(1916 - 19. 7. 1943)
B udanova Ekaterina - aviator, fighter 73 istribitelnogo Guards Air Regiment (6 th Guards Fighter Division, . 8-th Air Army, . Southern Front), . Guards Senior Lieutenant,
. Fought with Lydia Litvyak and was her best friend. Born in 1916 in the village Konoplyanka Smolensk region into a peasant family. Russian. Early left an orphan. After high school, went to Moscow to earn. She worked at the factory in Fili. Then, successfully completed the local Aeroclub and became an instructor.
In September 1941, Catherine Budanova came to paragraph formation of female aviation regiments. She was sent to the extermination of. After retraining in Saratov on the combat Yak-1, she was assigned to the 586 th Fighter Wing Women.
On April 15, 1942 Budanova defended sky Saratov. In sorties grew stronger her flying skills, developing their own, unique handwriting. September 10, 1942 Kate left for the 437 th Regiment. It was one of the busiest periods in the air battles at the Stalingrad front.
... In a couple to 12, one to 13, one against two, consisting of four to 19 - these were just some of the battles through which the girl. October 2, patrolling over the area of Zhitomir - Elton, a couple of fighters in the Belyaeva - Budanova attacked a group of 12 Ju.88, marching to the station heading Elton. Pilots violated the military order of the bombers, forcing them to drop their bombs away from the goal and get out.
. October 6 Katya had already had one go into action with 13 Ju.88! Crashing into their system, she "threw" them, and then the second approach shot at the closest "Junkers"
. It was her first aerial victory.
In mid-November 1942 the intensity of air combat risen. To fight had, as a rule, with the superior forces of the enemy. In these battles in a group it had destroyed another two Bf-109, and then won a personal victory over Ju.88. In one battle, Katya was driven by Vladimir Lavrinenkova. He was the first stage flashed fuselage, Heinkel - 111 ", but the German gunner was struck by his car. Katya, preserving the lead, followed him up until almost uncontrollable machine not touched the ground.
. In late November, a second lieutenant Budanov, as one of the best and most experienced pilots, enlisted in the group "free hunters"
. December 10, returning from a mission, Katya had attacked her battle with a pair of Me-109. Enough fuel remained no more than half an hour, and ammunition - only a third set. But aviatress not overawed and took up the challenge. At the end of the battle, which lasted 25 minutes, it is the frontal attack, set fire to the plane of the leading German pair.
In January 1943, Second Lieutenant Budanov was transferred to the 73rd Guards Fighter Wing. The regimental commander had a fighter pilot in the high trust, appointing his wingman. In one of the missions, our group found 19 "Junkers", marching in tight formation with fighter escorts, FW-190. Pair Baranova first attacked fighters cover. Others assumed the bombers. The battle dragged. It was difficult to fight with the four Fokker. But the commander of the regiment succeeded in damaging one of them. Dobila his Katya, coming close, at 30 meters. The explosion of FW-190 aircraft it thrown up a few meters ...
February 23, 1943 Budanov was awarded the first combat award - the Order of the Red Star. In early March, returning to the "free hunt" she found going to the front line enemy spotter FW-189. However, with the first attack shot down nimble "frame" could not - we saw a German fighter and intense maneuvering, with a decrease in escape from fire. Dropped to 20 meters, "frame" went on the attack. To slow down, Kate is just above the ground caught up and destroyed the enemy.
. During March - June 1943 Budanov in the group shot down two enemy fighters, and on July 17 scored another personal victory - destroyed the bomber Ju-88
. Soon she was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 1 st degree.
On the last day of his life, July 19, 1943, Kate in a group of fighters cover for our IL-2. Successfully completing ground attack, "humpback" go home. Our "Yaki" covering their retreat, they went back. Budanov was trailing in the group cover and suddenly saw a very close three Me-109. Warn his comrades about the danger it was too late, and the aviator took an unequal battle ... In this battle, she won her last 11 th victory. Plucky heroine modestly buried on the outskirts of the village of Novo - Krasnovka. Command introduced her to the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union. But in those years, this idea was not realized.
. During the period of its military activity Ekaterina Budanova flew 266 combat sorties, destroyed 6 enemy aircraft in person and 5 - in group battles.
. May 9, 1988 the remains of pilots solemnly reburied in the village Bobrikov Antratsitovskogo region Lugansk region.
. With A year after the achievements of the last half-century deed, October 1, 1993 by presidential decree Б•¬ 1553, Catherine Vassilyevna Budanov was prisvoino Hero of Russia (posthumously).
. In Kuntsevo district of Moscow, the name of Catherine Budanova named street, in which the heroine lived in the prewar years
. On the facade of the building of the Moscow School Б•¬ 63 (Bagrationovsky passage, 10) a memorial plaque.
. 1) Red Hawks