History Podcasts

Peiffer DE-588 - History

Peiffer DE-588 - History

Peiffer
(DE-588: dp. 1,780 (f.); 1. 306'; b. 36'10", dr. 12'7"; s. 24 k.
cpl. 198; a. 2 5", 4 40mm, 10 20mm, 2 act., 8 dcp, 1 dep
(hh.), 3 21" tt.; cl. C1adderow)

Peiffer (DE-588) was laid down 21 December 1943 by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Mass. Iaunched 26 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Frank W. Peiffer mother of Ens. Peiffer; and commissioned 15 June 1944, {t. Comdr. W. F. Jones in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Peiffer trained with submarines off southern New England and on 30 September 1944 got underway, with CortDiv 71, for the Panama Canal. She arrived Seeadler Harbor, Manus, 7 November. Steaming then to Hollandia, she escorted a convoy to Leyte and back, and, on 28 December, joined TG 78.5 for the invasion of Luzon. Sailing northwest 30 December, she screened the Blue Beach attack group to the San Fabian assault area, then continued to provide anti-submarine and anti-aircraft protection for the group during the initial landings, 9 January 1945. The following day she retired and on the 13th arrived in Leyte Gulf whence she escorted LST's carrying supplies and reinforcements to Luzon.

Detached from the 7th Amphibious Force 20 February,
Peiffer reported for duty with the Philippine Sea Frontier, with which she remained for the final months of World War II. During that time she interrupted inter-island escort of convoy and anti-submarine patrol duties only once, in late July, to escort Block Island (CVE 106) to Guam. Returning to Leyte 10 August, she remained in the Far East after the Japanese surrender and during the next few months patrolled in Philippine waters, escorted convoys to Okinawa, and, prior to sailing for the United States, carried personnel to Shanghai. On 24 November departed the China coast, and after a brief return to the Philippines, steamed east.

Peiffer arrived at San Pedro, Calif., 4 January 1946. In March she shifted to San Diego where she decommissioned 1 June 1946, and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was struck from the Navy List 1 December 1966 and her hulk was destroyed as a target 16 May 1967.

Peiffer (DE 588) earned one battle star during World War II.


The Peiffer Machine Story

In the Beginning

Peiffer Machine Services began in 1956, when founder Paul Peiffer built the original Peiffer Machine Shop just behind his house on the corner of Lancaster Avenue and Tanner Street in Mt. Aetna, Pennsylvania. He employed three craftsmen, one of whom is still working at Peiffer today. The original wood floor from that first shop still exists within the present-day facility, which now sprawls over 25,000 square feet under one roof, in addition to several auxiliary buildings for office and warehousing. From the beginning, the business has been involved in the repair and rebuilding of metal-working machinery, which has been the true “workhorse” of American manufacturing.

In 1974, Paul Peiffer sold the business to Robert L. Ressler, a “retired” businessman from Lancaster County, who had spent his career leading the manufacturing efforts of the New Holland Machine Company (presently known as Case New Holland). It is important to note that a conscious decision was made by Mr. Ressler as the new owner to keep the “Peiffer” name, as it had become synonymous with quality service and was linked intrinsically with the company’s reputation in the industry. The Peiffer name continues to convey that reputation of quality today, which can only be earned with years of dedication to craftsmanship and customer service.

Shortly after acquiring the company, Mr. Ressler (“Bob”, as he was known to all Peiffer employees and associates) expanded the Peiffer business to include the manufacture of custom machinery in addition to the machine repair/rebuild work. Bob’s son, James L. Ressler, a naval architect and engineer by trade, joined the company in 1977 to provide leadership for project management at the shop. Longtime Peiffer customers and employees still tell stories about visits with Bob and projects completed under his hands-on leadership. Many significant business partnerships and projects started and ended with a handshake from Bob. As many “Peiffer people” would attest to, integrity and quality were hallmarks of Bob’s tenure at Peiffer.

As Bob approached his final retirement, Jim acquired the controlling interest in the business in 1988 to continue the family tradition at Peiffer, as well as the legacy of quality service to Peiffer customers old and new. Jim oversaw a significant expansion of the facilities in Mt. Aetna during the 1990s, as well as continued growth in the Peiffer family of employees and loyal customers.

