Military Review

Comrade Stalin's Beloved Pilot

October 16 website published an article about Hanna Reitsch. In the comments, the question rightly arose: “Were there women of such magnitude in the USSR?” There were, and very many. One of them is Valentina Grizodubova, who enjoyed a much more significant status in the USSR than Hannah Reich in Germany. Yes, and flew Grizodubova and above, and beyond!

Comrade Stalin's Beloved Pilot

First flight - in 2,5 year!

Valentina Stepanovna Grizodubova was born in Kharkov in 1910 year. Her father, a talented self-taught man, obsessed with a passion for the sky, bought several shots from the film about the Wright brothers in the cinema and began to build a copy of an American airplane based on them. It is difficult to imagine how family relations were built, the head of which spent all the money earned on building a “flying bookcase”. Surprisingly, the wife fully supported her husband in his passion. In 1912, the third (!) Unit, built by Stepan Grizodubov, flew. From early childhood, Valya heard: "engine", "fuselage", "chassis", "console". When she was 2,5 of the year, her father, having tied her daughter to himself with straps, took off with her in the air on his device. So little Valya first touched the sky.

Pilot Grizodubova

Time went by. Valia Grizodubova graduated from high school and college in piano class. She submitted documents to the Kharkov Technological Institute, at the same time to the conservatory - and she becomes a student of two higher institutions at once. Valentina could become an engineer, she could become a musician, but she became a pilot.

In 1928, the flying club is created in Kharkov. All the youth of the capital of Ukraine seeks to get into the first set. They take the best of the best - and only guys. Valentina made her way to the reception to Ordzhonikidze and, with his assistance, achieved enrollment in the first group. One year course it takes three months. As one of the best aviators, it is sent to the Tula Air Sports School and then to the First Penza Aviation School of instructor pilots. Since 1930, Grizodubova has been an instructor pilot, and already herself “puts on the wing” future Stalin falcons.

Since 1934, Grizodubova - the pilot of the squadron. Ukraine, Belarus, Bashkortostan, Kyrgyzstan, Transcaucasia, Pamir, Kabardino-Balkaria swim under the wing of her plane. Fergana. Just imagine the effect of the appearance in a small town, village, village, aul (where the engine was not seen!) Of the plane! Yes, even managed by a girl! Well, who else should agitate for the Soviet power?

Year of records

But Grizodubova strives not just to fly, but to fly faster than anyone, above all, beyond all. In 1937, she decided that she had already “matured” in order to set records. Transplanted to different types of aircraft, it sets the 1937 world records for altitude, speed and range of flight for one 5 year, overlapping the previous ones. (Flight Moscow - Aktyubinsk: 1443 km in a straight line, the previous record - 800 km.) But the main record is still ahead.

In the spring of 1938, the brave French female pilot, Dupéiron, without landing, flew 4360 km. Hearing about this record, Grizodubova decided: “I'll beat you!”

Legendary flight

September 24 The twin-engine ANT-1938 took off from the Schelkovsky airfield with the proud name of Rodina. The crew commander is Grizodubova, the co-pilot is Osipenko, the navigator is Raskova. The destination is the Far East, Khabarovsk. The goal is to set a world record for a nonstop flight range.

The first 10 hours passed without incident. Over Siberia, the plane hit a zone of continuous clouds, began to icy. The temperature in ANTa, which did not have heating, dropped to -35 degrees. Covered with ice and icicles radio station out of order. The plane is deaf and blind. The crew drove the car through the sun and the stars. Through 22 hours of flight, the pilots saw the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. Grizodubova deployed the plane and headed for Komsomolsk-on-Amur, before which it was still 5 hours of summer. But after 4, a red light blinked in alarm, indicating that the fuel was left for 30 minutes. It is clear that you will have to sit in the taiga, "on the belly." Valentina orders Raskovoy to leave the plane: the navigator’s cabin is located in the bow, which will take on the first and most powerful blow when landing. Raskova jumped out with a parachute. (Only after 10 days wandering through the taiga, 5 October, it will reach the landing site of the aircraft.) Contrary to fears, Grizodubova managed to skillfully land the plane on a dried-up swamp, only slightly bending the propeller blades. (Subsequently, the ANT was evacuated, and it flew on domestic airlines for several more years.)

