|Evgeniya Maksimovna Rudneva|
December 24, 1920|
Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine
|Died||April 9, 1944
near Kerch, Crimea
|Years of service||1941–1944|
|Battles/wars||Eastern Front (World War II)|
|Awards||Hero of the Soviet Union
Order of Lenin
Order of the Red Banner
Order of the Red Star
Order of the Patriotic War
Evgeniya Maksimovna Rudneva (Russian: Евгения Максимовна Руднева), also known as Zhenya Rudneva (Женя Руднева) (Berdiansk, December 24, 1920 – April 9, 1944 near Kerch) was a Soviet military air navigator, a Hero of the Soviet Union, a member of the Moscow branch of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society of the USSR, and head of the Solar Department. She was Ukrainian, born into the family of an office worker. She had completed three years as a student in the Faculty of mechanics and mathematics of Moscow State University prior to October 1941, when she volunteered for Soviet Army. She graduated from Navigator School and from May 1942 she fought at the front of World War II. There she served in the rank of Guards Senior Lieutenant as a navigator of the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment, which later was redesignated the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Regiment (325th Night Bomber Aviation Division, 6th Air Army, 2nd Byelorussian Front). Member in the CPSU since 1943.
She flew 645 night combat missions on the old and slow Polikarpov Po-2 biplane, destroying river crossings, troop trains, troops and military equipment of the enemy. She perished valiantly while flying her 645th combat mission near the village of Bulganak, to the north of Kerch. She was shot down by Flak along with her pilot Panna Prokofyeva.
In her letter to professor Sergey Blazhko, head of the Astrometry Department of Moscow State University, dated October 19, 1942, she wrote that her first bomb she promised the Nazis for the building of the Faculty of mechanics and mathematics, which was bombed by them in the winter. She wrote that she was defending the honour of the university.
Awards and honors
- Title of the Hero of the Soviet Union (October 26, 1944, posthumously)
- Order of Lenin
- Order of the Red Banner
- Order of the Red Star
- Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class
Monuments to her were built in Moscow, Kerch and the Saltykovka settlement (in Moscow Oblast). The Asteroid 1907 Rudneva, a school in Kerch, streets in Berdyansk, Kerch, Moscow and Saltykovka were named after her.
- Milanetti, Gian Piero (2013). Soviet Airwomen of the Great Patriotic War - A pictorial history. Istituto Bibliografico Napoleone, Rome, Italy. ISBN 9788875651466.
- Rudneva monument in Kerch (in Russian)
- Article and photo, on the website of the Moscow State University, in Russian.
- Biography, on the website, dedicated to Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia