Evgeniya Maksimovna Rudneva
(Евгения Максимовна Руднева), also known as Zhenya Rudneva (Женя Руднева
, December 24
– April 9
) was a Soviet military air navigator
, a Hero of the Soviet Union
, a member of the Moscow branch of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society of the USSR, and head of the Solar Department. She was Ukrainian
, born into the family of an office worker. She had completed three years as a student in the Faculty of mechanics and mathematics of Moscow State University
prior to October 1941, when she volunteered for Soviet Army
. She graduated from Navigator School and from May 1942 she fought at the front of the Great Patriotic War
. There she served in the rank
of Guards Senior Lieutenant as a navigator in the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment, which later was redesignated the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Regiment
(325th Night Bomber Aviation Division, 6th Air Army, 2nd Byelorussian Front
). Member of CPSU
She flew 645 night combat missions on the old and slow Polikarpov Po-2 biplane, destroying river crossings, troop trains, troops and military equipment of the enemy. She perished valiantly while flying her 645th combat mission near the village of Bulganak, to the north of Kerch. She was shot down by Flak along with her pilot Panna Prokofyeva.
In her letter to professor Sergei N. Blazhko, head of the Astrometry Department of Moscow State University, dated October 19 1942, she wrote that her first bomb she promised the Nazis for the building of the Faculty of mechanics and mathematics, which was bombed by them in the winter. She wrote that she was defending the honor of the university.
Awards and honors
Her monuments were built in Moscow, Kerch and the Saltykovka settlement (in Moscow Oblast). Asteroid 1907 Rudneva, school in Kerch, streets in Berdyansk, Kerch, Moscow and Saltykovka were named after her.