POLINA VLADIMIROVNA GELMAN
1919 – 2005
Hero of the Soviet Union
She was born on October 24, 1919 in the town of Berdichev, now Zhytomyr region (Ukraine), in a working-class family. In 1920-1938 she lived in the city of Gomel. In 1938, she graduated from high school, then she studied at the aero club. In Moscow, she graduated from the 3rd year of the History Faculty of Moscow State University. In October 1941, she volunteered for the Red Army. In 1942, she graduated from the navigator courses at the Engels Military Aviation School of Pilots.
Since May 1942, she has been in the active army. She was the navigator of the crew, the chief of communications of the aviation squadron. She fought on the Transcaucasian, North Caucasian, 4th Ukrainian, 2nd Belorussian fronts. She participated in the defense of the North Caucasus, in the defeat of German troops in the Kuban, Taman, on the Crimean Peninsula, in Belarus, in Poland, in East Prussia and Germany. She bombed enemy mechanized convoys in the area of Mozdok and Elkhotovo. She delivered food, ammunition, clothing, and medicines to paratroopers in the settlement of Eltigen (now Kerch). She bombarded enemy positions in the Crimea. During the crossing of the Narev River by our troops, she bombed the enemy's defenses near the towns of Ostrolenka and Serotsk. She ended the war on the Elbe. The last flight was made over Berlin.
By May 1945, the chief of communications of the aviation squadron of the 46th Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment (325th Night Bomber Aviation Division, 4th Air Army, 2nd Belorussian Front) of the Guard, Senior Lieutenant P. V. Gelman, made 860 combat sorties to bomb crossings, ammunition depots and property, airfields. She dropped 113 tons of bombs into the enemy's location, produced 164 strong explosions and 142 fires, causing significant damage to the enemy in manpower and military equipment.
On May 15, 1946, she was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for her courage and military valor shown in battles with the enemies.
In 1951, she graduated from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages. Since 1957, the Guard Major P. V. Gelman was retired. Since 1970 she was Candidate of Economic Sciences. She worked at the Institute of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the CPSU, Associate Professor of the Department of Political Economy. She lived in Moscow. She was a member of the Board of the USSR – Uruguay Society. She died on November 29, 2005. She was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery.She was awarded the Orders of Lenin, the Red Banner (twice), the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (twice), the Red Star( twice); medals.