First woman ship captain of Azerbaijan

Baku, February 27, AZERTAC

Shovkat Salimova is the first Azerbaijani woman ship captain. She was one of two women captains serving in World War II, sailing to the Mediterranean, Marmara, Aegean and Black Sea harbours.

Shovkat Shahbaz gizi Salimova was born in Basgal village of Ismayilli region on December 25, 1920. When she was very young, she signed up for an aviation design club, following a friend. As she was participating in a competition at the club, the 14-year-old Shovkat established an All-Union record on a whim. Her model flew farther than all others. Soon afterwards, she took her first flight on a glider. She thought at the time that her calling was to build planes.

But once she saw the portrait of Anna Shetinina, the first ever woman sea captain, she decided to follow suit. She later joined the navigation faculty at the nautical training school. At first she sailed as a navigation in Caspian and Black Seas, but later got promoted to captain’s mate and later to captain.

In 1954-1974 she was the assistant professor, the pro-rector and the head of the department of the Azerbaijan State Oil and Chemistry Institute, and since 1964 she worked as head of the chair at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory.

During the Great Patriotic War, she escorted convoys of cargo ships through the Caspian Sea to the Astrakhan raid. The ship she captained carried weaponry, fuel and ammunition to Stalingrad and carried the injured to Baku and Krasnovodsk. She had to take to fighting against German planes and negate their attacks several times. awarded with the Order of the Red Star and several medals for accomplishing mission-critical tasks.

She was awarded the Red Star and a medal for defence of the motherland.

The eminent woman died in Baku in 1999.

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