An excellent BBC documentary called “Night Witches” by veteran radio producer Lucy Ash aired today on BBC Radio 4. Ash interviewed several veterans of the three Soviet women’s aviation regiments, including Galina Brok-Beltsova of the 125th Dive Bomber Regiment (whom I met in Nashville at a 2002 conference and with whom I made many toasts at Mirror Restaurant one night) and, of course, Anna Yegorova (who served in a men’s regiment).
“Red Sky…” co-translator (and my good friend) Margarita Ponomaryova does much of the translating for the documentary (listen for the lovely lilting voice), and Amy Strebe, author of “Flying for Her Country” and of the forward to “Red Sky…”, is also interviewed for the story.
In the documentary, Ash visits Anna Yegorova’s apartment during her 91st birthday celebration (a few weeks ago, on September 23) and talks with her about her experience as a POW and her subsequent harrowing interrogations by the SMERSH counterespionage units. (Her interview plays between 15:20 and 19:20 in the piece.)
As it happens, the documentary airs on the same day as Yegorova’s funeral, with full military honors, which my (and Yegorova’s) dear friend Lydia Yakovlevna described in a phone call earlier today.
To hear the BBC documentary, and to view an audio slideshow–a wonderful tribute to Yegorova and to her female comrades-in-arms–please visit the BBC archive.