A merciless as: the most dangerous woman pilot of the great Patriotic war
MOSCOW, 1 AVG — news, Nikolay Protopopov. Senior Lieutenant Lydia Litvyak in less than a year he flew 170 combat missions, destroying 12 enemy aircraft in person and three in the group. Exactly 75 years ago, on 1 August 1943, and it was the last fight — fighter Lydia was shot down Messerschmitt. How were the lives of Soviet pilots and what about it was legendary — in the material RIA Novosti.
Two at a time
Lydia Litvyak start fighting the way in the composition of the 586th fighter aviation regiment, stationed in Engels. She had to relearn with low-speed U-2 on the Yak-1. The first combat missions were made in spring 1942: covered Saratov from German aircraft. Patrolled and escorted the transport planes guarded residential quarters and objects of defense.
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In the autumn of pilots was transferred to the 437 th fighter aviation regiment 8-th air army in the South-Eastern front. Fought with the Germans in the skies of Stalingrad. Already during the second flight of Litvyak shot down two enemy aircraft. First, she destroyed a Ju-88, and then helped battle the friend consumed the ammunition to finish the fighter Me-109.
In March 1943 in another air battle, the pilot was wounded, but held on to riddled with shells the plane to the airfield. After treatment, she was granted a month’s leave. Lydia went home to Moscow, I met my mother and brother. Having stayed in the capital for a week, returned to the front.
In early may, failing to end to get stronger, Lydia flew to support the group of bombers. In the ensuing battle with Messer shot down one fighter, and later destroyed the balloon — spotter for the artillery fire. For these victories, Litvyak was awarded the order of the red banner.
The command of the regiment allowed her to keep so-called free hunting. Such departures were allowed only the most experienced pilots. Clear objectives were not — determined only the operations area. Already in the air “free hunters” searches for the enemy planes, made the decision to fight or evade the fight, chase the enemy or not. Often the “hunters” have imposed on the target on-duty groups on the ground who found a low-flying fighters or bombers of the Luftwaffe.
Lydia Litvyak from a young age was fascinated with aviation. In the flying club came at 14, in 1935. in those years In the Soviet Union, the flying clubs were opened everywhere: the youth lured the sky, the pilot profession was very prestigious.