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HWELTE - Soviet Female Fighter Pilots - info@hwelte.com

The Best Kept Russian Secret

of

World War II

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

HWELTE (whell- `tay) n. Navajo: meaning fortress or place of refuge.

By the close of World War II almost 1,000 Russian women had flown combat missions in every type of Soviet warplane. This was kept secret, not by the Soviets but by the Allies, from the general public in the West. Using historical fiction based on fact, Roy McShane's exciting novel, HWELTE, reveals for the first time what truly deadly hunters these women fighter pilots proved to be. It also chronicles the adventures of a young American pilot who stumbles across this secret at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942.

White Rose & Night Witches

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Because Hitler's Operation Barbarossa caught the Soviet Air Force on the ground in June of 1941, nearly annihilating it, Stalin out of desperation created three Female Air Regiments. And by the War's end nearly 1,000 Russian women had flown with valor and bravery in every type of Soviet combat aircraft, ranging from fighters to bombers.

Additionally, many women pilots served in all-male Red Army Air Force units: such as the "White Rose of Stalingrad," Lidya Litvyak, a petite, blonde, gray-eyed beauty who shot down 12 enemy aircraft and served with a crack male "Guards" squadron.

Then there was the all-female 586th Fighter Air Regiment credited with 38 kills - 17 of which were brought down by top ace Olga Yamshchikova.

However, perhaps some of the bravest women combat pilots were found with the all-female 588th Night Bomber Air Regiment, known as the "Night Witches." Despite being equipped with slow, obsolete PO-2 biplanes, during the course of the War, they conducted an incredible 24,000 missions behind enemy lines, and delivered 23,000 tons of bombs from their fragile wood-and-fabric aircraft. Though their casualty rate was high, so was their recognition by a grateful nation. A total of 30 citations for "Hero of the Soviet Union," Russia's highest honor, were given to women in the Soviet Air Force, - 23 of which were earned by the 588th Night Witches.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Lieutenants Lidya Litvyak (left) and Katya Budanova (center) shot down a combined 22 kills before both of these fighter aces in turn were killed in vicious dogfights.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Decorated three times for valor, Shturmovik pilot Lt. Anna Yegorova.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

The first Luftwaffe aircraft to be shot down by a woman at night - was achieved in Sept. 1942 by Lt. Valeria Khomyakova (2nd from right).

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Volume I

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

For a synopsis, reviews
& distributors,
click the book covers.

Volume II

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Volume III

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots
PowerPoint Presentation on the Soviet female combat aircrews. HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

For more information on the Soviet female combat aircrews please view this Sestry PowerPoint Presentation.

Aircraft Index

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Dear Reader,

In my endeavor to use a writing style which will appeal to both men and women, and aviation oriented and non-aviation oriented individuals, apparently my efforts have met with some success, because many of my non-flying readers have actually expressed an interest in the aircraft I write about. Therefore I have decided to add this Aircraft Index to my website in order to clear up some of the mystery. Just Click on any of the following FLAGS:

Aircraft of World War II

HWELTE American aircraft of World War Two

American

HWELTE British aircraft of World War Two

British

HWELTE German aircraft of World War Two

German

HWELTE Russian aircraft of World War Two

Russian

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Volume I
SYNOPSIS

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Twenty-two-year-old First Lieutenant Chuck Hewitt, of the U.S. Army Air Corps, is in big trouble. While attempting to deliver a lend-lease B-25 medium bomber to Stalingrad, in 1942, most of his crew is killed, he's badly shot up, and becomes hopelessly lost. Eventually he's intercepted by a mysterious Russian fighter and led to a secret airbase where he crash-lands. Before passing out, Chuck sees the Russian pilot exit this fighter - discovering the pilot to be a beautiful woman.

Two days later, Chuck regains consciousness in an underground bunker where he is held prisoner. As the days pass he gradually discovers there is something terribly wrong with this air base - there are no men, only women.

For Chuck Hewitt has stumbled onto one of Stalin's best kept secrets. He is the "guest" of a Soviet fighter squadron attached to the 586th Fighter Air Regiment, an all-female regiment, which daily takes on the best pilots Hitler's Luftwaffe has to offer - snaking across the battle-torn skies of Stalingrad in a macabre aerial-dance of death. These Soviet women fighter pilots are known as the "Free Hunters."