As soon as the estimated flight time expired, pilots began to search. They were looking for a plane from Chita to Sakhalin, and found only 3 of October, and 27 of Grizodubov, Osipenko and Raskov were in Moscow. 26 hours and 29 minutes driven by the female crew of the ANT flew 6450 km (5947 in a straight line), cutting off the French record by more than 1500 km. 2 November 1938 years Grizodubova, Osipenko and Raskova were the first women - Heroes of the Soviet Union. Valentina was awarded the Gold Star under number XXUMX.

The commander of the air regiment Grizodubova

The report with a request to send it to the front, the head of the State Air Fleet Directorate of the Civil Air Fleet V.S. But she only got to the front in April 22. Huge human and material losses forced to seek any means to fight the enemy. At the beginning of 1942, the command of the Air Force decided to re-equip and use as a long-range bomber aviation passenger aircraft PS-81. The 101st air regiment was formed, the commander was Lieutenant Colonel Grizodubova, and the personnel consisted of civil aviation pilots.

When the civilian pilots saw the Li-2 (re-equipped PS-81), alarming conversations began among them: “The PS-81 is an excellent civilian aircraft, but is it suitable for military use? Will he be able to rise with a cargo of bombs to the height inaccessible to air defense weapons, to make an anti-aircraft maneuver, to escape from a fighter? Will the pilots and Lee-2 be easy prey for the enemy? ”Valentina gathered the pilots and offered to be honest. When he finished the last, dozens of eyes rushed at her: what counterarguments would the regiment commander find? What could she say? Repeat that there is a war? What is the motherland in trouble? What other planes will not be anyway? "I will fly first," said Grizodubova.

However, Valentine understood that personal example is not enough. Together with other pilots, special air tactics are being developed for crossing the front line, bombing, avoiding anti-aircraft artillery fire, conducting combat with a bomber-stalking fighter. Not unrestrained courage, fraught with losses, but an exact calculation should be the basis of the actions of the regiment pilots.

Guerrilla Medal

In September 1942, the 101 th aviation regiment was placed at the disposal of the Central headquarters of the partisan movement. Began countless night flights into the territory captured by the Germans. There - weapon, explosives, instructors-bombers, back - wounded, children and countless requests to fly as often as possible. What is the arrival of an airplane from the mainland for partisans? This is not only material support, it is a symbol of unity with the Motherland. For tens of kilometers, people came to just see the Soviet plane. It is not by chance that guerrilla commanders are asked to deliver magazines, newspapers, and leaflets.

Grigodubova’s gratitude was repeatedly expressed by Kovpak, Fedorov, Saburov. At the request of the partisans, the commander of the 101 air regiment of Grizodubov was awarded the medal "To Partisan of the Patriotic War, I Degree." It should be noted that Valentine was a “flying” regiment: she had more than 200 combat missions (of which 132 were night flights) to the bombardment and to partisan regions. And Grizodubova received her partisan medal not in the headquarters, but in the forest, at the partisan base near Zhytomyr from the hands of Saburov.

The Nazis knew the name Grizodubova. Knowing that she often takes off for combat missions, they appointed a reward for her head, hoping that some Luftwaffe ace or absurd case would trap a “formidable frau”. But the heavens kept Valentine, she continued to fly.

Closed NII-17

In May, 1945 Colonel Grizodubova retired from the army, stating that with the end of the war, her military service was also over. From 1946, her name goes into the shadows. Few people knew that the renowned aviator, the commander of the air regiment, became the deputy closed scientific research institute-17, which is developing radar equipment. Since 1963, she is the head of the institute's flight test center; from 1972, she is deputy. Head of the Research Institute of Instrument Engineering for the flight unit. The name of Grizodubova becomes “closed”, and only the Golden Star of the Hero of Socialist Labor (1986 year) gives us a tentative hint at its contribution to the creation of airborne and ground-based radar systems.

