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Mapping Greenland from Air Planes in 1925 - Kurt Moller Pedersen

1:45 PM, Sunday 6 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
In June 1925 US Navy send two ships, M/S Bowdoin and M/S Peary, on an expedition to the west coast of Greenland. The Commander of the expedition was MacMillan an experienced explorer of the Arctic. In 1911 he joined Peary almost all the way to North Pole. Since then he had travelled in Greenland and knew the sea and land. On board the larger M/S Peary was the commander of the Navy’s Bureau of Aëronautics, Richard Evelyn Byrd and 3 air planes. The expedition reached as far north as Etah, North Greenland, eleven and a half degree from the North Pole, stayed there in August before they had to return because of the rough ice of the Polar Sea. The expedition returned to New Foundland on October 6.

The expedition was a scientific one to explore the mystery, vast unexplored area between Alaska and the North Pole, inaccessible by ship and extremely difficult to reach with dogs and therefore awaited exploration by air. 39 men took part in the expedition, 8 of whom were in the Aviation Unit.

In this lecture I will tell about the expedition, its purpose, its results, its success and failures, and about the crews meeting the local people. The expedition’s photographers took many pictures, now at the Byrd Library at the Ohio State University, and I will show some of them during my lecture. The University of Greenland in Nuuk has letters exchanged between Byrd and the Danish authorities, they will be included in my talk.

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