(14. 9. 1916 - 12. 9. 1941)
E Katerina Ivanovna Zelenko lieutenant - deputy commander of the 5 th Squadron 135 th Bomber Aviation Regiment (16 th Composite Air Division, Air Force 6 th Army, South-Western Front)
. Born September 14, 1916 in the village Koroszczyn now Belsky region Rivne region. Ukrainka. Graduated from the 7 classes of junior high school Б•¬ 10 cities of Kursk. Relocation mother entered the Voronezh Voronezh Aviation College. In October 1933, graduated from Voronezh aviation club and Komsomol sent to 3rd Orenburg Air Force Pilot School and the pilots observer named Voroshilov. In December 1934 she graduated with honors from flying school and was sent to Kharkov in the 19 th light Bomber Brigade. Along with the service in the brigade experienced aircraft and aviation equipment. For 4 years has mastered the 7 types of aircraft. Participant of the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 years (the only woman among the pilots). Fought in the 3rd Squadron, 11 th easy-Bomber Regiment (Air Force 8 th Army). 8 to sorties by F-Z in the bombing of the Finnish troops. Destroyed an artillery battery and ammunition depot of the enemy, for which he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Then, as a pilot instructor participated in the retraining of the seven guiding air regiments in the new Su-2. On the Great Patriotic War from its first day. Carried out 40 sorties (including at night), participated in 12 air battles with enemy fighters.
. W tion of the Hero of the Soviet Union Yekaterina Ivanovna Zelenko was posthumously awarded the Presidential Decree of the USSR May 5, 1990.
In one of the sorties in July 1941, a group of bombers under her command in the area of the city Propoisk destroyed 45 tanks, . 20 cars, . to a battalion of enemy soldiers and came back without loss,
September 12, 1941 flew 2 sorties of exploration. In the second radius of its Su-2 was damaged. After lunch, it was reported that the German tanks broke through the front. Urgently needed to explore the situation in the region Romain - Nezhin - Pryе-uki - Piryatin - Luben. Zelenko, together with the pilot-observer, Lieutenant N. Pavlyk flew on a plane deputy commander of the regiment AI Pushkin paired with a crew of Captain Lebedev. Upon returning to the job in the area of Romni they attacked 7 enemy fighters Me-109. Our pilots have unequal air battle, but lost in the clouds to each other. Soon after Lebedev's aircraft was hit and he came out of the battle. Zelenko was alone against seven enemies. The Germans took it in the ring plane. Once one of them was in sight, Zelenko pressed the trigger. "Messerschmitt" caught fire and went to the ground. But the Su-2 was shot down, both crew members were injured, while Pavlyk, moreover, was over ammunition. Zelenko told him to leave the plane, but she continued to fight. Soon she ran out of ammo. Then she went out on a course attacked her fascist bomber and led to convergence. From wing to the fuselage hit "Messerschmitt" broke in half, and the Su-2 exploded, and the pilots ejected from the cab. Debris from both aircraft fell to the ground near the village of Anastasevka Sumy region.
T ate Catherine Zelenko was discovered by local residents M. Khomenko, A. Marchenko, I. Silchenko, V. Petrichenko, MA Butko, Balykin and identified by Komsomol card Б•¬ 7463250, the Order's book and identity card. In the regiment they had no time to tell, because the next day the Germans captured the village. It was initially buried in the center of the village Anastasevka. After the war her remains were moved to the city of Kursk. For his feat in December 1941 was posthumously awarded the Order of Lenin.
E Katerina Ivanovna Zelenko was the only woman violently ram air. In place of her death obelisk. In Kursk, Ekaterina Ivanovna erected a monument and a memorial plaque on the house where she lived as a child. In Berestovke, where the airport and from where she had gone on his last sortie, a monument. In honor of its small planet of the solar system, open an astronomer of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, T. Smirnova, named Katyusha. Her name was carried to the ship, the streets in Kursk, Voronezh, Sumy, schools and Pioneer squads. Her Komsomol card for a long time kept by the school teacher Anastasevskoy A. Marchenko, and then was transferred to the Orenburg flying the Red Banner Military Aviation School for Pilots behalf Polbin. Museums pilots were established in Anastasevke and Kursk school Б•¬ 10, in which she studied. May 5, 1990 Decree of the President of the USSR it was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
E e man - commander of the 4-th squadron of the same regiment Pavel Ignatenko - killed in an air battle in 1943.
Biography provided by AE Melnikov
Sources: 1) The immortal feats
. - Moscow: Military Publishing, 1980
2) Heroes of the Soviet Union: A Brief Biographical Dictionary. V.1. M.: Voeniz.1987.