Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



Pages: (3) [1] 2 3   ( Go to first unread post ) Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Smaranda Brăescu
dragos
Posted: April 14, 2005 08:01 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 2397
Member No.: 2
Joined: February 11, 2003



She was born on 21 May 1897 in the village Vizureşti. She followed the elementary school in Vizureşti between 1904-1909, then Professional School for Girls of Bârlad between 1911-1916, and the Art School of Bucharest between 1924-1929, during the last period also working as functionary at Astra Română.

She saw the first plane in the spring of 1912, when Lt. Gheorghe Negrescu flew above her village in a Farman, during an air travel between Bucharest-Bârlad. Ever since she wanted to become an airwoman, but hardly in 1923 she flew at Tecuci airfield in an aircraft piloted by 2nd Lt. Naidinescu.

Because she was declined her application at the flight school of Romanian military aeronautics, for the reason of being a woman, Smaranda Brăescu left for Berlin on 1 July 1928, with 60,000 LEI borrowed from her teacher. With this money, assisted by parachutist engineer Heinecke, she bought a parachute, with which she made the first jump, from 600 meters, on 5 July 1928, near Berlin. Thus Romania became the fourth country in Europe in parachuting. Returning in country with international brevet of parachutist, Smaranda Brăescu made 11 jumps in 1928, 1929 and 1930, during air meetings, organized by ARPA at Bucharest, Brasov, Iasi, Galati, Braila, Cernauti, Cluj, Oradea and Satu Mare. She was badly injured in the jump of 17 August 1930. After healing, even she was adviced to give up this sport, on 2 October 1931, at her 13 jump, at Urziceni, she jumped from 6,000 meters from a Potez XXV piloted by Papană, breaking the world record for women at parachute jump. She became the first world champion of Romania.

Going to the Aviation Congress of USA, at Miami-Florida, 7-9 January 1932, she jumped from 7,233, breaking the world record on 19 May 1932 at Sacramento. Afterwards, she made the aviation school in USA with the best American trainers, getting the pilot brevet in USA on 8 October 1932.

In September 1942, Smaranda Brăescu was appointed to Medevac Squadron on the front. Until that date, she was in a liaison unit conveying mail. For her activity in the Medevac Squadron she was decorated with the Cross of "Regina Maria" 3rd class. In 1943 she entered in conflict with the commander of the Squadron, cpt. Constantin Afendulis, the later claiming that "she became not capable of flying". On 29 July 1943, Smaranda Brăescu went to colonel Chirnoagă, the chief of staff of the 3rd Army, requesting to be sent in country. The Colonel denied her request, considering that the report of the squadron commander is an abberation. The following day, general Petrescu approved her returning to country in a leave. She participated in the Campaign in the West, during 1944-1945, in the "White" Squadron, where she made risking incursions beyond the front line, to save the wounded.

After the war she had to endure the persecutions of the Soviet occupation, in November 1946 being convicted and sentenced in her absence to two years of detention for connections with the anti-communist movements "Haiducii lui Avram Iancu", "Sumanele Negre" and "Miscarea pentru Libertate".

Being hunted by the communist security services, she hid in Iasi and Bacau counties. Eventually she had to fled in Translylvania where she died in 1948. She was burried under a false name, and the location of her grave remained unknown.
PMUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
Jeff_S
Posted: April 15, 2005 01:52 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier
*

Group: Members
Posts: 270
Member No.: 309
Joined: July 23, 2004



Fascinating. What aircraft did she fly in the Medevac Squadron? Are there pictures of her or her planes?
PMYahoo
Top
Victor
Posted: April 16, 2005 04:55 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4336
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



All the women pilots of the 108th Transport Squadron flew mainly on RWD 13.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
dragos
Posted: April 16, 2005 08:23 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 2397
Member No.: 2
Joined: February 11, 2003



PMUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
dragos
Posted: April 16, 2005 08:24 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 2397
Member No.: 2
Joined: February 11, 2003



PMUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
Florin
Posted: April 16, 2005 06:31 pm
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1872
Member No.: 17
Joined: June 22, 2003



QUOTE (dragos @ Apr 14 2005, 03:01 PM)
...........................
After the war she had to endure the persecutions of the Soviet occupation, in November 1946 being convicted and sentenced in her absence to two years of detention for connections with the anti-communist movements "Haiducii lui Avram Iancu", "Sumanele Negre" and "Miscarea pentru Libertate".