Jim’s daughter, Kelly Ressler, joined the company in 2006 to provide leadership for the company’s expanding sales efforts. She was named General Manager in 2007 and helped guide the company to higher levels of production, as well as a new Continuous Improvement initiative. In 2014, which marked the 40th anniversary of the Ressler family ownership of Peiffer Machine, Kelly assumed the helm of her family’s company as President and sole owner. Kelly has pledged to lead the company every day according to its mission statement: To build on Peiffer’s tradition of excellence in machine tool service and custom machine assembly, ensuring increased productivity for our customers and pride in work well done for our employees.

Contact Peiffer Today

Since 1956, we’ve been helping companies like yours keep their machine tools running. Put our experience to work for you and your team today!


Our Insurance Products

The R Scott Peiffer Inc. in York, PA provides the following products. To learn more about each insurance product, click on the links below.

Car Insurance

Your vehicle is an investment in both access and opportunity, which is why it's important to make sure it has the insurance coverage that you need to protect it. R Scott Peiffer Inc. knows how important this is to drivers in York, which is why we work with Nationwide to provide policies to our members. Each vehicle and each driver is unique, so their insurance coverage also needs to be.

When building a policy, R Scott Peiffer Inc. asks members to look at the level of liability coverage they need first. From there, we help you figure out the best combination of collision and comprehensive coverage to protect the vehicle from damage when it is in motion and when it is parked. We will also work with you determine what discounts you may qualify for. For example, safe driving history and the vehicle's onboard safety options may help drivers reduce the cost for insurance.

Get the peace of mind you need by getting the policy that fits your needs. Call (717) 854-6004 today. Our agents are ready to answer questions, provide quotes, and sell policies over the phone for our clients' convenience. If you prefer to review your insurance needs face-to-face, you can also call to schedule an appointment. Face-to-face appointments are held in our office at 2220 E Market St.

Home Insurance

Need help understanding what's required by your home lender? Or how you can best protect your home's property value including the dwelling, other property structures, and the belongings inside the home? Let R Scott Peiffer Inc. make sure you don't miss that crucial detail about your homeowner's policy. Along with their general expertise of York home insurance, our agents will listen carefully to your questions and concerns. From there, it's a straightforward process to find the policy coverage that makes the most sense for your home and your loved ones.

Everything from the age of the home to the age of the homeowner can mean new ways to save on your York home insurance. There are also exclusive Nationwide benefits programs, like Brand New Belongings® and Better Roof Replacement®>. These programs will make it easier to move forward should a covered damage occur. In the meantime, they offer extra peace of mind.

You probably didn't build the house on your own, and nor should you have to wade through the details of a home insurance policy by yourself either. Let R Scott Peiffer Inc. demystify the process and help you understand how a policy protects you from covered damages. When it comes to something this important, you don't want to stay in the dark. Give us a call at (717) 854-6004 to discuss your policy. Or schedule an appointment with our office at 2220 E Market St to talk about your concerns in person with R Scott Peiffer Inc. and our staff today.

Life Insurance

Life is full of uncertainties. Your family’s financial well-being shouldn’t be one of them. As you shop for life insurance in York, you likely have many questions running through your mind:

• “What are the benefits of term vs. permanent policies?”
• “How much coverage do I need?“
• “How much does a life insurance policy cost?"

R Scott Peiffer Inc. and R Scott Peiffer Inc. can help you find the right policy to protect your legacy and provide financial security for your loved ones when you are no longer living.

There are a variety of factors you must consider to determine the amount of coverage you need. First, estimate the amount of debt, final expenses and other financial obligations you might leave behind. Also, think about your income and how the loss of it will affect your family. You want a policy that has a death benefit that covers those costs and leaves a financial cushion.

Next, decide what kind of policy you want. There are several types of life insurance available. Base your decision on what you can comfortably afford and your current and future financial goals.

Finally, carefully review all policy documents. A life insurance agent can provide clarity on any information or policy language you do not understand. If you have special considerations, do not hesitate to inform one of our team members.

Insurance is a smart investment. Getting the right policy is easier than you think. Call (717) 854-6004 for an appointment with an agent. Feel free to stop by 2220 E Market St,York,PA,17402 to discuss Nationwide coverage options in person.

Business Insurance

R Scott Peiffer Inc. has the local knowledge and versatile insurance products to customize coverage for any small-to-medium-sized company in York. That said, even small businesses can have big business insurance needs. Liability, asset protection, commercial auto, employee insurance and other risk management tools apply to more than just the Fortune 500. Our agents have plenty of experience working with companies in virtually every York industry, from food and beverage to auto repair, as well as more niche markets. R Scott Peiffer Inc. can help your business understand how various coverage options work within your specific industry.

