Polina Osipenko

Polina Osipenko on a 1939 Soviet postal stamp.

Polina Denisovna Osipenko (Russian: Полина Денисовна Осипенко, Ukrainian: Поліна Денисівна Осипенко, October 8, 1907, Novospasovka, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire — May 11, 1939) was a Soviet military pilot, most notable as the second pilot who, together with Valentina Grizodubova and Marina Raskova on September 24–25, 1938 performed a non-stop flight between Moscow and the Sea of Okhotsk, setting a new distance record for non-stop flights operated by women. For this achievement, she became a Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest military distinction in Soviet Union, one of the three first women (along with Grizodubova and Raskova) to receive the distinction.[1] Osipenko was killed in 1939 together with Anatoly Serov during a routine flight.

Osipenko was born in 1907 in Novospasovka, Yekaterinoslav Governorate (currently Zaporizhia Oblast of Ukraine) in a peasant family of Ukrainian ethnicity as Polina Dudnik.[2] Until 1930, she was working on a collective farm. Between 1930 and 1933, Osipenko was a student in the Kazan Flight School, subsequently she served as officer, flying a fighter. In 1937, she set three world records for altitude.[3] In October 1937, Osipenko and Raskova set the women's flight distance record by flying from Moscow to Aktobe (1,444.722 kilometres (897.709 mi)), and in July 1938, Osipenko, Vera Lomako, and Raskova set a new record by flying non-stop from Sevastopol to Arkhangelsk.[4]

On September 24, Grizodubova, Osipenko, and Raskova set on what was supposed to be a non-stop flight from Moscow to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Their plane was Tupolev ANT-37. However, the weather conditions were difficult, they missed the Komsomolsk airfield, and found themselves at the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk without any fuel left. Grizodubova, who was the commander of the aircraft, decided to crash-land in the forest. Raskova was ordered to jump out of the plane and was found in the woods ten days later. Grizodubova and Osipenko remained in the aircraft and survived the crash landing. They still set the women's flight distance record and were made the Heroes of the Soviet Union.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 "A historic flight". Voice of Russia. December 13, 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  2. Осипенко Полина Денисовна (in Russian). "Герои Страны". Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  3. Дрягина, И. Некоторые заметки о роли женщин в развитии авиации (in Russian). Военная Литература. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
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