In time, Chuck is accepted by the all-female fighter squadron and is taught a lesson in courage and valor that will change the direction of his life. He also falls in love with one of the squadron's top aces, the woman who led him to this air base, saving his life, and who patiently teaches him the art of air combat and survival.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

REVIEWS

Extraordinary fiction based on fact. These Russian women fighter pilots were amazingly aggressive and highly successful. I certainly hope McShane has a sequel in the works. His story and writing style demands a Hwelte II.

Robert N. Cleaves, Major General, U.S.A.F. (Ret.)

Who would have thought that (HWELTE) a work of fiction would be the hottest commodity on this island?

Bruce Stanley, Columnist for The Phuket Gazette

I found McShane's writing style to possess that rare quality of appealing to both men and women. It literally hooked me from page one. I understand McShane has a sequel in the works - sign me up - I cant wait for it to be released.

Olivia Davis, Columnist for The Olympian

In my humble opinion, McShane is a good writer, who has written a good book, which will make a good movie. What more can I say?

James Newport, Writer, Hollywood

Though a novel, McShane tells a story largely hidden and untold in the history books. I guarantee you a terrific reading experience.

Alan Caruba, Bookviews, National Book Critics Circle

Ordering Information

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

ISBN 0-595-21782-6

426 Pages, Size: 6" x 9"

Price: $22.95

Distributed By

Amazon.com

Borders Books

Barnes & Noble

1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-843-2665)

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Volume II
SYNOPSIS

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

“The Old West collides with World War II.”

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

In Roy McShane's second installment of his trilogy, HWELTE, bomber pilot First Lieutenant Chuck Hewitt returns home wounded from Stalingrad, in 1943, to his parents ranch at Flagstaff, Arizona. He's a broken man looking for answers - ultimately finding those answers in the extraordinary history of his white grandfather's and Navajo grandmother's struggle to forge a life together against all odds in the 1880s.

Inspired by his grandparent's hardships, Chuck decides to get back in the war and transfers into fighters. He eventually winds up in England, in 1944, with the 354th Fighter Group - the first group to fly and fight over Europe in the new, revolutionary P-51 Mustang. Whereupon, after his initial mission escorting B-17s over Germany, Chuck makes a startling discovery about the common denominator fighter pilots and bomber pilots share: They are all condemned men living on death row.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

REVIEWS

“... McShane's descriptions of the American West, and the air war in Europe during World War II, are the best I've ever read.”

-San Francisco Bay Guardian

“The Old West collides with World War II.  Strap in and hold on for the ride of your life”

-Los Angeles New Times

“McShane's, HWELTE The Mustang, is like entering a time machine - the characterizations are gripping.”

-Chicago Reader

“... a western, a war story, a flying story and a love story, McShane pulls them all together with exciting realism.”

-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Brilliantly researched... quality historical fiction based on fact.  McShane is a strong writer.”

-Biscayne Bay Tribune

Ordering Information

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

ISBN 0-595-30575-X

403 Pages, Size: 6" x 9"

Price: $22.95

Distributed By

Amazon.com

Borders Books

Barnes & Noble

1-800-THE-BOOK  (1-800-843-2665)

Return to Volumes

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Volume III
SYNOPSIS

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

“Pulse-pounding aerial combat sequences... ”

In Roy McShane's third installment of his HWELTE trilogy, it is 1979 and his protagonist, quarter-Navajo Chuck Hewitt, is a 59-year-old captain flying for TWA, who’s currently on loan to SAUDIA (Saudi Arabian Airlines) to evaluate the Russian TU-144D Supersonic Transport at the Paris Air Show. He spots a Soviet demonstration-pilot climbing out of a MiG-25 fighter, discovering the pilot is a beautiful 26-year-old woman who uncannily resembles his old flame from World War II: a female Russian fighter pilot who saved his life at Stalingrad!

The next day Chuck begins the flight evaluation of the Soviet SST from Paris to Cairo, under the supervision of an Aeroflot crew, when the Russian first officer arrives to assist Chuck, and he finds himself face-to-face with the same female MiG-25 pilot he saw yesterday! Up close she’s even more like the woman pilot he fell in love with at Stalingrad so long ago.