More than just the industry, business insurance policy options are likely to be affected by the company's size, age, and location. Not to worry, our agents know the risks facing your business. R Scott Peiffer Inc. has the local knowledge to identify and explain how a particular location impacts a company's risk profile - regardless of whether or not you hung your shingle near our office.

By partnering with Nationwide, it's easy to build a policy that manages the company's risk. In fact, with Nationwide's On Your Side® Review, business owners know that their coverage is keeping up with their evolving insurance priorities. Flexible billing and payment options can also manage the financial side of your business.

Give R Scott Peiffer Inc. a call at (717) 854-6004. We can find a policy for your company quickly and confidently over the phone, or we can schedule a time to talk about your policy in person.

Nationwide offers small business resources to help you strengthen your business, such as financial calculators and information and articles on marketing and cash flow management. Learn more at the Business Solutions Center.


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Peiffer Gerhart ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

There are 3,000 census records available for the last name Peiffer Gerhart. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Peiffer Gerhart census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 642 immigration records available for the last name Peiffer Gerhart. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Peiffer Gerhart. For the veterans among your Peiffer Gerhart ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 3,000 census records available for the last name Peiffer Gerhart. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Peiffer Gerhart census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 642 immigration records available for the last name Peiffer Gerhart. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Peiffer Gerhart. For the veterans among your Peiffer Gerhart ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.


COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

8:15 | B-24 flight engineer Bill Toombs was over Germany when bad went to worse. One engine was shot out. Then an 88 round went right through the number four wing tank. It didn't blow up the plane, but they lost all the fuel for that engine, so now they had two engines out. They made a desperate run for Brussels, which had been liberated.

More From Bill Toombs

Keywords : flight engineer Consolidated B-24 Liberator France anti-aircraft (AA) Germany 88 mm gun Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress cross feed Brussels Belgium Canadian chaff flak dancing Bill Toombs

WWII

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:42

For four summers in a row, Bill Toombs attended the Citizens Military Training Camp, where he got the same instruction as army recruits. This convinced him he wanted no part of the infantry. Despite having no knowledge of aircraft, he followed his brother into the Army Air Corps.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:55

After his brother was killed in an air crash, Bill Toombs told his mother he would get a ground job in the Air Corps, and he did, at first. He completed several mechanic schools, but then he found himself at gunnery school.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 5:32

He had never been in a plane, but Bill Toombs was an aircraft mechanic who was on a track to be a flight engineer, which meant he also had to be a gunner. At gunnery school, there were a couple of hot shot pilots who were redheaded cousins and, of course, he drew one for his first flight.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 5:50

Once the B-24 crews were formed, flight engineer Bill Toombs didn't think he could have hand picked a better crew. He nearly missed shipping out with them when he got sick at a crucial time. He managed to recover in time to ride a new B-24 to England.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:53

B-24 flight engineer Bill Toombs was just getting acclimated to the English weather and formation flying when it was time for his first mission. At the briefing, the curtain came up and, it was official, D-day was on.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:49

The previous day began with the plane getting shot up and ended with dancing in the streets with Belgian girls. Bill Toombs was at an old German air field in Brussels, so he gathered up some souvenirs from the gear laying around. He didn't make it out with those, but after a few more missions, he was back in the states.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 5:30

Keesler Field was not a desirable post to Bill Toombs. It was so bad, he volunteered for a school in Buffalo, where there was a couple of feet of snow. His second day there, they handed him a piece of paper to sign. What is it? It's so you can go to China and fly the hump. Ahh. no, not going to do that.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 7:11

It was a great post. The barracks were nice and the duty wasn't bad, training B-24 crews. But, flight engineer Bill Toombs recalls that some of those pilots would scare you. One particular flight nearly led to his demise and that's when he decided he'd had enough of flying.


COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

8:15 | B-24 flight engineer Bill Toombs was over Germany when bad went to worse. One engine was shot out. Then an 88 round went right through the number four wing tank. It didn't blow up the plane, but they lost all the fuel for that engine, so now they had two engines out. They made a desperate run for Brussels, which had been liberated.

