high level of educational attainment compared to many of his fellow soldiers, who were country boys), Kalontarov was put in charge of the weapons of an artillery regiment. With this regiment, he fought on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Ukrainian Fronts, in the territory of Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.
During a battle in Czechoslovak territory in 1944, Kalontarov was seriously wounded and evacuated to a hospital. After his release, he was sent to study at the Rostov Artillery School.
In the course of the war, he was awarded the Order of Glory, 3rd Class, and a number of medals. In his award certificates, the Jew Kalontarov was listed as a Tajik.
In December 1945, following the end of the war, he was discharged from the army and moved to Moscow, where he resumed his interrupted medical education. After qualifying as a physician, David returned to his home city of Samarkand, later moving to Stalinabad (present-day Dushanbe, Tadjikistan), where he practiced medicine and worked as a teacher.
In 1993, David Kalontarov immigrated to Israel with his family.
From 1979 on, while still in the USSR, Kalontarov had begun to gather information on the history of the Soviet-German war, including the part played in it by Jewish soldiers hailing from Soviet Central Asia. In 1998, he was asked by members of the Bukharan Jewish community in New York to document the history of Bukharan Jewish war veterans who had moved to that city.