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Aleksandra Akimova

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Aleksandra Fyodorovna Akimova
File:Aleksandra Fyodorovna Akimova.jpg
Native name
Александра Фёдоровна Акимова
Born5 May 1922
Skopinsky, Ryazan Governorate, Russian SFSR
Died29 December 2012 (age 90)
Moscow, Russian Federation
AllegianceTemplate:USSR
Service/branch Soviet Air Force
Years of service1941−1945
RankSenior lieutenant
Unit46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment
Battles/warsEastern Front of World War II
AwardsHero of the Russian Federation

Aleksandra Akimova (Russian: Александра Фёдоровна Акимова; 5 May 1922 – 29 December 2012) was a squadron navigator in the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment during the Second World War. In 1994 she became one of the few women awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation.

Early life[edit source | edit]

Akimova was born on 5 May 1922 to a Russian peasant family in the village of Skopinsky within the Ryazan Governorate of the Russian SFSR. After graduating from secondary school she entered history classes at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute in addition to nursing courses. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 she applied to enlist in the Red Army but her request was initially denied and she was sent to assist in construction of defensive fortifications around Mozhaysk.[1][2]

Military career[edit source | edit]

After Marina Raskova got Stalin to approve the establishment of three women's air regiments, women that had applied to join the military but were initially denied were sent for training. Many of them were sent to the Engel's Military Aviation School in Saratov, where women deployed into the 588th Night Bomber Regiment were trained before they were sent to the front. Akimova was put into the navigator's group where she studied an accelerated navigation course that lasted three years in peacetime but was compressed into just three months due to the war.[3] After graduating from the courses the aviators were deployed to the Southern Front in May 1942, but she was not appointed to be a flight navigator until March 1943. From then on until the end of the war in 1945, Akimova made 715 combat sorties on a Po-2 biplane. In April 1945 she was nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with references from Konstantin Vershinin and Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky, but people in Moscow did not support the nomination and she was eventually awarded the Order of Lenin instead. Her nomination cited her having accumulated 805 flight hours in combat and 680 sorties by April 1945, in which she had dropped 94 tons of bombs, destroying two ammunition depots, two ferries, two searchlights, and seven cars as well as dropping over 450,000 leaflets.[4][5]

Later life[edit source | edit]

After the end of the war Akimova was demobilized from the military in October 1945 and she soon returned to her studies at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute. In 1952 she began teaching at the Moscow Aviation Institute, where she taught for 40 years until her retirement in 1992.[6]

In 1994 she was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation for her actions in the war after her participation in the war gained attention. She was an active member of the veterans movement and participated in victory parades. She passed away on 29 December 2012 and was buried in the Troyekurovsky cemetery in Moscow.[7]

Awards and honors[edit source | edit]

[7]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. Simonov & Chudinova 2017, p. 280.
  2. Noggle 1994, p. 92.
  3. Magid, Aleksandr (1960). Гвардейский Таманский авиационный полк (in Russian). Moscow: DOSLAF. p. 39. OCLC 881535802.
  4. Simonov & Chudinova 2017, p. 281-282.
  5. "Акимова Александра Фёдоровна". www.warheroes.ru. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  6. Simonov & Chudinova 2017, p. 282-283.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Simonov & Chudinova 2017, p. 283.

Bibliography[edit source | edit]

  • Noggle, Anne (1994). A Dance With Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0890966028.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Simonov, Andrey; Chudinova, Svetlana (2017). Женщины - Герои Советского Союза и России. Moscow: Russian Knights Foundation and Museum of Technology Vadim Zadorozhny. ISBN 9785990960701. OCLC 1019634607.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

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