Polina Denisovna Osipenko

Osipenko, Polina Denisovna


Born Sept. 25 (Oct. 8), 1907, in the village of Novospasovka, now Osipenko, Berdiansk Raion, Zaporozh’e Oblast; died May 11, 1939. Soviet military pilot; major (1939); Hero of the Soviet Union (Nov. 2, 1938). Member of the CPSU from 1932.

Osipenko graduated from the Kacha Aviation School in 1932 and then served as a junior pilot and flight commander in fighter aviation. She set five world records for women. The best known were her nonstop flights in 1938 on the routes Sevastopol’Evpatoriia-Ochakov-Sevastopol’, Sevastopol’-Arkhangel’sk (2,416 km in 10 hours in a hydroplane), and Moscow-Komsomol’sk-na-Amure region (on Sept. 24–25, together with V. S. Grizodubova and M. M. Raskova; 6,450 km in 26 hours 29 minutes). Osipenko died in the line of duty and is buried near the Kremlin Wall in Red Square. She was awarded two Orders of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.