More From Bill Toombs

Keywords : flight engineer Consolidated B-24 Liberator France anti-aircraft (AA) Germany 88 mm gun Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress cross feed Brussels Belgium Canadian chaff flak dancing Bill Toombs

WWII

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:42

For four summers in a row, Bill Toombs attended the Citizens Military Training Camp, where he got the same instruction as army recruits. This convinced him he wanted no part of the infantry. Despite having no knowledge of aircraft, he followed his brother into the Army Air Corps.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:55

After his brother was killed in an air crash, Bill Toombs told his mother he would get a ground job in the Air Corps, and he did, at first. He completed several mechanic schools, but then he found himself at gunnery school.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 5:32

He had never been in a plane, but Bill Toombs was an aircraft mechanic who was on a track to be a flight engineer, which meant he also had to be a gunner. At gunnery school, there were a couple of hot shot pilots who were redheaded cousins and, of course, he drew one for his first flight.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 5:50

Once the B-24 crews were formed, flight engineer Bill Toombs didn't think he could have hand picked a better crew. He nearly missed shipping out with them when he got sick at a crucial time. He managed to recover in time to ride a new B-24 to England.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:53

B-24 flight engineer Bill Toombs was just getting acclimated to the English weather and formation flying when it was time for his first mission. At the briefing, the curtain came up and, it was official, D-day was on.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 4:49

The previous day began with the plane getting shot up and ended with dancing in the streets with Belgian girls. Bill Toombs was at an old German air field in Brussels, so he gathered up some souvenirs from the gear laying around. He didn't make it out with those, but after a few more missions, he was back in the states.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 5:30

Keesler Field was not a desirable post to Bill Toombs. It was so bad, he volunteered for a school in Buffalo, where there was a couple of feet of snow. His second day there, they handed him a piece of paper to sign. What is it? It's so you can go to China and fly the hump. Ahh. no, not going to do that.

Bill Toombs | WWII | 8th Air Force | 7:11

It was a great post. The barracks were nice and the duty wasn't bad, training B-24 crews. But, flight engineer Bill Toombs recalls that some of those pilots would scare you. One particular flight nearly led to his demise and that's when he decided he'd had enough of flying.


یواس‌اس پیفر (دی‌یی-۵۸۸)

یواس‌اس پیفر (دی‌یی-۵۸۸) (به انگلیسی: USS Peiffer (DE-588) ) یک کشتی بود که طول آن ۳۰۶ فوت (۹۳ متر) بود. این کشتی در سال ۱۹۴۴ ساخته شد.

یواس‌اس پیفر (دی‌یی-۵۸۸)
پیشینه
مالک
آب‌اندازی: ۲۱ دسامبر ۱۹۴۳
آغاز کار: ۲۶ ژانویه ۱۹۴۴
اعزام: ۱۵ ژوئن ۱۹۴۴
مشخصات اصلی
وزن: 1,450 tons
درازا: ۳۰۶ فوت (۹۳ متر)
پهنا: 36 feet, 10 inches
آبخور: 9 feet 8 inches
سرعت: 24 knots

این یک مقالهٔ خرد کشتی یا قایق است. می‌توانید با گسترش آن به ویکی‌پدیا کمک کنید.


Vacuum Technology and Vacuum Pumps from the leader

Keeping abreast of the latest news with your smartphone, seeing better thanks to high quality eyeglasses, and discovering the world independently while on the go in your car – these and many other conveniences of everyday living would be impossible without vacuum. Pfeiffer Vacuum offers comprehensive solutions that are indispensable for manufacturing these products.

Over 130 years, our name has served as a guarantee for high-end vacuum technology, a high quality comprehensive solution, and first-class service. Thanks to close collaboration with our customers and our continuous focus on their needs, we are constantly optimizing and expanding our portfolio. Therefore even in the future, we will always be able to provide our customers with the best possible solution for their particular use. Our service program extends from vacuum pumps through measurement and analysis equipment right up to complete vacuum systems.

Pfeiffer Vacuum has approx. 3,300 employees worldwide and more than 20 subsidiaries. The corporation is listed on the German TecDAX stock index.


Peiffer

If you have information about this name, share it in the comments area below!

Numerology information Peiffer:

Definition funny of Peiffer:

Books about Peiffer:

