Yekaterina Budanova. Soviet Fighter Ace.

by Daniel Russ on September 4, 2014



Yekaterina Budonova, Soviet Fighter Pilot Posing In Front Of Her Yak-1


Yekaterina Budanova was born in Smolensk. Prior to World War II, the death of her father sent her to find work as a nanny. At the age of thirteen her mother sent her to Moscow to work in an aircraft factory. There she grew fascinated by aviation and learned to parachute. In 1934 she began flying lessons and by 1937 she was an instructor. In the factory she saw them manufacture the Yakovlev fighter series and therefore she trained on Yakovlevs.


When the Second World War began Budanova joined the 586th Fighter Regiment, an female pilot staff flying the Yak-1. This was a maneuverable Soviet fighter that achieved speeds of up to 400 miles an hour had a 20mm canon and a 50 cal gun on it. It was easy to maintain and Budanova was an expert. As Stalingrad raged on and the Soviets were running out of pilots, Budanova received her first combat posting.


On September 14th 1942, she  shot down an Me-109 and a Junkers 88. By the war’s end she would shoot down 9 Luftwaffe fighters including several BF-109s and a couple of German bombers. She was an impressive person, gracious and charismatic but also somewhat pensive. In combat she was aggressive and highly skilled as a pilot converting many skeptical male commanders into believers. She always gave credit to her collective, honoring her Communist roots. She became a war hero and flew with other Russian aces.




Three Soviet Aces. Left to Right Lytvak, Budanova and Kuznov



Source: Wiki



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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Louis October 10, 2017 at 7:59 am

As the Yak-1 is a single engined fighter, I doubt it is the airplane in the background, as that one definitly has two engines. Looks more like a Pe-2 to me.

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