Babushkin Mikhail Sergeevich
Outstanding polar pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union.
Born in the village of Borodino, Moscow Province, in a working-class family. After receiving primary education, he was forced to quit school and help his family. At first, I had to work as an “errand boy”, then, going to the factory, Babushkin, by the age of eighteen, received the specialty of a fitter.
In 1914 he was drafted into the army and fought as a private. After heavy losses in the ranks of personnel pilots in the army, an order was issued to send the most capable lower ranks to the Gatchina Aviation School. Among her cadets was Babushkin. He quickly mastered the wisdom of flight business and was left at school as an instructor.
In the years of the civil war, Babushkin fought in the Far East, and after it ended, he returned to flight instructional work, having trained dozens of young military pilots.
After demobilization in 1923, Babushkin switched to linear work in the Civil Fleet, and in 1926 for the first time reached the North, having been ordered to carry out reconnaissance of seals in the White Sea. He successfully coped with this work, but did not feel complete satisfaction. It was often necessary to sit on the ice, but there was no such experience in the world. Someone had to be the first, and Grandma decided: he sat on the ice near the icebreaker. Since then, he has become, if necessary, to do this more and more, having learned from air to choose suitable sites.
The recognition of Babushkin's flying skills was his inclusion in 1928 in the expedition on the icebreaker "Malygin", organized to rescue the expedition of U. Nobile. Flying in difficult meteorological conditions, Babushkin made fifteen landings on the ice. For this expedition he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
In August 1930, Babushkin performed the Moscow-Tashkent flight on a K-4 plane with passengers on board, opening one of the longest airlines of the USSR. Since the formation of Glavsevmorput Babushkin worked in the Office of the Polar Aviation.
In 1933, Babushkin with the W-2 aircraft took part in the famous tragic campaign "Chelyuskin" and flew many times with captain V.I. Voronin on ice reconnaissance. After the death of the steamer, Babushkin’s presence in Vankarem turned out to be necessary to organize the work of the airfield, and he, having repaired his airplane, left the ice camp on it. For the Chelyuskin epic, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star.
In July-September 1935, he participated in the high-latitude expedition of the icebreaker steamer Sadko, headed by G.А. Ushakov. The purpose of the expedition was to penetrate as far as possible into the polar sea region and examine the huge "white spots" that still remained on the maps north of Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and in the northern part of the Kara Sea. In addition, the expedition to the “Sadko” was supposed to provide the flight of the pilot S.A. Levanevsky across the North Pole to America.
Free-swimming Sadko reached a record latitude of 82º41′. For 85 days, the ship has traveled 6,500 miles, of which 3,200 miles — beyond 80 parallels. A large amount of research was done, 107 integrated oceanographic stations were produced.
At Sadko, Babushkin headed the air group, which consisted of two amphibious aircraft. Flying pilots largely contributed to the success of the expedition.
Radio operator E.N. Girshevich recalled: “Gennady Vlasov became the second pilot of Mikhail Sergeyevich. The aircraft were adapted for take-off from the water, and from the ice field. They flew alternately. Babushkin usually with Ushakov and captain of the vessel N.M. Nikolayev. Air reconnaissance in many ways helped to find an easier passage in the ice ...
Mikhail Sergeyevich ... quickly gained prestige and great respect among the crew of the vessel and the scientific expedition team as an experienced pilot and as a wonderful person. He didn’t notice that in his address he would divide people into ranks - be it a sailor or a fireman - he would always talk with his usual slight smile on his face”.
In 1936, he was appointed co-pilot on the flagship aircraft organized pole expeditions. On May 21, 1937, the aircraft N-170, driven by the Hero of the Soviet Union, M.V. Vodopyanov and Babushkin, first sat on the ice of the North Pole. For participation in this expedition, he received the Order of Lenin and the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
As the best master of landings on
unprepared sites, a pilot familiar with flying conditions in the
polar space, Babushkina was appointed commander of one of the
aircraft aimed at finding the missing plane
This was his last expedition.
Having completed the unsuccessful
search, the TB-3 aircraft, led by military pilot Glushchenko, was to
return to Moscow from the airfield on about.
Berry under the Archangel.
The urn with the ashes of Babushkin was buried in Moscow in the columbarium of the Novodevichy cemetery.
An island near the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named by the expedition on the icebreaker "G. Sedov"in 1930.
Cape in the east of the island is Alexandra Land Archipelago Franz- Josef Land. Named by Soviet surveyors in the 1950s.
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