Anna Yegorova

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Anna Yegorova
Native name Анна Александровна Тимофеева-Егорова
Born (1916-09-23)23 September 1916
Died 29 October 2009(2009-10-29) (aged 93)
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branch Red Army Air Force
Years of service 1941–1945
Rank Senior Lieutenant
Unit 805th Attack Aviation Regiment
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union

Lt. Anna Alexandrovna Timofeyeva-Yegorova (Russian: Анна Александровна Тимофеева-Егорова; 23 September 1916 – 29 October 2009) was a pilot in the Red Army Air Force (VVS) during the Second World War. She learned to fly and became a flight instructor before the war, then volunteered for the front when Germany invaded. In 1941–42, she flew 100 reconnaissance and delivery missions for the 130th Air Liaison Squadron in a wooden biplane, the Polikarpov Po-2. After being shot down, she transferred in 1943 to the 805th Attack Aviation Regiment and flew more than 127 missions in the Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, including battles above the Taman Peninsula, Crimea and Poland.

During an August 1944 mission to attack German forces at the Magnuszew bridgehead near Warsaw, Yegorova's plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Her rear gunner was killed, and the plane was heavily damaged. Rolling inverted, Yegorova was burned as she left the plane at a low altitude; her parachute only partially opened and she suffered broken bones and other internal injuries on hitting the ground. She was given first aid by her German captors, then taken to a prisoner of war camp where her wounds were tended by Dr. Georgy Sinyakov. Back at her air base, Yegorova was presumed dead and 'posthumously' awarded the status of Hero of the Soviet Union.

On 31 January 1945, Soviet forces overran the Küstrin prisoner camp where she was being held. Yegorova was interrogated as a potential traitor continuously for eleven days at an NKVD filtration camp for returning Soviet prisoners. After others vouched for her injuries and her conduct, she was released but invalided out of the Soviet Air Forces for medical reasons in 1945.

Yegorova was the subject of a feature article in the Literaturnaya Gazeta in 1961, and in 1965, she was finally awarded her Hero of the Soviet Union medal.

Anna Alexandrovna Egorova, the Hero of Soviet Union. Photo during the one of the last interviews.jpg

Honours and awards[edit]


  • Cottam, Kazimiera. Women in War and Resistance: Selected Biographies of Soviet Women Soldiers. Nepean, Canada: New Military Publishing, 1998.
  • Noggle, Anne. A Dance With Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1994.
  • Timofeyeva-Yegorova, Anna. trans. Margarita Ponomaryova, Kim Green. ed. Kim Green. Red Sky, Black Death: A Soviet Woman Pilot's Memoir of the Eastern Front. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2009.