Ekaterina V. Budanov span>
Ekaterina V. Budanov was born in the village of Smolensk region Linnet December 7 in 1916. After high school, Kate went to Moscow, where she worked in a factory and studied at the flying club, after which she worked as an instructor pilot.
With the start of World War II Budanov was sent to Saratov to relearn the Yak-1, and after completion of training — the women's Regiment, covering the Saratov. In September 1942, Catherine was sent to the 437 Fighter Aviation Regiment, who fought at Stalingrad. Here she spent many successful bovyh flights and air battles. This shelf Budanov met Lydia Litvyak. They became best friends and in the future have always been together.
Catherine Budanov was the first female pilot, who was appointed to the group of "free hunting". On account of Budanov it personally shot down 11 aircraft, including reconnaissance plane "Focke-Wulf» Fw 189, which was considered the most difficult prey. Among women with her fighter was matched only by its military girlfriend Lily Litvyak.
A tall, thin Budanov wore men's haircut in uniform and did not differ much from the guy. The character she was lively and full of life. Speaking about his exploits, Katerina Budanov claimed that in a fight she was not scared. In pursuit of the enemy fueled her so excited that aviatrix forgot that she herself can bring down.
On the day of the pilots made 5-6 sorties. Almost every one of them ended in a fight. But the hardest thing was to wait for this flight. Willingness to number one supposed to wait for the command of the emergence of the whole outfit, even in the heat and to be constantly on the alert. Budanov never not complain, did not need the indulgences and worked alongside the best aces.
It is not just triumphed in an unequal battle. German planes themselves were perfect our own, and they grew more and more. In one of these unequal fights she died.
Returning from a mission to provide cover for ground attack July 19 in 1943, Budanov was attacked by three enemy aircraft Me-109. She managed to bring down one of the fighters, but her car was severely damaged. She managed to land the plane in a field. Came to the rescue locals pulled her out of the cab, but it was too late, Catherine Budanov died from his injuries.