[8] In the following months she was credited with several more aircraft. On 10 September, Budanova was assigned with Lydia Litvyak, Mariya Kuznetsova, and Raisa Belyayeva to the 437th Fighter Aviation Regiment, based in Verkhnania Akhtuba on the east bank of the Volga river [6] engaged in the fighting over Stalingrad. [38], On 6 May 1990, USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev posthumously awarded her the title Hero of the Soviet Union. The book entitled "Call Sign, White Lily,"[55] also contains never-before-seen photographs contributed by the museum. [51], Litvyak is the major character in Mary Ann Cook's romanticized novel The White Rose, a fictional account of her wartime experiences. The Highest-Scoring Female Fighter Ace Ever: The Short but Daring Life of Lydia Litvyak; Exploring the wreck of the Bismarck – and it is in remarkable condition; RIP … Maier parachuted from his aircraft, was captured by Soviet troops, and asked to see the Russian ace who had shot him down. On 10 September she moved along with Yekaterina Budanova, Mariya Kuznetsova and Raisa Beliaeva, the commander of the group, and accompanying female ground crew, to the regiment airfield, at Verkhnaia Akhtuba, on the east bank of the Volga river. Yekaterina Vasilyevna Budanova (Russian: Екатерина Васильевна Буданова), nicknamed Katya (Катя), (6 December 1916 – 19 July 1943),[2] was a fighter pilot in the Soviet Air Force during World War II. [26] That day she was flying as part of a group of six Yak fighters when they attacked a dozen Ju 88s. [11] He later recalled that Budanova "was tall, kept her hair cut short,... and in her flightsuit hardly stood out from the fellows." [16], In the 437th Fighter Regiment, Litvyak scored her first two kills on 13 September, three days after her arrival and on her third mission to cover Stalingrad, becoming the first woman fighter pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Cottam, an author and researcher focusing on Soviet women in the military, concludes that Litvyak made a belly-landing in her stricken aircraft, was captured and taken to a prisoner of war camp. She was shot down by either Luftwaffe ace Georg Schwientek of JG 52 or ace Emil Bitsch, of JG 3. She trained there on the Yakovlev Yak-1 aircraft. Budanova was selected to fly with Baranov, while squadron commander Alexei Solomatin took Litvyak as wingman. [19] Possibly Ju 88A-4 "5K + LH" of Iron Cross holder Oblt. [42], Gian Piero Milanetti, author of a recent book about Soviet aviatrixes,[43] wrote that an airwoman parachuted in the approximate location of the alleged crash landing of Litvyak's aircraft. [19] Her first kill was a Ju 88 which fell in flames from the sky after several bursts. She has also been called the "White Rose of Stalingrad" in Europe and North America since reports of her exploits were first published in English. [18] That day, four Yak-1s—with Major S. Danilov in the lead—attacked a formation of Junkers Ju 88s escorted by Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Israeli fighter pilot Giora Epstein is the ace of aces for supersonic fighter jets and of the Israeli Air Force. Litvyak shot down one of the bombers but was in turn attacked and wounded by the escorting Bf 109s. No parachute was seen, and no explosion, yet she never returned from the mission. Pocket Jacks Comics White Lily series, featured a fictionalized Katya Budanova as the main character of the story which closely follows her relationship with Lydia Litvyak. Leadership Lessons From One Of The First Female Fighter Pilots Carey Lohrenz became one of the first female combat pilots in the Navy by not taking no for an answer. Senior Lieutenant Kurt Welter was Germany’s top jet fighter pilot and the highest scoring jet ace in aviation history.… [15] Boris Yeremin (later lieutenant general of aviation), a regimental commander in the division to which she and Budanova were assigned, saw her as "a very aggressive person" and "a born fighter pilot". She became a flight instructor at Kalinin Airclub,[10] and by the time the German–Soviet war broke out, had already trained 45 pilots.