Ekaterina Afanasievna of Slobozhanka was generic aviaspecialists — the pilot, flight engineer and radio operator. For excellent command of the aircraft she was awarded the order “badge of honor” (1937) and the badge “For attack” in 1941, when the sum of distances overcome it reached 300 000 kilometres. Catherine Lobodenko died in December 1942 during a combat task to the crew of the Moscow aviation group of special purpose. She was little more than 30 years.

In stored personal belongings of Catherine Slobozhanka, to relatives of the pilots. About her labor and military way — in a joint material and the Agency “Moscow”.

Ekaterina Afanasievna of Slobodanka was born in Kiev in 1911. After the end of the seven-year school in 1929, the future pilot was active in the collectivization and the elimination of illiteracy among the peasants in a village in the Kiev region.

Her youth came in 1930-e years. The Soviet Union became one of the world leaders in the production of civil and military aircraft. The profession of a pilot has become one of the most prestigious. Many Soviet boys and girls dreamed of the sky — one of them was Catherine Slobozhanka, then just Kate. Still working in the village, she decided to learn to fly, come what may.

In 1931, the dream come true — from the collective farm “Iskra” the girl arrived in

the Squadron served important political and economic government campaign. The country at this time has not yet been fully equipped with radio, hundreds of large and small settlements were located far from roads suitable for year-round operation, and aircraft were available to any area of the Soviet Union. The aircraft was transported on a huge country rapporteurs, journalists, scientists, and representatives of large factories. They met with residents and talked about the results of the first five-year plan, the plans and the second.

In 1932, the country was preparing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of literary work of Maxim Gorky. Newspaper and magazine Association could not leave this event unattended. At the initiative of the chief editor of the magazine Ogonyok Mikhail Koltsov, in September 1932 began a nationwide Fund-raising for the construction. In the newspaper “Evening Moscow” came the announcement of the following content:

the Committee on the construction of the aircraft was headed by Koltsov. In the process of development it became apparent that one of the “Maxim Gorky” not to cope with all the propaganda business. Therefore, at the initiative of journalists in January 1933 the all-Union Committee, it was decided to create a special agitatedly the name of the writer. Birthday of the squadron is considered to be March 17, 1933 — the day of the release of the decision on its establishment.

Soon the Newspapers and magazines floor��or right to give the aircraft your name. Less than two months after the order on the formation of agitatedly, may 6, 1933, the Central airport, lined the aircraft ANT–14 “Pravda”, the U–2 “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, K–5 “the Light,” ANT–9 “Crocodile”, Steel 2 “news” and the Zep–3 “Krasnaya Zvezda”.

the Squadron received the task from the commissariats of the country, the sectoral trade unions, national Newspapers and publishing houses. She didn’t have regular routes, the aircraft flew to all parts of the country. The landings and takeoffs were made at factories and plants, collective farms, in the forest, from fishing villages.

Among the commanders aircraft of the squadron was Ivan Mikheyev, Anatoli Alekseev, Fabio Farikh. Among them was Valentina Grizodubova, who along with flight engineer Catherine of Slobozhanka set several world records.

the Famous Soviet Aviator and the first woman to be awarded the title “hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of Socialist Labor”, served in agitatedly in 1934-1935. Residents of remote villages have delighted the “iron bird” and was doubly surprised, seeing that manages the miracle technique a woman.

at First Catherine Slobozhanka was the aircraft Valentina Grizodubova. Soon she began to fly with her, becoming a flight engineer of the crew, commanded by Valentine. Gradually women have become not only colleagues, but true friends. My daughter, born in 1936, Slobodanka called in honor of a friend. Little Valya went on a flight with my mother. The crew members loved the girl and called her at home — Bobblehead.

Grizodubova and Slobodanka owns the world records for speed and altitude among women. 9 October 1937, passing seaplane UT-2 route Likhobory — Iksha — Trays — Likhobory, they dispersed a few days Later on the same aircraft with the commander and the flight engineer set a record for altitude by typing 3267 meters.

Without departing from the work of Catherine Slobozhanka not only became a mother, but graduated from the Dzerzhinsky flying club in the Nizhny Novgorod region on the courses of pilots and radio operators (1937-1939). The institution was considered one of the strongest in the country. After finishing her studies, Slobodanka has received three occupation: pilot, flight engineer and radio operator. It was a rare thing.

With the onset of the great Patriotic war, all civil aviation began to operate Civil air fleet (GVF) in the first days of the war was transferred to the subordination of the people’s Commissariat of defense. He performed a variety of tasks — pilots delivered troops on the front line and behind enemy lines, the special supplies to partisans, ammunition, evacuation of wounded and many more.

based On the CAF began to form a special aviation group. Catherine Slobozhanka was re��Eden in MAGON — which began to carry out combat missions on the first one. Here the most prepared pilots and technicians in the country.

the Group has made a huge contribution V. during the defensive battles in the period from October to December 1941, was executed more than three thousand sorties to the front line, deployed over 12 thousand soldiers and officers, brought plenty of ammunition and supplies.

During the siege of Leningrad air group several times a day made flights into the beleaguered city: the pilots were daily transporting vital cargo, evacuated children, women, the sick, and skilled workers of defense plants.

in the Summer of 1942 to the final battle for Sevastopol, the soldiers of the Soviet army had to deliver ammunition and food. The Supreme command of this important mission, instructed the Moscow aviation group of special purpose. In just 10 days was performed more than two hundred sorties with delivery, evacuated more than two thousand wounded soldiers and officers.

Catherine Lobodenko died along with the crew when performing fighting tasks. From archival documents of the Civil air fleet on this flight are as follows:

the Crew flew to Sverdlovsk from Kazan on the morning of 22 December. After one hour 26 minutes pilot Isaev requested on the radio weather forecast, and after 20 minutes, permission to land at the airport Yanaul due to severe icing of the aircraft. The layer of ice on the fuselage is one inch thick heavily weighted with it, made clumsy. The pilot landing was not able to cope with the management.

Catherine Slobozhanka buried in Yanaul of the Republic of Bashkortostan. After the death of a friend, Colonel Grizodubova Valentina helped the family of Slobozhanka the rest of his life.