Yevgeniya Rudneva

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Yevgeniya Maksimovna Rudneva
Yevgeniya Rudneva.jpg
Native name Евгения Максимовна Руднева
Nickname(s) Zhenya
Born (1920-12-24)December 24, 1920
Berdyansk, Ukraine SSR
Died April 9, 1944(1944-04-09) (aged 23)
near Kerch, Crimea, Soviet Union
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Air Force
Years of service 1941–1944
Rank Senior Lieutenant
Unit 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment
Battles/wars Eastern Front of World War II 
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin.svg Order of Red Banner.svg Order of the Patriotic War (1st class) Order of the Red Star.svg
1983 Soviet envelope featuring Rudneva, from a series of envelopes featuring Heroes of the Soviet Union

Yevgeniya Maksimovna Rudneva (Russian: Евгения Максимовна Руднева), also known as Zhenya Rudneva (Женя Руднева) (24 December 1920 – 9 April 1944) 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.

Early life[edit]

Evgeniya Maksimovna Rudneva 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 the Soviet Army. She became a member of the CPSU in 1943.

World War II[edit]

After joining the Red Army in 1941 Rudneva graduated from the Engels Navigator School and entered combat in May 1942. 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).

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. During the war she flew on bombing missions on the Transcaucasian, North Caucasian, and 4th Ukrainian fronts as well as in battles for the Taman and Kerch peninsulas.[1]

She was shot down by flak along with her pilot Panna Prokofyeva and both perished when the plane fell out of the sky over the north of Kerch.

Personal views[edit]

In her letter to professor Sergey Blazhko, head of the Astrometry Department of Moscow State University, dated 19 October 1942, she wrote that her first bomb she promised the Nazis would be in revenge for the bombing of the Faculty of mechanics and mathematics in the winter. She wrote that she was defending the honor of the university.

Awards and honors[edit]

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.

See also[edit]



  • Milanetti, Gian Piero (2013). Soviet Airwomen of the Great Patriotic War - A pictorial history. Istituto Bibliografico Napoleone, Rome, Italy. ISBN 9788875651466. 

External links[edit]