Being hunted by the communist security services, she hid in Iasi and Bacau counties. Eventually she had to fled in Translylvania where she died in 1948. She was burried under a false name, and the location of her grave remained unknown.

As happened with many of their victims, the Communists rehabilitated her in the late 60's. There were eulogistic articles about her in the Communist mass-media in the last 2 decades of the regime.

These articles were to be found even in the Communist propaganda magazine for primary school children, Cutezatorii ("The Daring")

This post has been edited by Florin on April 16, 2005 06:38 pm
PM
Top
Cantacuzino
Posted: April 18, 2005 07:30 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 2328
Member No.: 144
Joined: November 17, 2003



Smaranda Braescu near a Miles Hawk plane. ( courtesy Razvan Bujor )



http://img102.echo.cx/img102/374/smaranda03325bj.jpg


This post has been edited by Cantacuzino on April 18, 2005 07:49 am
PM
Top
Ruy Aballe
Posted: April 18, 2005 12:48 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 307
Member No.: 247
Joined: March 18, 2004



Interesting story (I've read it before, in the Romanian Aeroclub website) and surely one that deserves to told in some aviation magazine, not just in the Internet.

Cantacuzino, the photo in the link you posted is quite remarkable, because the Miles Hawk depicted is definitely a non-standard machine. Not only a single seater, but one with a small, very "Art Deco" enclosed canopy. With the "trousered" u/c legs, then fashionable, and the enclosed canopy the aircraft has a racing look about it.
Do you have more details about it?

Ruy
PM
Top
Cantacuzino
Posted: April 18, 2005 05:21 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 2328
Member No.: 144
Joined: November 17, 2003



QUOTE
Cantacuzino, the photo in the link you posted is quite remarkable, because the Miles Hawk depicted is definitely a non-standard machine. Not only a single seater, but one with a small, very "Art Deco" enclosed canopy. With the "trousered" u/c legs, then fashionable, and the enclosed canopy the aircraft has a racing look about it.
Do you have more details about it?

Ruy


Hello Ruy,

The only information i have related to the picture is that Smaranda with her mechanic was in 1930 in France to look for a race plane ( Miles Hawk ?) but i am not sure that the picture was made in France (because Miles Hawk is an english plane) probably the location is England.

Below another picture of Smaranda with her mechanic near the same Miles Hawk.

Dan.

(IMG:http://img53.echo.cx/img53/700/smaranda02e0dc.jpg)


This post has been edited by Cantacuzino on April 18, 2005 05:23 pm
PM
Top
Ruy Aballe
Posted: April 18, 2005 07:51 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 307
Member No.: 247
Joined: March 18, 2004



Hello Dan,

Thanks for all the details. I have a soft spot for the Miles Hawk series and I always welcome every bit of information on these charming little birds, no matter how big or how small.
The thing that strikes me most about the aircraft depicted in photo from Mr. Bujor’s collection is the similarity of the Hawk behind the Romanian lady flyer and her mechanic and a Hawk bought by purchasing agents in the U.K., acting on behalf of the Republican government (this happened in January 1937). The aircraft was later converted into a sort of fast light bomber. The original registration of the aircraft was G-ACTE, and it was actually a Miles Hawk M3/M23 Hawk Speed Six.
It is a pity we can actually see the registration no. in the photos you posted. At least, the small bird-of-prey aft the engine – the Miles Hawk logo – is clearly visible and it was also present in the machine bought and used by the Spanish Republicans.

http://img172.echo.cx/my.php?image=gacte4yd.jpg

Drawing from the old book by Justo Miranda and Paula Mercado, "Aviación mundial en España: Ingleses, Checos y Polacos"; Madrid, Editorial Aldaba, 1985.

