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someone sent me this bit of history. fascinating story.
Nadezhda Popova, WWII ‘Night Witch,’ Dies at 91
By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Published: July 14, 2013
The Nazis called them “Night Witches” because the whooshing noise their plywood and canvas airplanes made reminded the Germans of the sound of a witch’s broomstick.
Ms. Popova, standing, with other Soviet pilots in World War II. “We bombed, we killed; it was all a part of war,” she said in 2010.
The Russian women who piloted those planes, onetime crop dusters, took it as a compliment. In 30,000 missions over four years, they dumped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German invaders, ultimately helping to chase them back to Berlin. Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was awarded an Iron Cross.