The Night Witches: World War II Fighter Pilots

In the dead of night, the 588th regimen would turn off their engines, and drop bombs on Nazi forces. 

“Nachthexen” or “Night Witches” the Nazis called them.


In 1942, Russian women from 17-26 years old started their military training.  They were given ill-fitted uniforms and boots, and cut their hair short.

They flew outdated Polikarpov Po-2 aircraft – two-seated, open-cockpit bi planes. The planes were slow, loud, and some pilots got frostbite from being exposed to the icy air. 

At the end of the war, the Night Witches had flown almost 30,000 bomb raids and delivered 23,000 tons of munitions right to the Nazis.

Learn more here.


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