As a side note, the two-seater Miles M2H was also used by both sides during the S.C.W., the most famous being perhaps the aircraft flown in reconnaissance missions by Pequito Rebello, a Portuguese volunteer who fought alongside the Nationalists (the aircraft retained the Portuguese reg.: CS-AAL).

Ruy

P.S.: Curiously enough, the only genuine Civil War-era aircraft still airworthy in Spain is a Miles M.3 Falcon, owned by Fundación Infante de Orleans, a non-profit organization whose goal is the preservation of the rich Spanish aviation heritage.

This post has been edited by Ruy Aballe on April 18, 2005 08:00 pm
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: April 18, 2005 11:11 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4356
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



QUOTE (Ruy Aballe @ Apr 19 2005, 01:51 AM)
It is a pity we can actually see the registration no. in the photos you posted.

The civilian registration was YR-ADB. The type is given only as Miles Hawk, registered on 10 March 1936 to Miss Smaranda Braescu.

I think the correct sub-type was M2H.

Gen. Dénes
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Cantacuzino
Posted: April 19, 2005 06:37 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 2328
Member No.: 144
Joined: November 17, 2003



QUOTE
Interesting story (I've read it before, in the Romanian Aeroclub website) and surely one that deserves to told in some aviation magazine, not just in the Internet.


An article about Smaranda Braescu exploits ( mentioned her Miles Hawk plane )was also published in Romania ( in french and english language) in the book " Pioneers de l'Aronautique Roumaine " author Maria Trandafir.

(IMG:http://img260.echo.cx/img260/5874/13xh.jpg)

This post has been edited by Cantacuzino on April 19, 2005 06:43 am
PM
Top
Cantacuzino
Posted: April 19, 2005 06:39 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 2328
Member No.: 144
Joined: November 17, 2003



QUOTE
An article about Smaranda Braescu exploits ( mentioned her Miles Hawk plane )was also published in Romania ( in french and english language) in the book " Pioneers de l'Aronautique Roumaine " de Maria Trandafir.
PM
Top
Cantacuzino
Posted: April 19, 2005 06:42 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 2328
Member No.: 144
Joined: November 17, 2003



And a nice picture of Smaranda from the same book.
(IMG:http://img257.echo.cx/img257/8293/smaranda00033336nk.jpg)
PM
Top
Ruy Aballe
Posted: April 19, 2005 11:12 am
Quote Post


Plutonier major
*

Group: Members
Posts: 307
Member No.: 247
Joined: March 18, 2004



QUOTE (Dénes @ Apr 18 2005, 11:11 PM)
The civilian registration was YR-ADB. The type is given only as Miles Hawk, registered on 10 March 1936 to Miss Smaranda Braescu.
I think the correct sub-type was M2H.

Dénes, thanks for providing the civilian registration of Miss Smaranda Brăescu's Hawk.
However, and notwithstanding the undeniable fact that the aircraft in question is a Miles Hawk, it can't be an Miles M.2H because this sub-version was a two-seat trainer with a longer fuselage, bigger span and a different rudder (the aircraft of Miss Brăescu seems to have, judging from the photos posted by Dan, a pointed rudder, just as the Hawk Speed Six racing type).
Please take a look at the link below:

http://img249.echo.cx/my.php?image=milesm2h0qw.jpg

The plan was originally drawn to 1/72 scale by Mr. Justo Miranda and comes from the same book mentioned in my penultimate post.

Dan, could you please give us more details about the book by Maria Trandafir you mentioned, like for instance the year of publication, publishing house, etc? Thanks in advance.

Ruy

PM
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Pages: (3) [1] 2 3  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0279 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]