The last female pilot to drop bombs on Nazi Germany

The last female pilot to drop bombs on Nazi Germany 3

The last female pilot to drop bombs on Nazi Germany

Brok-Beltsova sat in her house in Mytishchi, a town about 25 km from the capital Moscow, with white hair, wearing a gold pendant of a Petlyakov Pe-2 bomber and a bright red scarf.

After Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the streets of Moscow were filled with patriotic banners and calls for military service.

16-year-old schoolgirl Galina Brok-Beltsova had just left the cinema with her friends on a summer evening in 1941 when air raid sirens sounded, signaling Moscow residents to seek shelter.

Brok-Beltsova in her apartment on the outskirts of Moscow on May 8.

`We were very strong and brave, even seemingly too brave and wanted to show ourselves,` Brok-Beltsova, now 95 years old, recalls.

The first surprise for Brok-Beltsova was the freezing stables that she and the female recruits used as a temporary sleeping place after joining the army.

The female recruits found shovels and crowbars to clean up piles of horse manure after just a few hours and were praised by the commander.

A shortage of female pilots in 1943 caused commanders to need nine female cadets to volunteer for combat training ahead of schedule.

As she stood in the volunteer ranks, commanding officer Georgy Beltsov immediately noticed the female cadet with her small shoes and flight suit.

In 1944, Brok-Beltsova was assigned to the 587th Bomber Regiment and began serving on the front lines.

Beltsov took a photo of a small white stone bear and sent it to Brok-Beltsova.

Brok-Beltsova is responsible for observing the terrain to determine flight paths and targets for the bomber squadron.

`We performed the mission, opened fire and dropped bombs on the target, but didn’t really understand where we were,` the Soviet female pilot recalled.

The last female pilot to drop bombs on Nazi Germany

Brok-Beltsova’s wartime photographs.

In 1945, Brok-Beltsova participated in the battle at Konigsberg, the easternmost city of Germany at that time.

`It was war. We destroyed them because they sought to destroy us,` Brok-Beltsova said.

The 587th Regiment performed a total of more than 1,100 missions during World War II.

After the war ended, Beltsov, now a high-ranking commanding officer, proposed to Brok-Beltsova while she was stationed in Penevezhis, Lithuania.

`He said: ‘I’ve been waiting for you the whole war. You’re using military boots to stomp on the soul of the man who devoted himself to you’. His lips trembled and he almost burst into tears,` Brok

The wedding was held quite hastily.

The last female pilot to drop bombs on Nazi Germany

Brok-Beltsova and her husband.

Brok-Beltsova later went to university and became a history professor.

This year Brok-Beltsova is 95 years old and is also the last surviving female Soviet pilot who fought in World War II.

Russia this year did not hold the Victory Parade on Red Square and many major cities to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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