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Night Witch’s Archive. With original pilot's flying logbook.

Night Witch’s Archive. With original pilot's flying logbook.

Regular price $9,500.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $9,500.00 USD
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Photography / War / Women
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Night Witch’s Archive.

Unique archive concerning a Soviet female military aviator, including her original pilot's flying logbook.

This archive pertains to Senior Lieutenant Galina Burdina-Ermak (1919-after 2007?), who served in the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment. This regiment was one of three Soviet women's aviation regiments founded by Marina Raskova at the beginning of the Second World War. Initially barred from combat, women were later authorized by Joseph Stalin's order on October 8, 1941, which established three women's air force units. These Soviet airwomen were the first women to serve in combat roles.
The 586th Fighter Regiment became operational in April 1942 and was tasked with guarding special targets rather than engaging enemy aircraft. Initially, the unit comprised two squadrons of ten aircraft each, exclusively piloted by women.
Galina Burdina-Ermak trained at the civil aviation pilot school in Ulyanovsk and later served as a pilot instructor, training military pilots. At the onset of World War II, she joined the regiment and served as a night fighter. She delivered critical messages to the Stalingrad front during the battle and participated in significant operations such as the Second Battle of Kiev (1943) and the Budapest Offensive (1945). During her service, she shot down three enemy aircraft. Burdina-Ermak was awarded the Order of the Red Star in February 1943 and the Order of the Red Banner in April 1944.
After the war, she returned to pilot school to teach flying to cadets and spent 15 years as a pilot for Aeroflot in civil aviation.

The archive includes:

1. Pilot's flying logbook. – 'Restricted'.
Moskva, [1941-1945].
Oblong 8vo, 189, [2] pp. (112 written pages).
In original grey cloth. Featuring a wax seal displaying the symbols of the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment.
In good condition, spotted and rubbed, small losses around some page edges. 

This logbook used to accurately document all flights and missions, contains a total of approximately 2,000 flights (including training flights) between July 23, 1941, and September 25, 1945. It details her flights in various aircraft, including the Polikarpov Po-2, Yakovlev UT-2, Yakovlev Yak-7, Yakovlev Yak-1, and Yakovlev Yak-9. Additionally, the logbook includes information about training results, emergency landings (such as on July 8, 1942), and awards received.

2. Collection of photos.
[Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna], [1945-1946, 1990s?]. 
From 12mo to 64 mo, 14 photos. 
In good condition, light wear to edges, tears, small loss to one photo corner, some photos are signed to verso.

This collection includes wartime daily life photos featuring soldiers from Burdina's unit: pilot and squadron commander Tamara Pamiatnykh (printed later), aircraft mechanic Elizaveta Terekhova, pilot Valentina Lisitsina, Vera Tikhomirova, and others. A group photo from the early 1990s depicts the following Night Witches (left to right): Tamara Pamiatnykh, senior pilot Zoya Pozhidaieva, chief of staff Alexandra Makunina, and Galina Burdina.

3. The 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment. [30th Anniversary Edition of Victory Day].
N.p., [1975].
Oblong 4to, 49 l., ill.
In owner binding. Photocopy. 
In good condition, small stains to covers.

This handmade album about the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment was most likely a gift for friends who served in the same unit. It contains rare photos (from wartime and after the war), plans, and a brief history of the regiment. The author used photos from private collections and also included photos published in the memoir collection 'V Nebe Frontovom' (Moscow, 1962) for this album.

4. Autograph manuscript with Burdina's biography.
N.p., [1985].
4to, 4 leaves with written text.
In good condition, rubbed and folded, tears to edges. 

5. Burdina's Documents
- Employment record book. [Riga?, 1950-1976]; 
- Pilot certificate. [Moscow?, 1954-1959]; 
- Military ID. [Moscow, 1968]. 

6. A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II. 
Text and contemporary portraits by Anne Noggle. Introduction by Christine A. White. 
Texas A&M University Press, [1994].
8vo, XIV, 318 pp., ill.
In orignal binding and illustrated dust jacket.
Near very good condition. 

The book includes stories about young women in combat: the 46th Guards Bomber Regiment, the 125th Guards Bomber Regiment, and the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment (including an interview with Galina Burdina).

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