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Pearson Air Museum to celebrate anniversary

The first-ever flight to cross the North Pole ended at Vancouver’s Pearson Field on June 20, 1937, after 63 hours and 16 minutes.

On Saturday, the National Parks Service will commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the world’s first transpolar flight in a public wreath laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at Pearson Field.

The ceremony will celebrate the team that flew to Vancouver from Moscow over the North Pole: pilot Valery Chkalov, co-pilot Georgi Baidukov and navigator Alexander Belyakov.

“This signature aviation event was an incredible achievement that brought fame to Vancouver’s Pearson Field,” Bob Cromwell, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site’s Pearson Air Museum manager, said in a media release. “The incredible journey made by Chkalov, Baidukov and Belyakov was more than just a feat of human endurance and a technological achievement; it was a major moment in U.S.-Russian relations before the Second World War.”

Saturday’s program will include music from the Vancouver Community Concert Band, brief remarks, a wreath-laying ceremony and light refreshments at the memorial next to the Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St., Vancouver.


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