Chuck doesn't realize that he's meeting his Russian daughter for the very first time!

REVIEWS

“Pulse-pounding aerial combat sequences … sharply contrasting with a sensitive, moving love story.”

-The San Francisco Times

“McShane’s powerful writing explores the savage face of war with taught, chilling realism, while concurrently describing a remarkable story of love, loss and rediscovery … brilliant storytelling.”

-Miami Today

“Once you start this book, plan on some late nights, it’s that hard to put down … spellbinding.”

-The Village Voice

“Despite the crushing reality of war, McShane’s characters deliver courage, survival and hope in the most extraordinarily surprising manner … hard-hitting and wrenching!”

-Houston Chronicle

“A fascinating and unusual love affair surrounded by the fast-paced world of aviation … sporting an array of twists and surprises that sucks the reader right in.”

-The Advocate

Ordering Information

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

ISBN 0-595-40465-0

403 Pages, Size: 6" x 9"

Price: $22.95

Distributed By

Amazon.com

Borders Books

Barnes & Noble

1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-843-2665)

Return to Volumes

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American Aircraft

North American Aviation, Inc. P-51 Mustang.

The Mustangs flown by Chuck Hewitt with the 354th and 4th Fighter Groups:

P-51B with Greenhouse Canopy Drop Tanks 354th FG, 356th Fighter Squadron

P-51B with Greenhouse Canopy & Drop Tanks 354th FG, 356th Fighter Squadron

P-51C with
          Malcolm Hood Canopy Drop Tanks  4th FG, 336th Fighter Squadron

P-51C with Malcolm Hood Canopy & Drop Tanks 4th FG, 336th Fighter Squadron

P-51D with
          Half-Teardrop Type Canopy  4th FG, 334th Fighter Squadron

P-51D with Half-Teardrop Type Canopy 4th FG, 334th Fighter Squadron

The Air
          Transport Command B-25 ferried by Chuck Hewitt to Russia:

The Air Transport Command B-25 ferried by Chuck Hewitt to Russia:

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots
Curtiss JN-4 Jenny- Barnstormer and Trainer

Curtiss JN-4 Jenny- Barnstormer and Trainer

Boeing PT-17 Stearman - U.S. Army Air Corps Trainer

Boeing PT-17 Stearman - U.S. Army Air Corps Trainer

Vultee-Stinson L-5 Artillery Spotter

Vultee-Stinson L-5 Artillery Spotter

North American AT-6 - U.S. Army Air Corps Trainer

North American AT-6 - U.S. Army Air Corps Trainer

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Bell P-39 Airacobra

Curtiss P-40 in AVG Flying Tigers paint scheme

Curtiss P-40 in AVG Flying Tigers paint scheme

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt with Drop Tank - AKA: Thunder-Jug T-Bolt

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt with Drop Tank - AKA: Thunder-Jug & T-Bolt

Douglas C-47 Transport

Douglas C-47 Transport

Douglas A-20 Havoc

Douglas A-20 Havoc

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Martin B-26 Marauder - AKA: the Widow Maker

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Combat Formations:

(16 March 1944)

B-17 Combat Formations
B-17 Combat Formations
B-17 Bad Check jettisoning its Bomb Load

B-17 Bad Check jettisoning its Bomb Load

Note: Battle Damage and puffs of black smoke from 88 mm Flak

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

North American F-86 Sabre - flown by Chuck Hewitt with the 25th Squadron, 51st FIW, Korea, 1952

North American F-86 Sabre - flown by Chuck Hewitt with the 25th Squadron, 51st FIW, Korea, 1952.

Sikorsky S-55 (H-19) Rescue Helicopter, Korea, 1952

Sikorsky S-55 (H-19) Rescue Helicopter, Korea, 1952.

Jeff Hewitt's McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom bombing the Thanh Hoa Bridge,
          North Vietnam, 1972.

Jeff Hewitt's McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom bombing the Thanh Hoa Bridge, North Vietnam, 1972.

Rescue Team: a Sikorsky CH-53 Helicopter being escorted by a pair of Douglas A-1 Skyraiders, Laos, 1972.

Rescue Team: a Sikorsky CH-53 Helicopter being escorted by a pair of Douglas A-1 Skyraiders, Laos, 1972.

