[38], On 6 May 1990, USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev posthumously awarded her the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Hanson, who had spent most of his youth in India as the son of Methodist missionaries, got his wings and a Marine Corps commission in February 1943, at the age of 23.In the next year, before being shot down by Japanese flak on February 23, 1944, a day before his birthday, Hanson took out 25 Japanese aircraft. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. Red Air Force female pilot Lilya Litvak became a fighter ace and a Hero of the Soviet Union fighting the Germans. [45] Pasportnikova stated in 1990 that the tally was eleven solo kills plus the balloon, and an additional three shared. It was not until Litvyak described each move of the fight to him in perfect detail that he knew he had been shot down by a woman pilot. She was shot down near Orel during the Battle of Kursk as she attacked a formation of German aircraft. Russian aviation historian, Anatoly Plyac, former KGB major, told Milanetti: "Litvyak survived and was taken prisoner..."[44], A television broadcast from Switzerland was seen in 2000 by Raspopova, a veteran of the women's night bomber regiment. Litvyak was devastated by the crash and wrote a letter to her mother describing how she realized only after Solomatin's death that she had loved him. [1] But according to other authors, the first air victory by a female pilot was achieved by Lieutenant Valeriya Khomyakova of the 586th Regiment when she shot down the Ju 88 flown by Oblt. Comics: Search Thread Search this Thread: Preston Poulter : Oct 25, 2015, 02:46 pm: 1 person marked this as a favorite. (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFMilanetti2001 (. But in a short time Budanova became known for her aggressive attacking and high piloting skill. 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. [25], Senior Sergeant Inna Pasportnikova, Litvyak's mechanic during the time she flew with the men's regiment, reported in 1990 that after Solomatin's death, Litvyak wanted nothing but to fly combat missions, and she fought desperately. It's weird, but the longer I spent on the story, the more I feel I knew them. It is relatively certain that 2,500 German fighter pilots attained ace status, having achieved at least 5 aerial victories. Fighter Aces of the U.S.A. is the most complete, full-spectrum book ever published on American fighter aces, and includes dozens of aces' combat accounts, plus capsule biographies. The most common quoted is for 11 kills (6 individual and 5 shared). [citation needed], Litvyak was called the "White Lily of Stalingrad" in Soviet press releases; the white lily flower may be translated from Russian as Madonna lily. [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. On 22 March she was wounded for the first time. Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak (Russian: Лидия Владимировна Литвяк; 18 August 1921, in Moscow – 1 August 1943, in Krasnyi Luch), also known as Lilya, was a fighter pilot in the Soviet Air Force during World War II. She was shot down by either Luftwaffe ace Georg Schwientek of JG 52 or ace Emil Bitsch, of JG 3. Litvyak could also be superstitious, as Paspotnikova testified: She never believed that she was invincible. This veteran was wounded twice. Byrne, also a playwright, served as the set designer for White Rose. Katia attacked and diverted the enemy. Christer Bergström, Andrey Dikov & Vlad Antipov. [23] Some historians credit it as her first kill. The book entitled "Call Sign, White Lily,"[55] also contains never-before-seen photographs contributed by the museum. [citation needed], According to some historians, she shot down her first opponent — a Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter — on 14 September 1942, combining forces with Lydia Litvyak. 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; … 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. Litvyak volunteered to take out the balloon but was turned down. The 586th Fighter Regiment fought in 125 aerial battles in two and a half years. She trained there on the Yakovlev Yak-1 aircraft. 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