Rasckva became the first female air force member of Soviet Russia in 1934. She broke red tape to join the air force and was one of the founding members of the ‘Night Witches’, a Soviet all female bomber squadron deployed during the second world war. The 80-woman group flew 23,000 times and received 23 ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ honours.
They earned the name from their technique of shutting the engine off and gliding over their targets to drop bombs silently.
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