Vasilyev Vasily Gavrilovich 
( 28.02(12.03).1905-04.04.1970)


Soviet hydrograph, Chelyuskin. 
Born in the city of Ivanovo-Voznesensk in the family of textile workers. 
In 1917, after the end of the first classes of school, life forced me to start working in the railway cooperative at the post, as they said, “the boy”.The next job during the years 1922-1924. became a textile factory, where he was a porter of goods. 
Proletarian origins and, of course, abilities allowed Vasilyev to graduate from Rabfak in 1927 and then continue his education at the Faculty of Geography of Leningrad University. From that moment on, his life for many years became very intense and intense. The 1930s were a period of rapid development of the Soviet Arctic, the development of its economy, the mineral resource base, and the country experienced an extreme shortage of geographic and geological specialists. Their preparation was conducted at an accelerated pace. As a student in 1931, Vasiliev enrolled in the postgraduate course at the VAI, which for many years determined the northern, arctic direction of his life. In the same year, a young undergraduate and graduate student went to the wintering Anadyr-Chukotka expedition of the All-Union Arctic Institute; after returning 18 months later, he took part in the office processing of materials, combining this work with his studies at the university. Forces enough for everything. During the winter, he met his life companion, Dorotea, 20, and in the beginning of 1933, the addition of the family was expected. 
The desire to be at the forefront of life, and material reasons made the decisive young people who could only count on themselves, to agree to participate in the expedition on the steamer Chelyuskin.  The tasks of the expedition, the leader of which was O.Yu.Schmidt, included research work during the voyage from the Barents Sea to the Chukchi Seas, as well as the replacement of wintering workers on Wrangel Island, where, since 1929, the team headed by A.I.Mineev. In addition, this campaign was of great political significance for the Bolsheviks: it was necessary to show the whole world that the Northern Sea Route had been mastered, and that it could take steamboats with women and children. 
At the Leningrad-Murmansk junction, Vasilyev was finishing his thesis, the defense was held in absentia. 
The story of the Chelyuskin campaign was covered in numerous publications. The heavy ice did not allow us to approach Wrangel Island, and the long-suffering Mineev people remained for another winter. The vessel was already in the Bering Strait, the swell of the open ocean was already felt when the winds and currents drove the ice to the north, and after two months of wandering in the grip of the ice, the unfortunate ship on February 13, 1934 was crushed and sank in the Chukchi Sea. By this time, Vasilyev’s daughter, born in the Kara Sea and named after Karina in his honor, was five and a half months old. Formed the famous "Schmidt camp", to whose fate over the course of two months the attention of the whole country, and of the world, was riveted. Already on the ice, Vasiliev learned that the defense of his thesis on the topic “Topographic and geodetic works of the Chukotka-Anadyr Expedition of the VAI” was successful, and he was given “the qualification of a II degree scientist in the field of CARTOGRAPHE-GEODESIST, with the right to teach in the same specialty Universities and colleges. 
All the vicissitudes of the Chelyuskin epic are well known. Only on March 5, 1934, the plane of A.V. managed to break through to the ice camp. Lyapidevsky, in which all 10 women and two children, including Vasilieva’s wife Doroteya Ivanovna and daughter Karina, were taken to Whalen. Only a month later, on April 7, the evacuation of the rest of the Chelyuskites began, on April 11 by N.P. Kamanin in Vankarem was taken Vasiliev. From Vankarem, polar explorers, on foot and on dogs, traveled 500 km to Uelen. Further, the ships brought them to Vladivostok, from where they took the special train across the whole country to the capital. This expedition was for Vasiliev, as for many other Chelyuskinites, the climax of life. For participation in it, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star. 
Vasiliev continued his work at VAI and already in 1935 led an astronomic-geodesic expedition to the Chukotka Peninsula, which lasted 30 months. Upon his return, he held senior positions in the cartographic-geodetic service of the VAI, and in 1940 he was sent to GU GUMP, where he worked until 1946. During this period, Vasilyev, as an astronomer and the head of the astronomy-geodesic party, took part in wintering expeditions to East Taimyr and the New Siberian Islands, and was head of the department for office processing. 
After the war, due to the state of his health, weakened by many years of Arctic hardships, he was no longer able to participate in field work. Vasiliev’s high scientific and industrial qualification, awarded in 1938 with the award of a candidate of geographical sciences without a degree, allowed him to take the position of associate professor of astronomy at LVIMU, where he worked until the end of his life. 
In addition to the Order of the Red Star, Vasiliev was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, medals "For the Defense of the Polar Region" and "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945", Had the title of "Honorary Polar Explorer"and "Honorary Worker of the Navy".  
He died in Leningrad and was buried in the Northern cemetery. 
Lagoon on the northeast coast of Taimyr to the south of Cape Chelyuskin near Pronchishchev coast. 
On the recommendation of hydrographs, the name was approved by a decision of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Executive Committee of March 2, 1973.

 

Return to the main page