Marina Mikhailovna Raskova (1912-1943)

Marina Raskova

The Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP's) had key figures in their organization and implementation--Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Love. For the Soviet women pilots, it was Marina Raskova.

In 1938 Raskova and two other Soviet women had set a world record for a non-stop direct flight by women when they flew a Soviet-built, twin-engine aircraft named Rodina (homeland) 6,000 kilometers across the expanse of the Soviet Union from Moscow to Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Far East. With the aircraft icing up over the Siberian wilderness, the women tossed everything movable out of the aircraft to try and gain altitude.

Finally, Raskova, who had been the navigator, decided she would have to go as well. She marked the aircraft's compass heading on a map and bailed out into the darkness. The two remaining pilots eventually landed safely at their destination, and a hunter rescued Raskova. The three "Winged Sisters" returned triumphantly to Moscow.

Marina Raskova

On October 28, 1937, Valentina Grizodubova flew non-stop with Marina Raskova on an AIR-12 for a world record for women's long distance non-stop flight. On September 24-25, 1938, Grizodubova with Marina Raskova and Paulina Ossipenko set another world record with their a non-stop flight of 5,900 km from Moscow to Siberia in an ANT-37.

also see the extensive essay also on this website Marina Raskova and her Soviet Women Pilots of World War II

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