In her native Cheboksary, Vera Petrovna Kurdyukova every year 9 May went to the city festive parade. Here she met with combat friends from the 101-th separate air observation, warning and communications battalion (VNOS battalion). Such a tradition has taken root in them - on Victory Day at the festive table to remember military everyday life, the sorrows and joys of war, the departed fellow soldiers. This year, veterans recalled Vera Petrovna herself: a few months ago she was gone.
"Pigalitsy" in the war
Vera Petrovna always had a bright and kind look, intelligent and calm eyes. In 1941, she worked as a teacher in the 3 class of the Cheboksary Zavolzhsky orphanage. As soon as the terrible news of the war broke out - without hesitation, I went with the girlfriends to the military registration and enlistment office with a request to send them to the front. Then the volunteers did not take the girls: they were only 17 years old. Banished with the words: "Pigalitsy yet." But Vera did not change her decision by all means to help the front: she went to nursing courses. And then came 12 on April 1942 of the year - a massive call for girls was announced in the country. From Chuvashia to the Red Army, the 101 girls, including Vera Kurdyukova, were taken to replace the men in the 500-th Separate air observation battalion.
Vera Petrovna Kurdyukova. Photo courtesy of the author
Air defense is an extensive branch of the armed forces. Here and aviationand anti-aircraft troops, and aerial surveillance, warning, communications ... Yesterday's schoolgirls were entrusted with a completely non-children's task - to protect military-industrial complexes, bridges, crossings, airfields, warehouses from Nazi raids. The girl’s 101st separate battalion served in vast territories - in Chuvashia, Tatarstan, Mordovia. In 1943, the combat unit was relocated to Ukraine, and in 1944 to the west of Belarus.
“A VNOSovets staring at the Germans, without leaving a post”
In the war, all hard. But for girls, especially: after all, the whole structure of military life is designed for men. Before joining the army, a separate battalion of VNOS passed military training in Kazan. The first "female" problem was identified immediately. The rear men grabbed their heads: what to wear, shod a newly-made servicemen? I had to alter the tunic, which were girls like dresses.
They didn’t allow indulgences in anything: they had to dig the dug-outs themselves, put up poles, carry wires. The girls went through difficult training and thoroughly studied all German aircraft, their positions, engine noise. During the day, fearlessly stood on observation towers as high as 40 meters, which rocked eerily in the wind. At night, listening to the sky in the auditory pit. In the dark, the type of aircraft could be identified only by the noise of the engine. And in this musical feminine rumor was not equal. Girls for several kilometers could find out which plane was flying and in which direction, its range and height. Obtained data was immediately reported to the headquarters. Errors could not be allowed under any circumstances. Any enemy plane that had broken through our air defense could bomb a village, a city in a matter of seconds. Perhaps that is why Vera Petrovna had a restless sleep for the rest of her life. She said that they had “no hearts” in the war. Open to all the winds, even when the earth is smoking ... During the bombings, all living things are hidden, and the CPAF does not have the right to do so: "And the VNOSovets is staring at the Germans without leaving a post."
Photo of the Museum of Military Glory 101 Battalion VNO MBOU SOSH No. 37
military patriotic in Cheboksary
military patriotic in Cheboksary
In war as in war. Were in the battalion and combat casualties. And young girls in uniform showed sometimes real miracles of heroism and loyalty to duty. With pain in her heart, Vera Petrovna recalled the most severe ordeals that had happened to the girls in Western Ukraine. In the local forests atrocities Bandera gangs. One February night, a group of armed gangsters attacked the post of Zhenya Kirillova, who was in a private house. Shouted servicemen: "Surrender!" No one gave up, no one dropped weapon. Then scum fired and set fire to the house. Everyone who was inside died. The Forest Brothers were hunting for VNOS fighters - they lined the posts on the towers with straw and set fire to them. The girls burned alive. But these were not unnecessary sacrifices: during the war years, thanks to girl observers, anti-aircraft gunners saved hundreds of cities and villages from bombing.
In the declining years
Years have passed. After the death of her husband, Vera Petrovna lived alone. Sometimes she visited her niece. The daughter with children looked rarely. The most frequent interlocutors were her neighbors. They Vera Petrovna and addressed his request: "Bury me in my front form, I beg you." And when the time came, her will was done. Having lived an eventful, grateful and honest life, Vera Kurdyukova left the world, shining with medals and orders.