Sigizmund Levanevsky

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Sigizmund Levanevsky
Sigizmund Levanevsky.jpg
Native name
Russian: Сигизмунд Александрович Леваневский
Polish: Zygmunt Lewoniewski
Born(1902-05-15)May 15, 1902
St. Petersburg,
Russian empire
DiedAugust 13, 1937(1937-08-13) (aged 35)
Arctic Ocean
AllegianceFlag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Army before 1925
Soviet Air Force since 1925
Years of service1918 - 1930
Battles/wars October Revolution, Civil war in Russia
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union
Order of Lenin
Order of Red Banner of Labour
Order of Red Star

Sigizmund Aleksandrovich Levanevsky (Russian : Сигизмунд Александрович Леваневский; Polish : Zygmunt Lewoniewski) (May 15, 1902 August 13, 1937) was a Soviet aircraft pilot of Polish origin and a Hero of the Soviet Union (1934).

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.


Life and career

Sigizmund Levanevsky was born to a Polish family in St. Petersburg at May 15, 1902. His brother Józef Lewoniewski (1899-1933) was a Polish military and sports pilot. Sigizmund took part in the October Revolution on the Bolshevik side, later took part in the civil war in Russia, serving in the Red Army since 1918. In 1925 he graduated from the Sevastopol Naval Aviation School and became a military pilot. In 1930 he was withdrawn to reserve. From 1932 to 1933 Levanevsky was head of flight and training unit of All-Ukraine Pilot School.

Józef Lewoniewski POlish aviator

Józef Lewoniewski was a Polish military and sports aviator. He was a brother of the Soviet aviator Sigizmund Levanevsky.

October Revolution Bolshevik uprising during the Russian Revolution of 1917

The October Revolution, officially known in Soviet historiography as the Great October Socialist Revolution and commonly referred to as the October Uprising, the October Coup, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Bolshevik Coup or the Red October, was a revolution in Russia led by the Bolshevik Party of Vladimir Lenin that was instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917. It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd on 7 November 1917.

Sevastopol Place in City with special status, Disputed:

Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a major Black Sea port. The city is administered as a federal city of the Russian Federation following Crimea's annexation by Russia in 2014. Nevertheless, Ukraine and most of the UN member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine.

In 1933 Levanevsky became a pilot for the Glavsevmorput' (Main Northern Maritime Route's Administration) - providing ice reconnaissance for shipping convoys in the eastern part of the northeast passage. At July 20, 1933 he achieved his first international fame, evacuating from Anadyr to Nome the American pilot James Mattern who had crash landed to the west of Anadyr during his attempt to break the record for a solo flight around the world.

Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route government agency

The Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, also known as Glavsevmorput or GUSMP, was a Soviet government organization in charge of the maritime Northern Sea Route, established in January 1932 and dissolved in 1964.

Anadyr (town) Town in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia

Anadyr is a port town and the administrative center of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, located at the mouth of the Anadyr River at the tip of a peninsula that protrudes into Anadyrsky Liman. Anadyr is the easternmost town in Russia; more easterly settlements, such as Provideniya and Uelen, do not have town status. It was previously known as Novo–Mariinsk.

The following year Levanevsky and fellow-pilot Mavriky Slepnyov traveled to Alaska to obtain a pair of Consolidated Fleetster 17AF transport planes for use in the aerial rescue efforts for the passengers of the crushed steamship Cheliuskin. [1] During the March 24th flight from Nome, Levanevsky's plane was forced down at Kolyuchin Bay on the north Chukotka coast and during landing its skis were ripped off. Slepnyov evacuated him to the operations base at Vankarem but without a plane Levanevsky did not participate in the rescue efforts. However, he would later shuttle a doctor from Uelen to Saint Lawrence Bay at Chukotka for emergency attention for Bobrov, deputy head of the expedition, who suffered from appendicitis [2] - for which he was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. In 1934 Levanevsky became member of the Communist Party.

Mavriky Slepnyov Russian military officer

Colonel Mavrikiy Trofimovich Slepnyov was a Soviet polar aviator, and was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union.

Consolidated Fleetster

The Consolidated Model 17 Fleetster was a 1920s American light transport monoplane aircraft built by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation.

Kolyuchin Bay

Kolyuchin Bay is a large bay in the Chukchi Sea on the northern shore of the Chukotka Peninsula, Russia.

North Pole flights

Postage stamp, USSR, 1935: Sigizmund Levanevsky stamp with commemorative red overprint for "Moscow - San Francisco flight via the North Pole", August 1935. Stamp of USSR 514I.jpg
Postage stamp, USSR, 1935: Sigizmund Levanevsky stamp with commemorative red overprint for "Moscow - San Francisco flight via the North Pole", August 1935.

On August 3, 1935 Levanevsky and a two-man crew (co-pilot Georgy Baidukov and navigator Victor Levchenko) attempted a transpolar flight from Moscow to San Francisco in a prototype single engine Tupolev ANT-25 long-range bomber. A thousand miles into the flight (just north of the Kola Peninsula) the oil tank developed an oil-leak, being overfilled, and Levanevsky chose to scuttle the mission. The following year Levanevsky and navigator Levchenko sought to prove the possibility of an air route between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. via the Alaskan-Bering Strait, and completed an 11,800+ mile multistage flight from Los Angeles (August 5, 1936) to Moscow (September 13, 1936) in a Vultee V-1A floatplane. For this flight Levanevsky was awarded with Order of Red Banner of Labour.

Vultee V-1

The Vultee V-1 was a 1930s American single-engined airliner built by the Airplane Development Corporation, designed by Gerard Vultee and financed by automobile manufacturer Errett Cord.

On August 12, 1937 a type Bolkhovitinov DB-A (no. N-209, a Dalniy Bombardirovshik-Academy, i.e. Long-range Bomber) aircraft with 6-men crew under captaincy of Levanevsky started its long distance flight from Moscow to the United States (to Fairbanks) via the North Pole. The radio communications with the crew broke off the next day, on the 13th of August, at 17:58 Moscow time after the North Pole, when the aircraft encountered adverse weather conditions and suffered failure of its end right engine. The Soviet Government financed two aerial searches for the missing aircraft using purchased US aircraft under the command of Canadian bush and Antarctic pilot Herbert Hollick-Kenyon in 1937 and 1938. Jimmie Mattern flew a Lockheed 12, "The Texan" from California to assist in the search for his former rescuer in the initial search. [3] After the unsuccessful search attempts all the members of the crew were presumed dead.

The Bolkhovitinov DB-A was a heavy bomber aircraft designed and built in the USSR from 1934.

North Pole Northern point where the Earths axis of rotation intersects its surface

The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

Herbert Hollick-Kenyon was an aircraft pilot who made significant contributions towards aviation in Antarctica.

In March 1999, Dennis Thurston of the Minerals Management Service in Anchorage located what appeared to be wreckage in the shallows of Camden Bay, between Prudhoe Bay and Kaktovik. There was conjecture in the media that it was Levanevsky's aircraft, but a subsequent attempt to locate the object again proved unsuccessful.

See also

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  1. "Readon, Jim (2016). Alaska’s First Bush Pilots, 1923-1930. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. p. 174. ISBN   978-1575101477."
  2. Levanevsky, Sigizmund (1934). Моя стихия // В сборнике «Как мы спасали челюскинцев». Moscow: Издание редакции «Правды».
  3. "The diary of Jimmie Mattern, Pioneer Airman part V". AAHS Journal: 22. Spring 1998.