The nonstop flight from Moscow to the Far East by Valentina Grizodubova, Polina Osipenko, and Marina Raskova, three of the first "Night Witches"
On September 24 thru the 25th of 1938 at the ANT-37"Rodina" ("Homeland") crew consisting of Commander Valentina Grizodubova, the co-pilot, Polina Osipenko, and navigator, Marina Raskova made a nonstop flight from Moscow to the far east, (Kirby, area of Komsomolsk-on-Amur), length 6450 km (as the crow flies-5910 km0. During the flight of 26 hours and 29 minutes the women's world aircraft distance record was set.
After the plane passed the Ural Mountains the pilots lost the connection with the land. Because of this, they flew past the Komsomolsk-on-Amur. When they saw the Sea of Okhotsk, light flashed, signaling the gasoline left was for a half hour. The commander Grizodubova decided to land in the forest with the landing gear retracted and ordered Raskova to skydive because such a landing is dangerous for the navigator sitting in the front position of the plane. The aircraft put in on a swamp in the upper Taiga river, Amgun. No one knew the exact place of the landing of the "Rodina", and it was found on October 3 when the crew were detected from the air.
The boat, "Far East" left from the village of Kirby and picked up the women in the Taiga. For courage and heroism during the execution of the flight Gridodubova, Osopenko and Raskova were awarded the title, Heroes of the Soviet Union on November 2, 1938.
In 1939, after the death of Polina Osipenko, the village of Kirby where the female crew landed was renamed the village of Osipenko, after Polina Osipenko.
In 1998, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the famous non-stop flight, the Russian Club "Aviatrisa" recognized the 1938 flight from Moscow to the Far East.
Please inquire for further information regarding the crew of the "Rodina" and also the history of the "Rodina".
Date early 1940's
Size: 56" x 20"
Oil on handwoven canvas