A great deal of my research has involved the Soviet fighter pilot Lydia Vladimirovna Litviak, who adopted the nickname “Liliia” (often simplified as Lily or Lilya in English). Her compelling story has generated a lot of interest, and a lot of misinformation, exaggeration, and nonsense.
I have interviewed people who knew Litviak during the war, including her closest friend, her mechanic Inna Pasportnikova, and I have copies of many archival materials and some of her letters. I am presently writing an article sorting out truth from myth about Litviak, and will post tidbits here as my research progresses. There is also information about her in both my books and in my “Wings, Women, and War” article. I hope to complete the new article by the end of 2009.
In the mean time, please be aware that much of what you read on the web is simply wrong. Don’t accept anything that isn’t carefully documented (including what’s in Wikipedia). Hearsay anecdotes should be taken for what they’re worth.