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Do foreigners know the first woman who took part in military flight was Bulgarian?

It turns out that the heroic act of Bulgarian Raina Kasabova is known abroad, according to a survey by Radio Bulgaria among its multilingual audience.

"The first woman in the world who participated in a military flight was a Bulgarian national. What is her name?" The users of our English, German, Russian, Serbian and French pages answered the question correctly, according to the summarized results of the ten language versions of the survey. However, the other half of the audience of Radio Bulgaria did not mange so well, incorrectly mentioning the names of Bulgarian film and theater actress Mara Miyateva /1883-1926/ and Tota Venkova, who was the first Bulgarian graduate doctor /1855 - 1921/.

But who is Raina Kasabova and what do we know about her?

Raina was born on July 1, 1897 in the town of Karlovo. At the age of 15 she completed a Samaritan course and without wasting time, the girl became a volunteer at the First Mobile Hospital near the city of Edirne during the Balkan War /1912-13/.

On October 30, Raina became an observer aboard a Voisin plane, which took off from Mustafa Pasha Airport (now Svilengrad) and flew over enemy positions in the city of Edirne. The flight lasted 43 minutes. From the plane, the 15-year-old girl threw leaflets calling for an end to the senseless bloodshed. This makes her the first woman in the world to take part in a military flight. Raina Kasabova passed away at the age of 73 in Sofia. In 2009, a glacier in Antarctica was named after her.

Radio Bulgaria thanks each participant in our survey. We invite you to join us with an answer to our new question, which will be published soon on our websites.

See also: 100 years since the first military flight in Europe 

Compiled by: Veneta Nikolova

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: archive
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