[11]. [41] In her book published in 2004, Polunina lists evidence that led her to conclude that Litvyak was pulled from the downed aircraft by German troops and held prisoner for some time. [27] While in 73rd Regiment, she often flew as wingman of Captain Aleksey Solomatin, a flying ace with a claimed total of 39 victories (22 shared). She was shot down by either Luftwaffe ace Georg Schwientek of JG 52 or ace Emil Bitsch, of JG 3. (Dmitrijewka is where she was last seen and was – reportedly – buried.) After deliberately exaggerating her pre-war flight time by 100 hours, she joined the all-female 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Air Defense Force,[12] which was formed by Marina Raskova. "[56] The work is also included in Rodriguez's 1995 Fantagraphics Books anthology, "My True Story."[57]. Nattel, Lilian (2019) Random House Canada, LW Loss Report (microfilm roll #11)-Vol. One source claims the victim aircraft had an "Ace of Spades" card painted on the fuselage. The 586th Fighter Regiment fought in 125 aerial battles in two and a half years. After deliberately exaggerating her pre-war flight time by 100 hours, she joined the all-female 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Air Defense Force, which was formed by Marina Raskova. Budanova was born into a peasant family in Konoplanka village in Smolensk Oblast. On May 21,[14] while training a new flyer, Solomatin was killed in front of the entire regiment in Pavlonka when he flew into the ground. Byrne, also a playwright, served as the set designer for White Rose. Crisci, with no Russian ancestry, in cooperation with Valentina Vaschenko, the curator of the Lilya Litvyak Museum and School in Krasny Luch, Eastern Ukraine. [citation needed], Arguments have been published that dispute the official version of Litvyak's death. Litvyak displayed a rebellious and romantic character. The First Female Fighter Ace “The White Lily”… Empire of the Sun P-51 Mustang Cadillac of the Sky Scene . [citation needed], Russian aviation historians Andrey Simonov and Svetlana Chudinova dispute Budanova's status as a flying ace, noting that official documents record that she had only three victories.[17]. It is relatively certain that 2,500 German fighter pilots attained ace status, having achieved at least 5 aerial victories. During the Great Purge, Vladimir Litvyak was arrested as an "enemy of the people" and disappeared. After leaving elementary school with the highest grades, she had to abandon her studies due to her father's death, and began working as a nanny. [8][9] Lydia became interested in aviation at an early age. [47] Returning from a successful mission, she would "buzz" the aerodrome and then indulge in unauthorised aerobatics, knowing that it enraged her commander. The most common quoted is for 11 kills (6 individual and 5 shared). [13] Here, flying a Yak-1[14] carrying the number "32" on the fuselage, she would achieve considerable success. The following table summarizes Litvyak's credited victories and their fates: sfn error: no target: CITEREFGoodpaster2009 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFJackson2003 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFPennington2001 (, Redarmyonline.org. Olga Nikolayevna Yamshikova: 17 - 3 (3 + 14 OTG?) Gerhard Maak of 7./KG76 on the night of 24 September 1942. [22] On 27 September, Litvyak scored an air victory against a Ju 88, the gunner having shot up the regiment commander, Major M.S. This regiment consisted either of aces or people considered potential aces. Jan 6, 2021 - Explore Geo Duckett's board "Female Pilots" on Pinterest. Merkle is the only pilot that claimed a Yak-1 near Dmitryevka on 1 August 1943, his 30th victory. The other was Yekaterina Budanova But Katia's red starred fighter had been hit; tongues of flame were already licking at the wings. [5], On 14 September, according to some authors, Litvyak shot down another Bf 109. P-51 Red Tail Mustang “Bunny” Takes To The Skies . Achieving five confirmed kills was a feat that earned a fighter pilot the title of ace. She performed her first solo flight at 15, and later graduated from the Kherson military flying school. [25] Pasportnikova said that a special commission was formed to inspect the exhumed body and it concluded the remains were those of Litvyak. This is a list of fighter aces in World War II from Germany. Her comrade Solomatin is believed to have been her fiancé, and after his death, she wrote to her mother: You see, he was not my type, but his insistence and his love for me convinced me to love him... and now, it seems I will never meet someone like him ever again. [7] According to regiment archivist Ekaterina K. Polunina on 2 October 1942 Budanova achieved her two first solo air victories, shooting down a Junkers Ju 88 and a Bf 109. [47] She