Mariana Drăgescu

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Mariana Drăgescu
Mariana Dragescu.jpg
Cmd.av. Mariana Drăgescu
(pictured, 2nd lt)
Born(1912-09-07)7 September 1912
Died24 March 2013(2013-03-24) (aged 100)
AllegianceRomania Romanian Armed Forces
Service/branchRomanian Air Force
Years of service1940–1955
RankComandor (OF-5)
UnitWhite Squadron
Battles/warsThe Second World War
AwardsOrder of the Star of Romania,
Order of Aeronautical Virtue,
Order of the German Eagle

Marie Ana Aurelia (Mariana) Drăgescu (7 September 1912 – 24 March 2013) was a Romanian military aviator during World War II. She was the last surviving member of the White Squadron, a team of female aviators who flew medical aircraft during World War II.[1][2] Romania was the only country in the world to allow women to pilot medical missions during the war.[3]

At age 23, Drăgescu received her pilot's license in 1935.[2] She became one of the few women in the world to hold a license at the time.[2] With the threat of conflict growing in Europe in 1938, Drăgescu was invited to join a new, all-female, aviation team which would become the White Squadron.[3] The other four women to join with her were Virginia Duțescu, Nadia Russo, Marina Stirbey, and Irina Burnaia.[3]

During the country's communist era, the history of Romanian aviation and the contributions of Drăgescu and the other women of the White Squadron were ignored. Following the Romanian Revolution of 1989, their story received a more appropriate estimation.[2]

Mariana Drăgescu was aged 100 when she died on 24 March 2013.[2]


  1. ^ Marin, Iulia (2013-03-26). "A murit Mariana Drăgescu, fost pilot în "Escadrila Albă"". Adevărul (in Romanian). Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  2. ^ a b c d e "A murit Mariana Dragescu, fosta mare aviatoare in cel de-al Doilea Razboi Mondial. Avea 100 de ani". Pro TV (in Romanian). 2013-03-25. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  3. ^ a b c Focșa, Daniel (2007-05-11). "Mariana Drăgescu și Escadrila Albă". Ziarul Financiar (in Romanian). Retrieved 2013-04-12.