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bernt balchen:
pilot, soldier, polar explorer

 

 

 Bernt Balchen

 

Bernt Balchen (1899-1973), was a pilot, soldier, explorer, and America’s greatest modern Arctic expert. Born in Norway, he was a cavalryman in the Finnish Army against the Russians in World War I, then a pilot for the Norwegian Naval Air Force, where he became an experienced Arctic pilot. In 1926, he participated in the Amundsen dirigible flight across the North Pole. In 1927, Balchen was a pilot on Admiral Byrd’s famous "almost first" flight across the Atlantic. On Nov. 29, 1929, he piloted the first airplane to fly across the South Pole.

          He became a U.S. citizen in 1931. After ferrying to England and Singapore for the British at the outbreak of planes World War II, Balchen was put in charge of America’s

 

Greenland air base so important for rescuing downed

fliers by US Army Air Force General Hap Arnold. His US Air Force career extended until 1956, during which time he remained an arctic specialist, helping develop search and rescue techniques, the Thule, Greenland, airbase, and sites for the DEW (Distant Early Warning anti-ICBM defense) Line. When, in 1949, he flew at USAF C-54 cargo plane across the North Pole from Alaska to Norway, Balchen became the first to fly over both poles. A statue of Balchen was dedicated by Norway’s King Harald V in Kristiansand in 1999.-

OTHER GREAT NORWEGIAN EXPLORER/ADVENTURERS:

LEIF
ERICSON
FRIDTJOF
NANSEN
ROALD
AMUNDSEN
THOR
HEYERDAHL
ERLING
KAGGE
RUNE
GJELDNES
Børge
OUSLAND

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WE KNOW NORWAY