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Hanna Reitsch
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Aviator
    (March 29, 1912-August 24, 1979)
    Born in Hirschberg, Prussia
    German test pilot during the 1930's and WWII
    Set gliding and altitude endurance records
    When Germany was losing control of the skies toward the end of the war, she supported and planned the formation of German suicide squadrons. This involved training pilots to crash planes loaded with explosives into incoming allied bombers.
    She is sometimes referred to as 'the first astronaut' due to a myth that she flew a modified V-1 bomb at a then unheard of altitude. She did indeed test fly a modified V-1, but not into space.
    Her and a companion flew to see Hitler at his bunker during the battle of Berlin, and were nearly shot down by the Soviets.
    She intended to commit suicide at Hitler's side, but was ordered by the Fuhrer himself to leave the bunker and escape from the Soviets.
    She was aware of the Nazi's atrocities but still remained loyal to them, and spoke highly of the regime even long after the war ended.
    She was one of the first pilots and the first woman to fly the first controllable helicopter, the FW 61.
    She was one of two women to win the Iron Cross, a combat award, during WWII.
    After WWII she was banned from flying conventional aircraft.
    She was invited to the United States and met with JFK at the White House in 1961.
    In the last days of the war, her father killed both her mother, sister, and then himself due to being expulsed from Poland.
    She was the first test pilot for some of Germany's most innovative aircraft of the war. Notably the Me 262 and the Me 163 which were the first jet fighters.
    She set gliding records that still remain unbroken to this day.

Credit: break-dancing robot


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