"Fortresses Engaged" by Keith Ferris -- Two German Messerschmitt 109Gs attack head-on through a formation of B-17s from the 100th Bomb Group over Germany. The 6 March 1944 Eighth Air Force inaugural mission to Berlin put 702 bomber and 832 fighter sorties over enemy territory. This was to be the worst day of the war for the 100th Bomb Group which had 14 B-17s destroyed. 69 U.S. bombers and 11 fighters were lost on this mission.
Hiuaz Kairovna Dospanova: the only female pilot & navigator from Kazakhstan to serve during WWII. From May 1942 she served as navigator & later became head of communication of the 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment—referred to as the Night Witches. Dospanova made 300+ combat missions & was injured in 1943 while landing in blackout conditions. She survived the crash but fractured her legs. 3 months later, she returned to keep fighting, going all the way to Berlin for victory.