Night Witches: The Fearless Female Pilots Who Helped Win WWII

The Heroines of WWII

These young female superheroes were all volunteers, and most of them were in their teens and early 20s, which only makes it even more impressive. These women became legends of World War II, but, for some unfortunate reason, they are now largely forgotten. They flew only in the dark, with no parachutes, guns, radios, or radar. All they had on them were maps and compasses.


Women of the Air Transport Auxiliary Service, 1940. Photo by Associated Newspapers / Daily Mail / Shutterstock

Their uniforms were actually hand-me-downs from male pilots, and their faces would freeze in their planes’ open cockpits. Every night, the 40 two-woman crews flew eight or more missions – sometimes reaching as many as 18 in one night. And their missions were by far some of the most dangerous…

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