Jeri Fitzgerald Board presents ‘Night Witches’

Published 7:20 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Friends of the Polk County Public Library (PCPL) will host a program at the library in Columbus Nov. 17. The featured speaker will be writer Jeri Fitzgerald Board who will present “Night Witches: The Amazing Story of the Women Fighter Pilots of the Soviet Air Force.”

While the story of these flyers is virtually unknown, Board discovered significant information about them when researching her new book “Eve’s Victory: A Novel of Women at War,” which is set in Europe and Russia during World War II. One of Board’s main characters is an 18 year-old Russian woman, Ireni Igorsky, who joins the Soviet Air Force in 1942 and becomes a pilot in the 588th night bomber regiment. The women flyers were opponents against the Luftwaffe and the Germans called them “night witches.”

Board will discuss the day-to-day experiences of these women who were pilots, gunners and navigators on the eastern front, who helped defeat the Germans in the Battle of Stalingrad and who played a vital role in the Allied victory in Europe in the spring of 1945. Board will also read several scenes from “Eve’s Victory.”

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Readers will recognize Board as author of the critically acclaimed historical novel “The Bed She Was Born In,” which was published in 2006.

The event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17 at noon in the community room of the PCPL on Hwy 108. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

– article submitted by Sharon Zink