would fashion scarves from parachute material, dyeing the small pieces in different colors and stitching them together and would not hide her love of flowers, which she picked at every available occasion, favoring red roses. Israeli fighter pilot Giora Epstein is the ace of aces for supersonic fighter jets and of the Israeli Air Force. She insisted and described for her commander her plan: she would attack it from the rear after flying in a wide circle around the perimeter of the battleground and over German-held territory. "[12], Budanova managed to put out the fire and force landed in no-man's land. [42], Litvyak was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, Order of the Red Star, and was twice honored with the Order of the Patriotic War. With 11 air victories, she was one of the world's two female fighter aces along with Lydia … [39] Her final rank was senior lieutenant, as documented in all Moscow newspapers of that date. [5], Litvyak, Beliaeva, Budanova and Kuznetsova stayed in the 437th Regiment for a short time only, mainly because it was equipped with LaGG 3s rather than Yak-1s, that the women flew, and was lacking the facilities to service the latter. [19][20] The Bf 109 was piloted by a decorated pilot from the 4th Air Fleet, the 11-victory ace[1] Staff Sergeant Erwin Maier of the 2nd Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 53. Aviation History magazine, March 2002, LW Loss Report (microfilm roll #11)-Vol. Canadian Forces Snowbirds Plane Crashes in Kamloops, B.C. Anne Noggle credits her with twelve individual and two team shootdowns. [25], Litvyak made an additional kill on 16 July 1943. … On 10 December Budanova shot down two Messerschmitt Bf 110s. Russian historians Andrey Simonov and Svetlana Chudinova were able to confirm five solo and three team shootdowns of enemy aircraft plus the destruction of the air ballon with archival documents. As the Soviets were returning to base near Orel,[6] a pair of Bf 109 fighters[28] dove on Litvyak while she was attacking a large group of German bombers. [34], Borisenko descended to see if he could find her. He characterized Budanova as a "cheerful, lively character" while Litvyak looked "thoughtful and quiet". [1] She was twice awarded Order of the Patriotic War. Two of the Soviet Union’s most successful female pilots, Yekaterina Budanova and Lydia Litvyak, flew with the unit, where Litvyak was the first female fighter pilot to … The Highest Scoring Allied Aces Of The War Flew Airacobras The Bell P-39 Airacobra / Public Domain. Pilot Profile: Lydia Litvyak, the World's First Female Fighter Ace. For three years she was joined by relatives who together combed the most likely areas with a metal detector. After the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, Litvyak tried to join a military aviation unit, but was turned down because of lack of experience. Litvyak volunteered to take out the balloon but was turned down. By Sarah Simonovich on Apr 13th 2018 When the Third Reich invaded Russia on June 22, 1941, they brought with them more than 3 million soldiers in a matter of hours. [59][60][61], There has been a production at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow in February–March 2013.[62]. [1] Historians' estimates for her total victories range from five to twelve solo victories and two to four shared kills in her 66 combat sorties. However, at the end of World War II, Bong had achieved 40 confirmed kills, earning him the title "Ace of Aces." She was shot down near Orel during the Battle of Kursk as she attacked a formation of German aircraft. 20, List of female Heroes of the Soviet Union, Soviet Airwomen of the Great Patriotic war, "Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries(S-Z): SCHUSTER, Hermann", "Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries(S-Z):SCHLEEF, Hans", "The Memorial to Soviet Ace Lydia Litvyak", "AVIOLIBRI - Soviet Air Women of the Great Patriotic war. (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFMilanetti2001 (. The tactic worked—the hydrogen-filled balloon caught fire under her stream of tracer bullets and was destroyed. Litvyak could also be superstitious, as Paspotnikova testified: She never believed that she was invincible. This unit consisted entirely of female pilots and was equipped with Yak-1. When the war broke out in 1914, Udet was able to join the German air force and became one of their top fighter pilots, eventually joining the Red Baron’s