“Aviatrices”, a story inspired by the most famous sanitary squadron in World War II, the legendary “White Squadron”, a unit formed of a few women pilots who saved 10.000 lives by flying back from the front wounded soldiers, will be a book published in a bilingual edition, English and Romanian.
In 1938, the political atmosphere in Europe was increasingly tense – the armies of the Third Reich were marching, USSR threats, simultaneous and combined with those of Germany’s, resulted in frequent incidents caused by Soviet Russia at the border, pushing the Romanian Army to take important measures. Among other things, at the military maneuvers, which took place in the fall of that year, in Galați, five aviatrices, Mariana Drăgescu, Virginia Duțescu, Nadia Russo, Marina Știrbei and Irina Burnaia, had been invited to participate, for the first time, to be put to test and see how they would manage under war. It was about simulating dogfights, liaison missions against the clock, night flights - a sort of playing in the air, would say some, but it was one as serious as possible. And the fact that these women managed admirably the two weeks of exercises determined the headquarters to declare them fit for mobilization.
A SHORT SYNOPSIS
“Aviatrices” is based on a true story of female pilots in WWII. Many wartime action-dramas show women in more domestic roles but this story puts them front and center in the action.
They pick up wounded soldiers as part of the so-called “sanitary squadron,” also known as the White Squadron. Nadia, one of the main characters, steps up for a dangerous mission when Dirk and Captain Harman disappear around Odessa. Wearing the uniform of a Russian soldier, she’s able to infiltrate the Russian ranks in a daring action. The sanitary squadron organizes a rescue mission, overcoming all the obstacles of the war. Will they find their colleagues prisoners or lost in the mysterious forest?
The overall story is one of daring women who overcame prejudice to do their part to stop the wave of communism. As Nadia says herself in one of the many rallying speeches the women give to each other, “It’s my belief, not an order!”
”When I first heard about the White Squadron’s story, I was thrilled and very proud to be Romanian and a woman pilot.
A very well-known film director, Dan Pița, told me about this story. One of the female pilots that joined the White Squadron rescued his father during the war. He asked me to find out which one was flying the plane that brought back home his father and handed me over a piece of very old and yellowed paper on which it was written the date, hour and place from where his father was picked up. He said to me: “You write, fly and you’re also a woman. Why don’t you write something about this story?”
So, my quest began … I found out that his father was rescued by Mariana Drăgescu, the best of them all, the one who spent hundreds of hours flying above the front and carrying wounded, blood or personnel during the entire war, being enrolled from the first day until the last, fighting on both fronts, the Eastern and the Western. She transported over 1, 500 wounded soldiers.
7 September 1912 – 24 March 2013
I started to make researches about the White Squadron, the pilots and about the war and I discovered a fascinated story about courage, love, friendship, compassion and all the bright side of humanity wrapped in the most terrifying moment of history, WWII. I found out about the strength of several women who left their comfort to help others.
I found out that a life spent and dedicated to a higher purpose is much more rewarding than an ordinary and safe one. As Smaranda Brăescu said: “My life means nothing if I’m keeping it for myself. I dedicate my life to my country, and I want to live it in glory. I will only come back as a winner.”
21 May 1987 – 2 February 1948
Romania’s first woman skydiver. In 1932, in Sacramento, USA, she was declared World’s No. 1 athlete after setting the World Record of jumping from high altitude: 7233 metres.
Her record was on for 20 years before being outclassed by another Romanian.
She was also the first woman pilot to cross the Mediterranean Sea in a single sit plane from Rome to Tripoli in 6 hours and 10 minutes.
A Romanian Paratroopers Unit’s battle flag is presently bearing her name.
I wrote the story based on the real facts, the majority of the events are real, and the characters have their actual names.
For the benefit of both history and writing, I managed to find ways to present their story in such a manner that serves aviation, reality and writing needs.
I think that this novel will bring hope to people and encourage humans to pursue their dreams and overcome limits. Especially for women, the story is truly motivational.
The story is also about outstanding men that fought on front. It is about the well-known Constantin Cantacuzino, one of the Romania’s leading World War II fighter aces, a legend that impressed the world.
CONSTANTIN BÂZU CANTACUZINO
11 November 1905 – 26 May 1958
There are more than 70 years since the WWII ended and I feel that even though it was an event that should never happen again, some wounds healed and I could present the two sides of the front in a more balanced way. Reading books written by pilots, books that were initially journals, I found out that hate manifested itself often between Germans, Romanians, and Russians but on the other hand, love, friendship and understanding was also present more often than we might think and people tended to help and rescue others in suffering even though they were officially enemies.
