White Lily

This is a photo of a hero of WWII, Lidya (Lily) Litvyak, a young Soviet-Jewish fighter pilot:

By the age of 22, Lily held the record for the greatest number of kills by a female fighter pilot. She was very deadly in the skies. She was killed in action at the age of 23.

People were talking about her on Ukrainian FB, so I decided to share.


4 thoughts on “White Lily”

      1. Ah. So that definitely outweighs the fact she got the same two honors as Pavilechenko and was more photogenic with a girlier bent? It would’ve been very easy to make her a media darling in the West.

        Wikipedia (I don’t know how good this article is)

        Litvyak displayed a rebellious and romantic character. Returning from a successful mission, she would “buzz” the aerodrome and then indulge in unauthorised aerobatics, knowing that it enraged her commander.

        Litvyak could also be superstitious, as Paspotnikova testified:

        She never believed that she was invincible. She believed that some pilots had luck on their side and others didn’t. She firmly believed that, if you survived the first missions, the more you flew and the more experience you got your chances of making it would increase. But you had to have luck on your side.

        Despite the predominantly male environment in which she found herself, she never renounced her femininity, and would carry on dyeing her hair blonde, sending her friend Inna Pasportnikova to the hospital to fetch hydrogen peroxide for her.She would fashion scarves from parachute material, dyeing the small pieces in different colors and stitching them together and would not hide her love of flowers, which she picked at every available occasion, favoring red roses. She would make bouquets and keep them in the cockpit, which were promptly discarded by the male pilots who shared her aircraft


  1. The Red Army used women in the roles of fighter pilots and snipers — difficult and dangerous assignments. I know in the USAAF, less than 35% of fliers survived tours of duty in Europe; I assume it was similar on the Eastern Front, but have never seen figures on that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.