Hiuaz Kairovna Dospanova (1922-2008), the only female pilot and navigator from Kazakhstan to serve during the Second World War,
From May 1942 she served as navigator, and later became the head of communication of the 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment—commonly referred to as the Night Witches, a nickname they were given by the Germans that they terrorized in their nightly raids.
Dospanova made more than 300 combat missions and was seriously injured in April 1943 while making a landing in blackout conditions; she survived the crash but fractured both legs. Three months later, she returned to the regiment to continue fighting, going all the way to Berlin for the victory.
For her courage and bravery, she was awarded the Order of the Red Star, medals for the defense of the Caucasus, for the liberation of Warsaw, and for victory over Germany. Four years before her death, In December 2004, the President of Kazakhstan decreed that Dospanova was to be awarded the title of National Hero for her heroic actions.
July 02, 2013, 2:00pm / 6286