  • Gone Like the Shadow: a Christian Mystery Novel (Wheelchair Sleuth Mysteries Book 3) - Feb 18, 2014 by Caleb Peiffer
  • The Secrets of the Roses: A Novel - Jun 1994 by Lila Peiffer
  • The Second Death (Wheelchair Sleuth Mysteries Book 1) - Jan 12, 2013 by Caleb Peiffer
  • Red and Lowring (Wheelchair Sleuth Mysteries Book 2) - Sep 15, 2013 by Caleb Peiffer
  • Regrowing Hair Naturally: Effective Remedies and Natural Treatments for Men and Women with Alopecia Areata, Alopecia. - Mar 20, 2013 by Vera Peiffer
  • Help Your Hair To Regrow Naturally: A Handbook for Men, Women and Children - Sep 12, 2012 by Vera Peiffer
  • The Right One - Jan 28, 2014 by Miss MJ Peiffer
  • Missteps: an Ambage Anthology - Feb 12, 2015 by Andrew Page and John Matz
  • Small Animal Ophthalmology: A Problem-Oriented Approach, 4e - Sep 29, 2008 by Robert L. Peiffer Jr. DVM PhD DACVO and Simon M. Petersen-Jones DVetMed PhD DVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS
  • Paying Bribes for Public Services: A Global Guide to Grass-Roots Corruption - Feb 18, 2015 by Richard Rose and Caryn Peiffer
  • Fantastic Depths: an Ambage Anthology - Apr 2, 2014 by Andrew Page and John Matz
  • Pensamiento positivo (Spanish Edition) - Jan 1, 2007 by Vera Peiffer

Wiki information Peiffer:

Arnd Peiffer is a German biathlete.

Bernard Peiffer was a French jazz pianist, composer, and teacher. His nickname was "Le Most", for his piano skills.

Max Peiffer Watenphul was a German painter.

Daniel William Peiffer is a former American football center in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins. He played college football at Ellsworth Community College and Southeast Missouri State University and was.

The Institut Redouté-Peiffer is secondary technical and professional school in Anderlecht, in the Brussels Capital Region, Belgium. It is under the control of the French Community Commission, and was previously the provincial college of the Province.

Auguste Joseph Peiffer was a French sculptor, mainly working in bronze on allegorical and mythological subjects. He exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1865 to 1879. The Musée Antoine Vivenel at Compiègne hold his statuettes of Arab playing the.

Arlen Peiffer is a member of the musical group Cloud Cult.

Jérémie Peiffer is a Luxembourg professional football player.

USS Peiffer (DE-588) was a Rudderow-class destroyer escort in the United States Navy during World War II. Peiffer was laid down 21 December 1943 by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Mass. launched 26 January 1944 sponsored by Mrs.

Wyatt Peiffer is an American football defensive lineman for the Northern Iowa Panthers.

Warren Peiffer is the father of American football player Wyatt Peiffer.

Mr. Peiffer is senior vice president of Finance and Commercial Services for Marathon Petroleum Company LLC. He began his career with Marathon in 1974 and was appointed to his current role at Marathon Ashland Petroleum Company LLC in 1998.


Meet the Night Witches, the Daring Female Pilots Who Bombed Nazis By Night

They flew under the cover of darkness in bare-bones plywood biplanes. They braved bullets and frostbite in the air, while battling skepticism and sexual harassment on the ground. They were feared and hated so much by the Nazis that any German airman who downed one was automatically awarded the prestigious Iron Cross medal.

All told, the pioneering all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment dropped more than 23,000 tons of bombs on Nazi targets. And in doing so, they became a crucial Soviet asset in winning World War II.

The Germans nicknamed them the Nachthexen, or “night witches,” because the whooshing noise their wooden planes made resembled that of a sweeping broom. “This sound was the only warning the Germans had. The planes were too small to show up on radar… [or] on infrared locators,” said Steve Prowse, author of the screenplay The Night Witches, a nonfiction account of the little-known female squadron. “They never used radios, so radio locators couldn’t pick them up either. They were basically ghosts.”

Women pilots of the “Night Witches” receiving orders for an up-coming raid. (Credit: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Using female bombardiers wasn’t a first choice. While women had been previously barred from combat, the pressure of an encroaching enemy gave Soviet leaders a reason to rethink the policy. Adolf Hitler had launched Operation Barbarossa, his massive invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941. By the fall the Germans were pressing on Moscow, Leningrad was under siege and the Red Army was struggling. The Soviets were desperate.

The 588th’s first mission, on June 28, 1942, took aim—successfully𠅊t the headquarters of the invading Nazi forces.

A Woman Leads the Charge
The squadron was the brainchild of Marina Raskova, known as the “Soviet Amelia Earhart”�mous not only as the first female navigator in the Soviet Air Force but also for her many long-distance flight records. She had been receiving letters from women all across the Soviet Union wanting to join the World War II war effort. While they had been allowed to participate in support roles, there were many who wanted to be gunners and pilots, flying on their own. Many had lost brothers or sweethearts, or had seen their homes and villages ravaged. Seeing an opportunity, Raskova petitioned Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to let her form an all-female fighting squadron.