Protector of the oppressed

Probably, some will ask: “But how did Valentina Grizodubova get on with the terrible Stalinist regime?” No, she was not a thoughtless cog in the state mechanism, she saw a lot, knew a lot and did not try to protect herself from all this. As a deputy of the Supreme Council of the first convocation (1937 - 1946), Grizodubova repeatedly used her name to help those who fell under the rink of repression. Her assistant Vinogradova simply fainted with fear, sending letters and inquiries signed by Grizodubova to various authorities: “Valentina Stepanovna! They will arrest you! ”

Valentina repeatedly turned to Budyonny, Voroshilov, and Molotov for help. I went to the higher instances, causing my own officials to demand horror: “You are fine! You are a well-known person, you are not touched, but what is it to me? ”But we know that neither the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union nor the famous name was a“ safe conduct ”. When the pilot of her regiment was arrested, Grizodubova came to Beria and said: “Until I see the window, he gets into my car, I won’t leave the office!” Having learned that the pilots shot down from partisans were interrogated, she told the terrible drug addict: “If at least one will be arrested - I will personally take everyone back to the partisans! ”

Of course, her possibilities were not unlimited, but it was she who, together with another pilot-hero Gromov, dragged the Queen from the camp and transferred him to the sharashka of Tupolev. Yes, it was not freedom, but it was a saved life and an opportunity to work. Only from 1948 to 1951 year did she take part in the fate of 4767 people. Maybe that is why she was only one term deputy - she was causing too much trouble.

A man with a capital letter

Grizodubova lived to perestroika years and saw the collapse of the state, which she served so long and faithfully. She tried to give a voice in defense of a great country, but the radio, TV, pages of central newspapers were closed to her: the opinion of the famous pilots, the USSR's pride about Gorbachev and Yeltsin clearly did not correspond to democratic canons. Grizodubova never spoke ill of Stalin, but did not like Beria very much.

Valentina Stepanovna 28.04.1993 of the year died, buried at the Novodevichy cemetery. If fate brings you to Novodevichy - wait a few minutes at her grave, give tribute to the brave pilot, a military officer - a man with a capital letter.

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  1. Apollo
    Apollo 22 October 2013 07: 54
    quote-16 October an article was published on the site about Hannah Reich. In the comments, the question justly arose: “And were there women of this scale in the USSR?” There were, and a lot. One of them is Valentina Grizodubova, who had a much more significant status in the USSR than Hannah Reich in Germany. Yes, and flew Grizodubova and higher, and more!

    The blessed memory of Heroine and a deep bow to you Valentina Stepanovna.

  2. Rinat 1
    Rinat 1 22 October 2013 09: 04
    Bright memory for you !!! A MAN WITH A BIG LETTER !!!
  3. Vadim2013
    Vadim2013 22 October 2013 09: 24
    Valentina Stepanovna Grizodubova lived in Moscow on Leningradsky Prospekt; my wife and her parents lived on Leningradskoye Shosse. The numbers of houses and apartments coincided. By various holidays and dates, my wife's family took out from the mailbox many invitations and congratulations to Valentina Stepanova Grizodubova from all over the USSR
    Valentina Stepanovna Grizodubova was very popular in the USSR.
  4. Know-nothing
    Know-nothing 22 October 2013 09: 45
    Six months ago there was already an article

    And then Golovanov A.E. talks about the moral character of comrade Gruzodubova

    “I have been instructed to announce the decision of the Politburo on your complaint, Grizodubova,” Malenkov said. - For libel for mercenary purposes against your immediate commanders, for attempting to slander Marshal Golovanov, the long-range aviation commander, who has been entrusted with responsible party work and the country's leadership, for trying to discredit the commander of the devoted homeland and party commander, it was decided to transfer the case about you to the military tribunal to bring to justice, where and transfer the available materials. Now go to Comrade Shkiryatov, the chairman of the Party Control Commission, there the issue of your party affiliation will be resolved.

    I do not want to describe here what followed the announcement of this decision. On her knees, in tears, Grizodubova prayed for forgiveness, for some reason turning to me more than to the Secretary of the Central Committee ... I involuntarily thought how many more people, innocent people in the world suffer from all kinds of slander! How can a person who has been given all the opportunities to take part directly in the war, in defeating the enemy that is hated by everyone, which all the forces, all the thoughts of the Soviet people are directed at now, instead direct his energy, forces to achieve personal, selfish goals, without stopping not before anything, even before a deliberate slander and deliberate slander of his older comrades, knowing that these slander, this slander can lead innocent people to a sad end, but they will open the way for her, cherished for I am her goals. Blinded by the opportunities that opened up before her, the regiment commander Grizodubova did not think for a minute about the possible fate of the persons she was negotiating. Instead, she already saw herself as the first woman in the country in the uniform of a general ... And now I will have to face justice, although as a victim, next to this man ?!

