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The world's first women combat pilots were members of the Soviet Army Air Force, flying fighters and bomber aircraft opposite the Luftwaffe. 30 women flyers received Hero of the Soviet Union awards, one of that nation's highest honours. During three visits to Moscow during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Noggle interviewed more than 70 of these veteran pilots. Freed by "glasnost" to speak openly of their experiences, they told of flying flimsy aircraft and watching many of their friends - as well as foes - fall to earth in flames. But equally courageous were the women's efforts to show the Red Army that they were adequate to the great role they sought. The women had to grapple with distrust from male pilots and officers, against whom they eventually prevailed. War, Stalin-era politics and human emotion mix in these first-person accounts.
Anne Noggle, herself an American Woman Airforce Service Pilot in World War II, has made lengthy visits to Moscow to conduct more than seventy interviews and to photograph the Soviet airwomen. Noggle is a captain in the U.S. Air Force (retired), a former curator of photography and now adjunct professor of art at the University of New Mexico, and recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has also written other articles and books, including "For God, Country, and the Thrill of It: Women ""Airforce"" Service Pilots in World War II, " published by Texas A&M University Press.
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- ID: 9781585441778
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