I am fascinated by true stories. Even though when a real person appears into a book or a film, that person becomes an artistic character, the fact that I know that that person existed makes me find the story more enticing. In “Aviatrices” all the characters are based on real persons and it would be a pity not to make their story known to the world. The story of the “White Squadron”, although born in a small country in the Eastern Europe, belongs to humanity and nowadays, when all of us think about globalization, we have to share stories from all over the planet so everybody can benefit of every nation’s experience and knowledge.”
A group of people creates this book. The writer, who has already finished all of the book content, the historian, who actively provided photos, short films and information about the true history of the White Squadron, and the publisher. In addition, an entire team works for a book, the cover designer, the translator, the proofreader and so on.
A short story has already been published through Kindle in an e-book format in English language. We are working with the publisher to start the editing process and then to print and to distribute this book later this year in stores and on Amazon by the end of 2019. The book will also be launched in the Romanian Communities in Europe and USA during events organized through cultural foundations and associations.
Help this project to “take off”. We need to raise money to cover the costs of publishing the book: translation into Romanian language of the story, proof reading in both English and Romanian, editor, cover design, layout design, launch and promotion.
Please help us bring this book to the readers.
WHY CROWD FUNDING?
We want to publish a book that is both entertaining and historically accurate and we want to keep control of the content and not have it softened up or watered down to meet the needs of some imaginary “market”.
If we raise the money through Crowd Funding, it means we know there is an audience for this kind of novel and it is important for us to reach the audience and to publish a book with integrity. Crowd Funding is a very good way of advertising. Before we will distribute the book in libraries, people will already know about it and we will know the interest we can get from the audience.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
We appreciate all help! Please share our Crowd Funding page, even if you are unable to donate. If you are willing to donate more than the amounts listed in the perks, feel free to do so and contact us at e-mail address for more details about “Aviatrices” perks, along with any other inquiry. Any money that we raise above our goal we will use it to print more books and hopefully to record an audiobook. This means more jobs for people in the publishing business and for actors who will work at the audio book.
Make some noise! Pass this campaign along to some other persons! Any and all help is greatly appreciated, so, please help spread the word and share Aviatrices’ campaign!
Like us on Facebook! >>> THE WHITE SQUADRON
Do you have any footage or information of The White Squadron or any other pilot or aircraft during the WWII? We'd love to hear from you! email@example.com
SANDRA SANADA – AUTHOR
Sandra Sanada's existence is marked by various fields of activity. She is an actress, director, and writer, best known for writing the novel “The Training of Joy”, published in English and Romanian.
As a theater director she became known for directing the famous theater plays “Amedee, or how to get rid of” by Eugene Ionesco, “Novecento” by Alessandro Baricco and “Village Life” by George Smarandache. She has a background in the entertainment industry, having started her career as an actress in 1995 when she played in “Murder in the Cathedral” by T.S.Elliot, directed by Mihai Măniuțiu when she was only a first-year student at the Dramatic Art University. From that moment, her career includes important roles in theater and film, such as Cleopatra in “The Final Countdown” by Martin Papirowski, Esmeralda in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo or Charlotte Corday in “Marat-Sade” by Peter Weiss. She has been working with many great directors over the years such as Victor Ioan Frunză in theater or Terry Cunningham in film. Outside of entertainment industry, Sandra Sanada is actively involved in the sport, being a 4 Dan Aikido instructor.
Her main hobby is aviation where she spent years flying as a sportive and private pilot. “Aviatrices” is her second book. The outstanding story of the female aviators inspired Sandra to write a novel based on the real facts.
Because this book is already written, there is no risk of not being published and not receiving the copies you order. The only risk in this regard would be packets lost by couriers, which is very unlikely, and we will replace if that happens.
Notes regarding the flights listed at the rewards section:
The flights will be well organized and scheduled according to your time, but also considering the weather and the aerodromes on which these flights will be programmed. Those living in Bucharest and around the city will fly at Clinceni aerodrome, but for those who live in the country and consider going to Clinceni aerodrome difficult, they can choose to fly at an aerodrome of the Romanian Aeroclub.
If you want other sort of flights like glider flights, Moto Delta Plan or aerobatics, please contact us by e-mail: thewhitesquadronro@gmail.
One fine body…