Yevdokia Bershanskaya, on the left
6 February 1913|
Dobrovolnoye, Stavropol Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||September 16, 1982
|Service/branch||Soviet Air Forces|
|Unit||588th Night Bombing Regiment, which later became the 46th Guards Night Bombing Regiment|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Yevdokia Davidovna Bershanskaya (Russian: Евдоки́я Давы́довна Берша́нская; Dobrovolnoye, Stavropol, February 6, 1913 – September 16, 1982 in Moscow) was a Soviet pilot in World War II and second in command of the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment.
World War II
In 1941, Marina Raskova formed three women's regiments. As an experienced pilot, Bershanskaya became the leader of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, an all women's regiment that flew Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes. In 1943, the regiment was renamed the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment. Later she was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. The women pilots were so fierce and accurate that the German soldiers began calling them Night Witches. They were called this because often during missions they would cut the engine of their planes and glide over their targets before dropping their bombs and turning the engine back on. Until its dissolution in October 1945, the regiment remained totally female. Collectively they flew 24,000 sorties, and dropped 23,000 tons of bombs.
After the war, Yevdokia married Andrey Molotov. They had three daughters.
In 1982 she died of a heart attack and was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery.
- Headstone (in Russian)
- Linda Delaine (2000). "Women Combat Aviators of the Patriotic War". Russian Life.
- Streather, Adrian (2010). Red & Soviet military & paramilitary services: Female Uniforms 1941-1991. England: Veloce Publishing Limited. p. 28. ISBN 1845840674.
- Bellamy, Chris (2010). Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War. Great Britain: Vintage Books. p. 488. ISBN 0375724710.