legendary unit of ace pilots known as ‘The Flying Circus’. [45] Pasportnikova stated in 1990 that the tally was eleven solo kills plus the balloon, and an additional three shared. The majority of those aces were Russian pilots. In September, she was assigned to the 437 Fighter Regiment, a men's regiment fighting over Stalingrad. (The only other female ace is her countrywoman, Capt. In May 1942 the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment redeployed to Anisovka where it was assigned to the 144th Fighter Aviation Division covering the railway installations near Saratov, and it was here Budanova flew her first combat missions. In this version, Litvyak and others at the airfield watched the fight and witnessed his death. Then she shot down a Bf 109 G-2 "Gustav" on the tail of her squadron commander, Raisa Beliaeva. Helmuth Schirra, 4./JG-3 (MIA, Luhansk area). Comics: Search Thread Search this Thread: Preston Poulter : Oct 25, 2015, 02:46 pm: 1 person marked this as a favorite. [18], In January 1943, the 9th was re-equipped with the Bell P-39 Airacobras and Litvyak and Budanova were moved to the 296th Fighter Regiment (later redesignated as the 73rd Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment) of Nikolai Baranov, of the 8th Air Army, so that they could still fly the Yaks. The top position among best female fighter pilots are given to Lt. At the time … On 13th September 1942, Livyak shot down 2 planes making her the first female fighter pilot in history to shoot down an enemy. She believed that some pilots had luck on their side and others didn't. [citation needed]. It featured a former Soviet woman fighter pilot who Raspopova thought may have been Litvyak. First Female Ace: Lydia Litvyak Soviet Air Forces Sr. Lt. Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak, known as the “White Lily of Stalingrad” for her air support during that battle, was history’s first female fighter ace. [12] Both he said were excellent pilots. [52], Litvyak is the main character in Canadian author, Lilian Nattel's 2019 novel "Girl at the Edge of Sky" a fictional account of her wartime experience [53], A heavily fictionalized Litvyak (called Natasha in the book) is the main character of Belinda Alexandra's novel "Sapphire Skies" [54]. An article detailed their accomplishments, honoring their collective, rather than individual, achievements. Then they all disappeared behind a cloud.” Borisenko, involved in the dogfight, saw her the last time, through a gap in the clouds, her Yak-1 pouring smoke and pursued by as many as eight Bf 109s. She was the first woman to become a fighter test pilot and the first to fly the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter … [5], After the German attack on the USSR in June 1941, she enlisted in military aviation and was assigned to the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment, formed by Marina Raskova. Lydia Litvyak was born in Moscow into a Russian family. I have written a story about Lilya Litvyak, the highest scoring female fighter ace of all time. [42], There is no consensus among historians about the number of aerial victories scored by Litvyak. 19, Belyakov, Vladimir. This occurred before being rammed and killed by his own victim (Luftwaffe combat report of collision: 3 km east of Dmitrievka). Hero of the Russian Federation (posthumous). It was the P-39 Airacobra. As Hanson’s posthumous Medal of Honor citation states without reserve, he was a bold, fearless, and aggressive fighter pilot who shot down a total of 25 enemy aircraft. Inna Pasportnikova later recalled: "She spotted three Messerschmitt going on the attack against a group of bombers. His 17 victories are the most of any pilot in a the modern fighter jet era. [58], The play White Rose by Scottish playwright Peter Arnott portrays Litvyak's imagined political thoughts, with her character discussing war and Soviet women's resistance against Nazism. [21] Her victim was probably Knight's Cross holder and 71-kill experte Lt. Hans Fuss (Adj.II./JG-3), injured in aerial combat with a Yak-1 on 14 September 1942 in Stalingrad area, when his G-2 fuel tank was hit, his plane somersaulted during the landing when he ran out of fuel flying back to base. Ken Stott and Tilda Swinton played the lead characters; the role helped advance Swinton's career. Dunlop is among the most accomplished female fighter pilots in the Air Force's history. 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