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Press Release

The Minister of National Defence Corneliu Dobrițoiu promoted Marie-Ana-Aurelia (Mariana) Drăgescu to retired commander. Ms. Drăgescu was a pilot in the medical squadron aka "Escadrila Albă" [White Squadron], who turns 100 today.
Ms. Drăgescu is the only woman-pilot who fought in WW2 on both fronts and was involved in saving the life of over 1,500 troops.
During a short but touching ceremony, when Ms. Drăgescu was decorated with Emblem “Onoarea Armatei României” [Honor of the Romanian Military], minister Dobrițoiu said that it is a great honor to participate in the celebration of the centenary of “this living legend” of the Romanian aviation.
"I believe that everyone knows of the White Squadron, the Romanian aviation unit of aircraft used for medical purposes, flown by women-pilots. At the time, our country was the only one that owned such an aviation unit /.../ After the Crimean campaign you were the only woman-pilot on the Western Front but, despite that, you did your duty to the country with outstanding courage and commitment", the defence minister said.
Corneliu Dobrițoiu declared he was proud, on the one hand, to be contemporaneous with retired commander Mariana Drăgescu and, on the other hand, that, along with many generations of Romanian pilots, he could benefit from the expertise and precious advise of one of the most long lived Romanian pilots.
Today’s ceremony was attended by the chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Ștefan Dănilă, the chief of the Air Force Staff, Lieutenant General Cârnu Fănică, the president of the National Association of Romanian War Veterans, General (Ret.) Marin Dragnea, representatives of the Romanian and Italian Aeronautic Associations, friends and relatives.
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Marie-Ana-Aurelia (Mariana) Drăgescu began flying a double control aircraft in 1935, being the seventh woman to get a pilot’s license in Romania. In 1937, she worked at the Royal Air Club and later, in June 1940, at the Ministry of Naval and Air Transport, as a pilot. She was mobilized in 1941, went to the front as member of the Escadrila Sanitară, aka the White Squadron and participated in the war on both fronts to the last day.

MoND Press Office


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Actualizare: 22.01.2019