    “I don't want to mess with this woman!” I do not want my surname, my name for any, even for such an occasion, to be mentioned next to the name and surname of this woman, Comrade Secretary of the Central Committee! Rid me of this. However, further staying in a team of warriors, honest warriors of long-range aviation, waging war against a hated enemy, often sacrificing their lives to defeat this enemy, staying in a team of a man who instead of defeating the enemy sets selfish goals, to achieve which he does not even stop before slander and slander, the presence of such a person among the soldiers of the ADD, I consider it impossible.

    - Get out of here! - Turning to Grizodubova, the Secretary of the Central Committee said. I did not have to repeat these words.
    1. Vadim2013
      Vadim2013 22 October 2013 14: 00
      Thanks for the link
      If Valentina Stepanovna Grizodubova wrote this to Golovanova A.E. and others, therefore, in those days many did this for different purposes.
      1. Ded_smerch
        Ded_smerch 22 October 2013 14: 50
        they always do this, at any time, and of course with different goals, someone is outraged, and someone needs a place for warmth.
      2. BBM
        BBM 23 October 2013 02: 02
        and Golovanov. shameful. I read in Zhukov’s memoirs that somehow in a personal meeting he told him so unkindly that the owner was causing him, to which Zhukov answered that he was not a dog like some (meaning obviously Golovanov) but swore allegiance to the Soviet Union and he didn’t have any owners. Then, in a rather crude form, he asked Golovanov to clarify exactly who was calling him and for what reason (although of course he immediately knew everything)
        1. Ded_smerch
          Ded_smerch 23 October 2013 08: 32
          typical bulging of oneself and belittling of others. If the document confirming this conversation or is this Zhukov’s personal attitude towards Golovanov spilled onto the pages?
      3. BBM
        BBM 23 October 2013 03: 01
        And here is how this shot praises Zhukov, and so politely that by the time these "memoaries" were published, Zhukov was all (an icon) and no one called Golovanov.
        The fact is that G.K. Zhukov became a commander, and not just a commander, but an outstanding commander, without, in fact, neither a military education, nor a general. All that was in his asset, so to speak, is two classes of the city school. He did not graduate from any academies and had no completed education.
    2. Ded_smerch
      Ded_smerch 22 October 2013 15: 26
      minus probably put a lover of fairy tales about eaten babies.
  5. creak
    creak 22 October 2013 10: 07
    Aviation Marshal Golovanov came to the Air Force from civil aviation, stood at the origins of the creation of Long-Range Aviation, and successfully commanded it during the war years.
    For me, Golovanov’s opinion seems more significant than some passages in the article (4767 people who she saved after the war, including Korolev),
    where does this accuracy come from? The Queen was saved by other people, but this is a completely different story ... And the conversation in Beria’s office is from the realm of fantasy, people who are more well-deserved didn’t allow such things ... Grizodubova had her services to the country, she contributed to the cause Victory and Grizodubova does not need to be attributed to her too much ...
    1. Ded_smerch
      Ded_smerch 22 October 2013 14: 24
      Thank you comrade, I thought I was the only one to react to the rebellion about the savior of fate. The information looks like bragging from memoirs (the great ones, for example, Georgy Konstantinovich, also suffered from this. It was written clearly after the death of the leader, and if Valentina Stepanovna herself had a hand in this, then it would become sad.

      By the way, the citizen of Korolev was at work and did not fall under the status of an innocent victim.
      1. Spstas1
        Spstas1 22 October 2013 22: 26
        S. Kremlyov's book about Beria contains excerpts from the Journal of visits to Stalin’s office dated in the autumn of 1938, which refers to the repeated visits of S.P. Korolev to this office. Although, according to modern sources, at that time he was washing a coin in Kolyma ... Riddles in the darkness ...
        1. Ded_smerch
          Ded_smerch 23 October 2013 08: 29
          One does not interfere with the other, in the sense of visiting and sitting. Although you need to dig deeper, thanks for the info.
      2. BBM
        BBM 23 October 2013 02: 08
        Quote: Ded_smerch
        The information looks like bragging from memoirs (the great ones, for example, Georgy Konstantinovich, also suffered from this.

