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|Born||May 15, 1902|
|Died||August 13, 1937 35) (aged|
|Service/|| Soviet Army before 1925|
Soviet Air Force since 1925
|Years of service||1918 - 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 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 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.
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.
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 was a Polish military and sports aviator. He was a brother of the Soviet aviator Sigizmund Levanevsky.
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 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.
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 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.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 - for which he was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. In 1934 Levanevsky became member of the Communist Party.
Colonel Mavrikiy Trofimovich Slepnyov was a Soviet polar aviator, and was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union.
The Consolidated Model 17 Fleetster was a 1920s American light transport monoplane aircraft built by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation.
Kolyuchin Bay is a large bay in the Chukchi Sea on the northern shore of the Chukotka Peninsula, Russia.
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.
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.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.
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.
SS Chelyuskin was a Soviet steamship reinforced to navigate through polar ice that became ice-bound in Arctic waters during navigation along the Northern Maritime Route from Murmansk to Vladivostok. The expedition's task was to determine the possibility to travel by non-icebreaker through the Northern Maritime Route in a single navigation season.
Provideniya is an urban locality and the administrative center of Providensky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, located on Komsomolskaya Bay in the northeastern part of the autonomous okrug, across the Bering Strait from Alaska, and very close to the International Date Line. The population has declined in recent decades: 1,970 (2010 Census); 2,723 (2002 Census); 5,432 (1989 Census).
Korean Air Lines Flight 902 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from Paris to Seoul via Anchorage. On 20 April 1978, Soviet air defense shot down the aircraft serving the flight, a Boeing 707, near Murmansk, Soviet Union, after the aircraft violated Soviet airspace.
PZL.19 was a Polish sports plane built in 1932 in the PZL works. Ordered by the Ministry of Communications, it was specifically designed for the upcoming Challenge 1932 contest held that year in Germany.
The Kee Bird was a United States Army Air Forces Boeing B-29 Superfortress, serial 45-21768, of the 46th Reconnaissance Squadron, that became marooned after making an emergency landing in northwest Greenland during a secret Cold War spying mission on 21 February 1947. While the entire crew was safely evacuated after spending three days in the isolated Arctic tundra, the aircraft itself was left at the landing site. It lay there undisturbed until 1994, when a privately funded mission was launched to repair and return it. During the attempted recovery, a fire broke out, resulting in the destruction and loss of the airframe on the ground.
Ugolny Airport is a mixed-use military and civil airfield in Siberia located 11 km east of Anadyr, separated from the town by the waters of Anadyrsky Liman. The airfield was originally constructed sometime in the 1950s as a staging base for Long Range Aviation bombers such as the Tupolev Tu-95 and Tupolev Tu-22M, but during the Cold War years it become the primary hub for civilian flights in the Chukotka region.
Provideniya Bay Airport is a small airport in Chukotka, Russia located 3 km southwest of Provideniya. It services primarily small transport aircraft. A concrete apron contains four parking spaces.
The Tupolev ANT-25 was a Soviet long-range experimental aircraft which was also tried as a bomber. First constructed in 1933, it was used by the Soviet Union for a number of record-breaking flights.
Vladimir Ivanovich Voronin was a Soviet Navy captain, born in Sumsky Posad, in the present Republic of Karelia, Russia. In 1932 he commanded the expedition of the Soviet icebreaker Alexander Sibiryakov which made the first successful crossing of the Northern Sea Route in a single navigation without wintering. This voyage was organized by the All-Union Arctic Institute.
Mikhail Babushkin was a Soviet polar aviator and a Hero of the Soviet Union.
Endel Puusepp was a Soviet bomber pilot of Estonian origin, who completed over 30 nighttime strategic bombing campaigns during the second World War II. He was a recipient of the Hero of the Soviet Union award for flying a high-ranking delegation over the front line from Moscow to Washington, D.C. and back to negotiate the opening of the Western Front.
Olaf Swenson was a Seattle-based fur trader and adventurer active in Siberia and Alaska in the first third of the 20th century. His career intersected with activities of notable explorers of the period, and with the Russian Civil War. He is credited with leading the rescue of the Karluk survivors from Wrangel Island in 1914. According to historian Thomas C. Owen, Swenson's "practicality and zest for adventure made him an ideal entrepreneur on the arctic frontier..."
James Joseph Mattern was an American aviator. Mattern undertook a number of aviation world records, including twice attempting to break the world record for aerial circumnavigation set by Wiley Post and Harold Gatty. Both attempts failed; the second in 1933 resulted in a crash landing and subsequent rescue by Eskimos and Sigizmund Levanevsky in Siberia. In a twist of fate, Mattern would join the search for Levanevsky after he went missing in 1937. Levanevsky was never found.
Wien Air Alaska Flight 99 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight in Alaska to St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. On approach to Gambell on 30 August 1975, it crashed into Sevuokuk Mountain, east of the airport's runway. Of the 32 on board, ten were killed, including the pilot and co-pilot. The Fairchild F-27B aircraft was operated by Wien Air Alaska.
On February 27, 1974, a Soviet Antonov An-24LR "Toros" (CCCP-47195) ice reconnaissance aircraft landed at Gambell Airport, Alaska. The plane, carrying three crew members and twelve scientists, was en route to Anadyr, USSR. Due to strong winds, the pilot decided to divert to Provideniya, USSR, which was fogged in. The aircraft was low on fuel, so the crew chose to divert to Gambell, USA, located 62 miles southeast of Provideniya, USSR, across the Bering Sea. The plane made a straight-in approach, and one of the engines quit shortly before landing due to fuel starvation.
Boris Grigoryevich Chukhnovsky was a Russian and Soviet pilot and Arctic explorer. He participation in the rescue of the Airship Italia in 1928 and in the search of the Sigizmund Levanevsky airplane in 1937-1938. He also created, together with Robert Bartini, a dedicated airplane for Arctic research.