Capt. Lydia Litvyak

During her first sortie as an RAVAAF pilot, Lydia Litvyak shot down 2 targets before running out of ammunition over the skies of Kharkov, Ukraine, during the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation in 3-23 August 1943. In the following days, Lydia Litvyak would sortie 3 times per day and would kill on average, 2 targets before being forced to return to base. Lydia Litvyak also partook in the Siege of Leningrad, where she would patrol the outskirts of the city, while also avoiding anti-aircraft fire.

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RPC AUTHORITY VOLUNTEER ARMY FOR THE ALLIED FORCES


27th Fighter Squadron "Vermilion"

Updated: 01/01/1945





Vermilion 2 "Lilya"


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File Photo, 01/01/1942

Full Name: Лидия Владимировна Литвяк (Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak)

Personnel ID Number:
997-013-000049

Security Clearance: Level 2

Division: Protection

Position: RAVAAF 27th Fighter Squadron pilot

Rank: Captain

Sex: Female

Height: 162cm

Weight: 47kg

Skin Color: White

Hair Color: Blonde

Eye Color: Blue

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia SFSR

Date Of Birth: 18th August, 1921

Enlistment Date: 3rd August, 1943

Educational History:

  • Unknown Flight Club (????-????)
  • Kherson Military Flying School (????-????)

Occupational History:

  • Flight Instructor at Kalinin Airclub (????-1939)

Overview


Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak (Russian: Лидия Владимировна Литвяк) was born to Vladimir Leontievich Litvyak and Anna Vasilievna Litvyak in 18th August, 1921, Moscow, Russian SFSR. Vladimir Litvyak worked as a railwayman while also working as a train driver and a clerk. During The Great Purge of 1936-1938, Vladimir Litvyak was branded as "Enemy of the People" and subsequently disappeared. Little was known about Lydia Litvyak, aside from her interest in aviation at an early age.

At age 14, Lydia Litvyak enrolled in an unknown flying club and performed her first solo flight at age 15. Lydia Litvyak later graduated from the Kherson Military Flying School and later became a flight instructor in the Kalinin Airclub, located in Tver, Russia. She had trained 45 pilots before the German attack on Poland in 1939. Lydia Litvyak was later assigned to the all-female 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Air Defense Force.

After her 10th confirmed kill, the RAVAAF High Command offered various Allied militaries a pilot exchange program in turn of lend-lease aircrafts. Lydia Litvyak was among the 7 pilots transferred from the Soviet Air Force. On 08/01/1943, a mock battle was initiated above Krasnyy Luch, aimed to falsify her death. Lydia Litvyak was officially inaugurated into the RAVAAF 27th Fighter Squadron on 03/08/1943.

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Lydia Litvyak's Yakovlev Yak-9P (LA106), sporting the signature "Vermilion Band" over its main wings. Photograph taken by Maj. Mitchell McCarthy. 1945, colorized.

Initially, Lydia Litvyak was issued an American P-63 Airacobra. However, she rejected it in favor of the Yakovlev Yak fighter series in which she had familiarized herself with. The RAVAAF High Command issued Lydia Litvyak a Yakovlev Yak-9P, armed with 2x BM-20S 20mm autocannon and 1x NS-23 23mm autocannon. During her time as an RAVAAF fighter pilot, Lydia Litvyak demonstrated an exceptional skill in carrying G overloads, able to maintain a 9G turn for 10 seconds.

Lydia Litvyak also utilized the "Okhotniki" (Free Hunter) tactic in which she and one or more wingmen would hunt down targets on their own initiative; a tactic she had learned during her time serving as a Soviet Pilot. Due to her aircraft design characteristics, Lydia Litvyak preferred to dogfight in lower altitudes (1000-3000 meters) and was further dragged down by the limited ammunition—she would return to base after damaging or shooting down only 1 target.

During her first sortie as an RAVAAF pilot, Lydia Litvyak shot down 2 targets before running out of ammunition over the skies of Kharkov, Ukraine, during the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation in 3-23 August 1943. In the following days, Lydia Litvyak would sortie 3 times per day and would kill on average, 2 targets before being forced to return to base. Lydia Litvyak also partook in the Siege of Leningrad, where she would patrol the outskirts of the city, while also avoiding anti-aircraft fire.

However, shortly after the end of Battle of Berlin, Lydia Litvyak and her squadron leader, Maj. Mitchell McCarthy (Vermilion 1), took off in their issued aircrafts and both allegedly killed Colonel Marcus Wright. Some sources state that Mitchell and Lydia were performing aerobatics above the ████████ Air Force Base during the night but disappeared into the night shortly after. The RAVAAF High Command wanted to initiate an investigation but were canceled due to the emergency air raid just the next day. Colonel Wright was later declared murdered and Mitchell McCarthy and Lydia Litvyak were declared as MIA.


Further Information


On ██/██/1945 during a routine patrol, the ██th Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force spotted two Yakovlev Yak-9s above Normandy. However, the roundels and the tail numbers on the Yakovlev fighters were crossed out with red paint. The three P-51 Mustangs approached the fighters but were shortly met with gunfire. 2 P-51s (piloted by ███ █████ and ████ ███) were quickly shot down. The remaining P-51 (piloted by █████ ███████) managed to take a photograph of the fighter before retreating.

Normandy

Yakovlev Yak-9P, piloted by Mitchell "Hal" McCarthy.

It was later confirmed that the Yakovlev Fighter in the photograph belonged to Maj. Mitchell McCarthy, the former commander of RAVAAF's 27th Fighter Squadron. During the interview, █████ ███████ described the engagement as "hasty" and commented on the fighters' excellent turning rate. After retelling the fighters' performance, US Navy Pilots that fought in the Pacific Theater described the aircraft performance comparable to Japanese A6M fighters, albeit much faster.

The RAVAAF High Command reinstated Vermilion 1 and 2's active status and declared both as traitors.

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