        It’s useless for stubborn Dzhugashvilists to explain something. A. G.K. although certainly not sugar, but a man who always chopped the truth, the womb. After reading his memoirs, I realized why many do not like him so much. His stories do not fit into any fashionable canvas.
        1. Ded_smerch
          Ded_smerch 23 October 2013 08: 28
          stubborn clowns I can explain that G.K. I didn’t cut any truths of the uterus, but those clowns who rely on the memoirs of a person in studying history do not understand this. had such a weakness as a love of embellishing himself for that he periodically received reprimands and flew from his posts. But you don’t care, G.K. for you the last resort. By the way, what edition of memoir are we reading? So for a general understanding of the picture, I ask a question.
  6. wax
    wax 22 October 2013 12: 54
    And here - a fly in the ointment
    So: the path to glory begins with real feats, and ends - at any cost ..., including through libel against other heroes. The mystery of psychology?
    1. BBM
      BBM 23 October 2013 02: 12
      The riddle of your armor. If it is written on the wall ... this does not mean that it is there. But just do some peasants (this is not about you) know how to mouth that any larva envy. It’s easiest to crap a person. When I read any negative information, I don’t always trust on the machine - they’ll suddenly ring (often, by the way)
      1. Larus
        Larus 23 October 2013 18: 23
        You just wrote about the memoirs that this is the truth and immediately write that .. it is written on the wall ....)))))
  7. Shkodnik65
    Shkodnik65 22 October 2013 13: 05
    Frankly speaking, the article was hooked. Thank.
  8. aszzz888
    aszzz888 22 October 2013 14: 07
    Our fair sex did not flinch in fierce years, and the girls fought along with the peasants.
    Heroes and their actions Heroic!
  9. gleb49
    gleb49 22 October 2013 14: 15
    It is very unfortunate that Valentina Stepanovna didn’t keep the letter to the director of MTAT Avtonoshkin about the restoration. I was a little delayed in testing the first low-altitude altimeters in the USSR in the city of Tiksi in 1968. The person was the kindest soul.
    Test Engineer NILITS-Rise.
  10. Rambiaka
    Rambiaka 22 October 2013 14: 34
    But some GAD sminusovat.
  11. Strong
    Strong 22 October 2013 20: 19
    // Since 1930, Grizodubova is a pilot instructor, and already she “puts on the wing” future Stalinist falcons. //

    And among them - the first twice Hero, a brilliant pilot and commander, commander of 72 SAP Boris Safonov. A worthy student of his teacher.
  12. catapractic
    catapractic 23 October 2013 01: 34
    A man with a capital letter, there is nothing more to tell the truth
  13. Vadim2013
    Vadim2013 23 October 2013 07: 17
    The fact is that G.K. Zhukov became a commander, and not just a commander, but an outstanding commander, without, in fact, neither a military education, nor a general. All that was in his asset, so to speak, is two classes of the city school. He did not graduate from any academies and had no completed education.

    G.K. Zhukov, after finishing the Ryazan cavalry courses in the autumn of 1920, was appointed platoon commander. In 1929, he graduated from the courses of the highest commanding staff of the Red Army.
    1. BBM
      BBM 23 October 2013 20: 14
      Quote: Vadim2013
      G.K. Zhukov, after finishing the Ryazan cavalry courses in the autumn of 1920, was appointed platoon commander. In 1929, he graduated from the courses of the highest commanding staff of the Red Army.

      That's it, but this .idor is lying and does not blush. And most importantly, it presents its rotten lies like praise.
  14. BBM
    BBM 23 October 2013 20: 19
    Quote: Ded_smerch
    So for a general understanding of the picture, I ask a question.

    1965 first edition paper version naturally.
  15. SAG64
    SAG64 23 October 2013 22: 28
    Interesting article.
  16. OPTR
    OPTR 25 October 2013 01: 40
    It seems that as soon as some "historians" begin to write a book about someone, so as to extol him more, they begin to interfere with others. And eyewitnesses told all of them. Only everyone is different.
    As a result, it turns out that everyone is mixed with mud in turn.
    And of course, everything is now smarter and more decent and Grizodubova, and Golovanov, and many others.