The 588th Night Witches of Russia: Female Aviators

Major_1012 writes at


Nadezhda Popova

 On July 8th of this year, 91 year old Nadezhda Popova passed away somewhere in what was formerly the Soviet Union.  Although

most of us have never heard of her, the President of the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych issued a statement calling her life “an example of selfless service to Motherland.” and said her “feats in the course of the Great Patriotic War will never be forgotten.”

Ms. Popova was among the first female pilots to volunteer for service in the Soviet military during World War II and became a squadron commander in her swashbuckling all-female regiment. She flew 852 combat missions — including 18 during one night — and was honored as a Hero of the Soviet Union, one of the nation’s highest decorations.”  writes Emily Langer for the Washington Post.

In 1941, when the United States was experimenting with it’s first African American combat pilots, the Soviet Union did the same with female combat pilots.

Keep reading.


2 Comments on "The 588th Night Witches of Russia: Female Aviators"

  1. InfvoCuernos | Jul 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

    18 missions in one night? What’s that, like two an hour? Wonder what constitutes a mission.

    • I thought the same thing. However they were in bi-planes that only carried two bombs so I would think range would be a limiting factor and time over the target would be short. But that’s just me thinking out loud.

      There is not a wealth of info on this, other than fiction and angry feminists with foul writing styles. Remember the Soviet Union never did say too much about anything.

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