TWA (Trans World Airlines) Boeing 707 flown by Capt. Chuck Hewitt, 1973.

TWA (Trans World Airlines) Boeing 707 flown by Capt. Chuck Hewitt, 1973.

SAUDIA (Saudi Arabian Airlines) Lockheed L-1011 TriStar flown by Capt. Chuck Hewitt, 1979.

SAUDIA (Saudi Arabian Airlines) Lockheed L-1011 TriStar flown by Capt. Chuck Hewitt, 1979.

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British Aircraft

Lysander

Lysander

Airspeed Oxford

Airspeed Oxford

Hurricane

Hurricane

Spitfire

Spitfire

Typhoon

Typhoon

Tempest

Tempest

Mosquito

Mosquito

Blenheim

Blenheim

Lancaster

Lancaster

Gloster Meteor: One of the first fighters to introduce the Jet-Age.

Gloster Meteor: One of the first fighters to introduce the Jet-Age.

The Anglo-French Concorde Supersonic Transport, 1979.

The Anglo-French Concorde Supersonic Transport, 1979.

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German Aircraft

Ju 87 Stuka Note: under wing 37 mm cannons for busting up Tanks

Ju 87 Stuka Note: under wing 37 mm cannons for busting up Tanks

Me 109

Me 109 Note: a Rotte, or Pair, workingover a B-17 in Coffin Corner

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

FW 190A

FW 190D Long Nose

FW 190D Long Nose

Me 110 Zerstrer, or Destroyer, Fighter-Bomber

Me 110 Zerstörer, or Destroyer, Fighter-Bomber

Ju 88 Medium Bomber

Ju 88 Medium Bomber

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

He 111 Medium Bomber

Me 163 Rocket Powered Fighter, AKA: Komet or Kraftei (Power-Egg).

Me 163 Rocket Powered Fighter, AKA: Komet or Kraftei (Power-Egg).

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

>Me 262 Schwalbe, or Swallow, one of the first fighters to introduce the Jet-Age.

VERGELTUNGSWAFFEN

(Reprisal Weapons)

V-1 Fieseler Fi 103  AKA: Buzz Bomb, Doodlebug, or Flying Bomb

V-1 Fieseler Fi 103 AKA: Buzz Bomb, Doodlebug, or Flying Bomb

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

V-2, or A-4, Ballistic Missile

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Russian Aircraft

PO-2: Night Bomber flown by the all-female 588th Night Witches

PO-2: Night Bomber flown by the all-female 588th Night Witches

Polikarpov I-16: Which perfected the art of Taran, or Ramming

Polikarpov I-16: Which perfected the art of Taran, or Ramming

LaGG-3: Lakirovanny Garantirovanny Grob, or Varnished Guaranteed Coffin

LaGG-3: Lakirovanny Garantirovanny Grob, or Varnished Guaranteed Coffin

MiG-3

MiG-3

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

IL-2 Shturmovik, or Flying Tank:

The type Zelenko flew with the Penal Company of air-gunners.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots
Yak-1: The type flown by Tamara with the all-male 269th Fighter Air Regiment.

Yak-1: The type flown by Tamara with the all-male 269th Fighter Air Regiment.

Yak-7B: The type flown by Tamara at the Battle of Stalingrad with the all-female 586th Fighter Air Regiment.

Yak-7B: The type flown by Tamara at the Battle of Stalingrad with the all-female 586th Fighter Air Regiment.

Yak-9: The type flown by Tamara in 1945 with another all-male fighter regiment.

Yak-9: The type flown by Tamara in 1945 with another all-male fighter regiment.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, North Korean Air Force, 1952.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, North Korean Air Force, 1952.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, North Vietnamese Air Force, 1972.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, North Vietnamese Air Force, 1972.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, Paris Air Show, 1979.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, Paris Air Show, 1979.

Tupolev 144-D Supersonic Transport, Paris Air Show, 1979.

Tupolev 144-D Supersonic Transport, Paris Air Show, 1979.

Tupolev 144-D Supersonic Transport at Mach 2.0 over the Mediterranean, 1979.

Tupolev 144-D Supersonic Transport at Mach 2.0 over the Mediterranean, 1979.

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HWELTE - Soviet Female Fighter Pilots
Email: info@hwelte.com
Contact: Roy McShane
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