What makes their story so compelling is the fact that the regiment was composed entirely of women. In Daughters of the Night Sky, author Aimie K. Runyan shines a light on these unsung heroes—some of the more memorable characters I’ve encountered in historical fiction. Not only did the aviatrixes persevere through the horrors of war, but they refused to fall victim to the doubt, disregard and discrimination that dogged them as young women. Their planes were barely functional and offered little protection from the elements or enemy weapons. They received little recognition compared to other regiments, yet on any given night the Witches would complete far more runs than their male counterparts.
None of this mattered to these women—their tenacity and unrelenting bravery carried them through. In the end their efforts were pivotal in defeating the Nazis, and the squadron went on to become the most highly decorated in the Soviet air force during the war.
Here, finally, we have their story—and it’s one we can all take inspiration from.
- Chris Werner, Editor