Khiuaz Dospanova (1922-2007) is a Kazakhstan heroine, a title she earned after fighting as a pilot and navigator in 300 combat missions during World War II.
Dospanova dreamed of becoming a pilot when she was a little girl living in a small village in Kazakhstan. When World War II started, she already had her reserve pilot certification, and she applied to the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy in Moscow but got denied due to her gender.
In 1941 she voluntarily joined the all-female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Union Army. It was one of the units Major Marina Raskova founded. They got the nickname the “Night Witches” for their attacking methods since they used to attack at night, getting close to the target, idling the engine, and surprisingly dropping the bomb and leaving. The sound was like broomsticks, so the Germans gave them the nickname the “Night Witches.”
In 1943 she was the only survivor of two plane collisions in her unit. After several months of rehabilitation and before full recovery, she returned to her regiment, working as the regiment’s head of communications and navigator, completing about 300 sorties till the end of the war in battels in Eastern Europe. After the war, she served in several positions in the communist party and local politics till she retired due to poor health. In her life, she received several awards for her patriotism and bravery. As a state hero in the field of aviation, same as Amelia Earhart in the US, several places in Kazakhstan bear her name, like Atyrau International, where the memorial stands.
In September 2019, a special ceremony was held for the memorial dedication. The artist Bakitbek Muhammedjanov created this larger-than-life statue and depicted Dospanova standing in her military uniform, rank, and medals. It is one of the few statues that honor a real woman in the entire continent of Asia.
Атырау әуежайында әскери ұшқыш Хиуаз Доспановаға ескерткіш орнатылды
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