Polina Makogon

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Polina Makogon
Polina Makogon - WW2 Night Witch pilot.jpg
Native name
Полина Александровна Макогон
Balki, Ukraine
Died31 March/1 April 1943
Pashkovskaya, Krasnodar
AllegianceSoviet Union Soviet Union
Service/branchSoviet Air Force
Years of service1941-43
RankSquadron Leader
Unit588th Night Bomber Regiment (46th "Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment) aka Night Witches
Battles/warsThe Great Patriotic War
AwardsOrder of the Red Banner Order of the Great Patriotic War

Polina Makogon (Cyrillic: Полина Александровна Макогон, 1919 - 1943) was a squadron leader in an all-female Soviet air unit, the 46th Guards light-bomber night aviation regiment, also known as the Night Witches.


Makogon was born in 1919 in the village of Balki, which is in Zaporizhia Oblast of Ukraine today.[1]


In 1941 she joined the Civil Air Fleet and in May 1942 she graduated from the Engels Military School.[1] She was a responsible pilot and at the time of her death was the Commander of the 3rd Squadron, 46th Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, within the 325th Night Bomber Aviation Division, part of the 4th Air Army.[1] She trained many pilots, including Meri Ayüdzba, who carried out three attacks with Makogon in February 1943.[2] During her time in service she participated in the Battle of the Caucasus, the Liberation of Kuban and bombed enemy facilities.[1] Missions were dangerous and navigator Yevgenia Zhigulenko recalled several near misses when she crewed with Makogon, including one instance where it was Makogon actions that averted a crash.[3] On the night of the 31 March/1April 1943, Makogon was piloting a bomber back to base when it collided with another aircraft. Makogon was killed instantly and only one other crew member survived.[1][4] Later Zhigulenko suggested that the inexperience of the new navigator may have had an effect.[3]

Makogon was buried in the village of Pashkovskaya, now a district of the city of Krasnodar.[5] She was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Degree.[6]


In 1965 a memorial obelisk was erected in Pashkovskaya to remember Makogon and other pilots.[7]

40th Anniversary of 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment


  1. ^ a b c d e "Макагон Полина". tamanskipolk46.narod.ru. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  2. ^ "Korkusuz pilot Meri Ayüdzba". abaza.org (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  3. ^ a b Noggle, Anne, 1922-2005. (1994). A dance with death : Soviet airwomen in World War II (1st ed.). College Station: Texas A & M University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-89096-601-X. OCLC 29878340.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Макогон Полина Александровна, 01.04.1943, погиб, :: Донесение о потерях :: Память народа". pamyat-naroda.ru. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  5. ^ "Макогон Полина Александровна, в ночь с 31.03.1943 на 01.04.1943, иная причина смерти, :: Донесение о потерях :: Память народа". pamyat-naroda.ru. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  6. ^ "Макогон Полина Александровна, Орден Отечественной войны I степени :: Документ о награде :: Память народа". pamyat-naroda.ru. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  7. ^ Partnership project of the Legislative Assembly of the Tver region, the Archival department of the administration of the Tver region, Tver regional library. A.M. Gorky, Tver University Internet Center. "MILITARY HISTORICAL ARCHIVE".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)