Shakhovskaya, Eugenie M. (1889–?)

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Shakhovskaya, Eugenie M. (1889–?)

Russian aviator. Name variations: Princess Eugenie M. Shakhovskaia; Shakhowaskaya or Schakovskoy. Born 1889 in St. Petersburg, Russia; niece or cousin of Tsar Nicholas II; date of death unknown.

The 1st woman to become a military pilot, flew with Vladimir Lebedev at Gatchina, then moved to Germany to train with Vsevolod Abramovitch, chief pilot of the Wright Company; received her license on a Farman at Johannistal, near Berlin (Aug 1912); became a Wright aircraft demonstrator in St. Petersburg; crashed a Wright at Johannistal (April 1913), killing Abramovitch; under a personal order from Tsar Nicholas II, was given the rank of ensign in the 1st aerial squadron of the Imperial Russian Air Service (Nov 1914); some say it was an honorific; others say she flew reconnaisance during WWI and executed "audacious raids" above German lines; wounded, was decorated with the Military Order of Saint George (1916); became a member of secret police during the Russian Revolution and was later named chief executioner of Kiev for the revolutionary general Tchecka.