Girl at the Edge of Sky

This is the picture of Lily I taped to the wall above my laptop while I was writing. What does it make you think or feel?

I chose it because of her eyes. Later I learned that having a watch was a big deal and I wondered if she was showing it off.

 

Earliest newspaper article about Lily–it misspells her name and only uses her first initial, implying that she is a male pilot who shot down enemy aircraft in the early days of the Battle of Stalingrad

 

Lily & best friend Katie while being interviewed in Moscow, Spring 1943
Kate and Lily Budanov Litvyak children of neighbors in the communal apartment. Moscow, March – April 1943(From the collection of the Museum of Tumanovska secondary schools, the Smolensk region).https://document.wikireading.ru/44925
Alexander Martynov (who was also briefly in 9th), Nikolai Baranov (foreground) and Lilia Litvyak Alexey Solomatin (in the background).Donbass, the beginning of May 1943 (From the collection of the Museum of military glory in the gymnasium № 1, Krasny Luch, Ukraine) In this pic, Baranov is showing off his nice yellow leather boots, brand new, not good for rain though
German soldier on camel they found south of Stalingrad
At Stalingrad
An ARA transport column on the frozen Volga, Tsaritsyn. American relief of famine 1921-23
In Russia Volga Region around 1900 ethnic Germans probably Engels where Lily training

Saratov Factory manufacturing Lily’s aircraft, scroll to 18 minutes. What do you see?

View bombing of Leningrad to get visuals, 10 sec to 45 sec

Recreation, the popularity of American music and movies:

Tommy Dorsey “Marie”

Three Musketeers 1939 with Russian subtitles:

Photos of the Elite 9th Unit pilots: What strikes you about them?

Commander Lev Shestakov

Ahmet-Khan Sultan (sometimes Sultan Ahmet-Khan)
Eugene Dranischev
Michael Baranov
9th Vladimir Lavrinenkov, Katie was his wingman & he reported seeing Lily in POW camp
Katie in Field Kitchen spring 1943, note hair

 

Globe and Mail, April 1, 1943 Page 1