Critically-acclaimed author labels Amelia Earhart, a playful media creation. Unknown Russian teenage fighter pilot, Lilia Litvyak, the “real deal.”
Amelia Earhart: A beautiful young American girl attends finishing school in Philadelphia in 1915, and falls in love with flying at the age of 20. She meets a wealthy book publisher and publicist, George P. Putnam.
Lilia Litvyak: A beautiful young Russian girl from Moscow, falls in love with flying at age 11. It’s 1932. By 16, she is flying solo, using rickety old planes. She becomes so proficient that by the age of 18 she has trained 47 pilots for the Russian Air Force to do battle against Adolph Hitler.
Amelia Earhart: Putnam foots the entire bill for his then 31-year-old girlfriend to fly across the Atlantic in a state-of-the-art Fokker F7 with two highly-experienced male crew members. They create and gather mountains of publicity. They fly 21 hours from Trepassey Newfoundland to Burry Port, Wales. Her story makes worldwide headlines. She returns to a ticker tape parade in New York and a reception held by President Calvin Coolidge at the White House.
Lilia Litvyak: Two years later she becomes the first female fighter- pilot to be granted entry into Russia’s elite 73rd Air Squadron. She runs 268 missions, is shot down four times, has 15 solo kills against the technically superior German Messersmitt, and becomes Adolph Hitler’s worst public relations nightmare. She was, and still remains, the most successful female fighter pilot in the history of the world. She falls in love with her captain, they plan to marry, but he is shot down before her eyes.
Amelia Earhart: On July 24, 1937, Amelia Earhart disappears in the air somewhere over the Pacific. Millions are spend searching for her remains. . A flying club is created in her honor. Every year in America July 24th is celebrated as Amelia Earhart day, there are press stories in all the media and parades held to celebrate her flying accomplishments.
Lilia Litvyak: On August 1, 1943, 17 days before her 22nd birthday, she disappears in a dog fight over the Eastern Ukraine near the tiny town of Marinovka, population 827. Her plane, body and story remain lost in time for 66 years. Her gravesite a modest affair in a desolate open field in a hard to reach area of the Eastern Ukraine, thanks to a few passionate people in a place called Krasny Luch.
On August 1, the death of the most successful female fighter pilot in the history of the world will go virtually noticed by all but a few people in Russia and Eastern Ukraine.
That’s why I wrote Call Sign, White Lily. Lila’s story is about real heroes, about sacrifice, and a celebration of the accomplishments of an amazing teenager in a male dominated society. I think she’d be pleased to know her story reached the top of the charts at Amazon Kindle book store.