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Sigizmund Levanevsky.

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).

Sigizmund Levanevsky was born to a Polish family in St. Petersburg. His brother Józef Lewoniewski (1899-1933) was a Polish 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 In 1930 he was withdrawn to reserve.

Since 1933 he had been a pilot with the Glavsevmorput' (Main Northern Maritime Route's Administration) and had accomplished several long distance flights. On July 13, 1933 he rescued the American pilot James Mattern, forced to land near Anadyr during his attempt of a flight around the world. In April 1934 he took part in the successful Arctic aerial rescue operation saving people from the sunken steamship Cheliuskin from an improvised airfield on the ice of the Chukchi Sea . He was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union for this deed.

In 1936 he flew from Los Angeles, USA to Moscow, USSR covering 19,000 kilometers (over 11,800 miles) on his way.

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 USA via the North Pole. The radiocommunications with the crew broke off the next day, on the 13th of August, at 17:58 Moscow time when the aircraft encountered adverse weather conditions. After the unsuccessful search attempts all the members of the crew were presumed dead.

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.

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