closeup of Litvyak monument
The Memorial to
Soviet Ace Lydia Litvyak

by Henry Sakaida
When I go back to Ukraine for Victory Day in May this year, I plan to go back to Krasny Luch, with Maj Dolina, some English textbooks for their English teacher, and a donation to the museum. The museum is in need of major repairs. A dollar goes a long way in Ukraine, and if you are interested in making a donation, I can assure you that I will personally hand deliver it to the curator with your business card or note. This selfless woman has devoted her life and savings to keep the museum open, and I consider her a real Heroine! Let's give them a helping hand. After thanking our hosts and promising to help the museum, Sergey and I departed. We opted to return to Kiev by plane, which cost the same as the 1st class train. We arrived back in about an hour and a half. Before I left for home, we visited Maj Dolina and told her of our trip. She had presented me with a copy of her Hero Star as a keepsake, but I politely declined and told her that it belongs in the Litvyak Museum. She said, "What a great idea! Agreed! If I get better, we will all go together!" (Awards Digest Article 16 has a nice view of her custom-made HSU copy; Article 15 is my article about my visit to see her).
Some other photos of the Litvyak Museum
displaying some recovered artifacts
ABOVE: Valentina Vaschenko displays some of the dug up remains of rifles and machine guns found locally in the area. BELOW: Photographs showing the Night Witches of the 46th Taman Guards Night Fighter Regiment. These women flew the biplane U2/Po-2 against the Germans and bombed them, depriving them of sleep.
BELOW: The front of School No.1. Note the stylized fighter plane which represents Lydia Litvyak's plane.
an interesting doorway

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