Marina Raskova, Moscow, 1938. (Credit: ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo)

On October 8, 1941, Stalin gave orders to deploy three all-female air force units. The women would not only fly missions and drop bombs, they would return fire—making the Soviet Union the first nation to officially allow women to engage in combat. Previously, women could help transfer planes and ammunition, after which the men took over.

Raskova quickly started to fill out her teams. From more than 2,000 applications, she selected around 400 women for each of the three units. Most were students, ranging in age from 17 to 26. Those selected moved to Engels, a small town north of Stalingrad, to begin training at the Engels School of Aviation. They underwent a highly compressed education𠅎xpected to learn in a few months what it took most soldiers several years to grasp. Each recruit had to train and perform as pilots, navigators, maintenance and ground crew.

(Credit: Nikolai Ignatiev/Alamy Stock Photo)

Beyond their steep learning curve, the women faced skepticism from some of the male military personnel who believed they added no value to the combat effort. Raskova did her best to prepare her women for these attitudes, but they still faced sexual harassment, long nights and grueling conditions. “The men didn’t like the ‘little girls’ going to the front line. It was a man’s thing.” Prowse told HISTORY.

Making Do With Hand-Me-Downs and Relics
The military, unprepared for women pilots, offered them meager resources. Flyers received hand-me-down uniforms (from male soldiers), including oversized boots. “They had to tear up their bedding and stuff them in their boots to get them to fit,” said Prowse.

A partisan airplane, the Polikarpov Po-2, during World War II. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Their equipment wasn’t much better. The military provided them with outdated Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, 1920s crop-dusters that had been used as training vehicles. These light two-seater, open-cockpit planes were never meant for combat. “It was like a coffin with wings,” said Prowse. Made out of plywood with canvas pulled over, the aircraft offered virtually no protection from the elements. Flying at night, pilots endured freezing temperatures, wind and frostbite. In the harsh Soviet winters, the planes became so cold, just touching them would rip off bare skin.

Due to both the planes’ limited weight capacity and the military’s limited funds, the pilots also lacked other “luxury” items their male counterparts enjoyed. Instead of parachutes (which were too heavy to carry), radar, guns and radios, they were forced to use more rudimentary tools such as rulers, stopwatches, flashlights, pencils, maps and compasses.

(Credit: Nikolai Ignatiev/Alamy Stock Photo)

There was some upside to the older aircraft. Their maximum speed was slower than the stall speed of the Nazi planes, which meant these wooden planes, ironically, could maneuver faster than the enemy, making them hard to target. They also could easily take off and land from most locations. The downside? When coming under enemy fire, pilots had to duck by sending their planes into dives (almost none of the planes carried defense ammunition). If they happened to be hit by tracer bullets, which carry a pyrotechnic charge, their wooden planes would burst into flames.

Long Nights, Stealth Tactics
The Polikarpovs could only carry two bombs at a time, one under each wing. In order to make meaningful dents in the German front lines, the regiment sent out up to 40 two-person crews a night. Each would execute between eight and 18 missions a night, flying back to re-arm between runs. The weight of the bombs forced them to fly at lower altitudes, making them a much easier target—hence their night-only missions.

Captain Polina Osipenko (Co-Pilot and Commander of the plane), Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Valentina Grizodubova (Navigator), and Senior Lieutenant Marina Raskova right before taking flight. (Credit: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

The planes, each with a pilot upfront and a navigator in back, traveled in packs: The first planes would go in as bait, attracting German spotlights, which provided much needed illumination. These planes, which rarely had ammunition to defend themselves, would release a flare to light up the intended target. The last plane would idle its engines and glide in darkness to the bombing area. It was this “stealth mode” that created their signature witch’s broom sound.

There were 12 commandments the Night Witches followed. The first was � proud you are a woman.” Killing Germans was their job, but in their downtime the heroic flyers still did needlework, patchwork, decorated their planes and danced. They even put the pencils they used for navigation into double duty as eyeliner.

Disbanded and Overlooked
Their last flight took place on May 4, 1945—when the Night Witches flew within 60 kilometers (approx. 37 miles) of Berlin. Three days later, Germany officially surrendered.

According to Prowse, the Germans had two theories about why these women were so successful: They were all criminals who were masters at stealing and had been sent to the front line as punishment—or they had been given special injections that allowed them to see in the night.


Watch the video: Kapitel 19 - Die Geschichte der Hitlerjugend (January 2022).