Irina Sebrova

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Irina Fyodorovna Sebrova
Photo of Sebrova wearing her medals including her guards pin, Order of the Red Star and an Order of the Patriotic War on the right side of her chest (left in image); on the other side her Hero of the Soviet Union Gold Star is pinned above the first row of four medals with her Order of Lenin and three orders of the Red Banner. Two campaign medals, one for the defense of the Caucuses and one for Victory over Germany are below the row of Orders of the Red Banner.
Native name
Ирина Фёдоровна Себрова
Born25 December [O.S. 12 December] 1914
Novomoskovsk, Tula Governorate, Russian Empire
Died5 April 2000(2000-04-05) (aged 85)
Moscow, Russian Federation
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Air Force
Years of service1941–1948
RankSenior lieutenant
Unit588th Night Bomber Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union

Irina Fyodorovna Sebrova (Russian: Ирина Фёдоровна Себрова; 25 December [O.S. 12 December] 1914 – 5 April 2000) was a lieutenant and pilot for the Soviet Air Forces who served in the all-female Night Witches during the Second World War. Sebrova was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 23 February 1945 for her first 825 bombing missions.

Early life[edit]

Sebrova was born on 25 December [O.S. 12 December] 1914 to an impoverished family in Tetyakovka, Novomoskovsk. After completing only five grades of school in 1927 she went to trade school, and then became a locksmith and a factory worker while taking nursing courses.[1][2] She then entered an aeroclub and went on to become a flight instructor. At the age of 23, she was already an experienced flight instructor at the Frunze flight club in Moscow. In 1938, she graduated from the Moscow Aeroclub, and in 1940 she began training in military aviation.[2]

Military career[edit]

After joining the Red Army in October 1941, she completed her military aviation studies at Engels and in 1942 was assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, which was later nicknamed the "Night Witches" by German troops. The regiment was later awarded the Guards designation and became the 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment under the 4th Air Army. Sebrova joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1943.[3] During the war she flew 1,008 combat sorties[4] on the Po-2, after 825 of which she was nominated for the title Hero of the Soviet Union which she received on 23 February 1945.[5]

Later life[edit]

Sebrova retired from the Air Force in 1948, joining the Moscow Aviation Institute. She died on 5 April 2000 and was buried in the Rakitin Cemetery.[6]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cottam 1998, p. 106.
  2. ^ a b Noggle 1994, p. 73.
  3. ^ Shkadov, Ivan (1988). Герои Советского Союза: краткий биографический словарь II, Любовь - Яшчук. Moscow: Voenizdat. p. 427. ISBN 5203005362. OCLC 247400113.
  4. ^ Sakaida, Henry (2012). Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941–45. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 9781780966519.
  5. ^ Simonov & Chudinova 2017, p. 215.
  6. ^ a b Simonov & Chudinova 2017, p. 216.


  • Simonov, Andrey; Chudinova, Svetlana (2017). Женщины - Герои Советского Союза и России. Moscow: Russian Knights Foundation amnd Museum of Technology Vadim Zadorozhny. ISBN 9785990960701. OCLC 1019634607.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Cottam, Kazimiera (1998). Women in War and Resistance: Selected Biographies of Soviet Women Soldiers. Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co. ISBN 1585101605. OCLC 228063546.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Noggle, Anne (1994). A Dance With Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0890966028. OCLC 474018127.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)