Leskinen William Yanovich 
(1895–1975)


Arctic hydrograph, honorary polar explorer. 
Born in the village of Michel, Finland. The father, an Estonian, moved his family to Estonia, to Narva, when his son was six years old. The boy graduated from three classes of the parish school, worked as a shepherd, apprentice hairdresser, wheelchair-karetochnika. In May 1914 he went to St. Petersburg, was a doorman, an assistant of a coppersmith at the Putilov factory. In the next three years, Leskinen sailed on ships in the summer as a sailor and a fireman, in the winter he returned to Narva or worked on ships wintering in St. Petersburg. In 1917  on the steamer "Marseillaise", he went as a helmsman to foreign navigation, for participating in the strike was written off in England, returned to Arkhangelsk. 
With the beginning of the civil war, Leskinen joined the Red Army, conducted underground work in Arkhangelsk. After the war, for several years he served on the “Battery” towing tugboat, then worked as a keeper of the lighthouse Tsyp-Navoloksky for six years, and was in charge of Ubekoseverara’s guard. 
In the winter of 1931 Leskinen, then the head of the polar observatory "
Matochkin Shar", almost died when he fell into a fierce blizzard.  I.S. Sokolov-Mikitov wrote about his heroic behavior in this situation, about the rescue of his friend, in the magazine "Around the World", as well as many newspapers.

At the age of forty-one, Leskinen graduated from the Frunze Naval School and worked as chief of the pilots' master in Amur, spent two years in Stalinist dungeons on a false accusation. In 1943, he was among those who miraculously escaped from the hydrographic vessel Akademik Shokalsky, sunk by the Nazis in the Kara Sea. The vessel was ruthlessly shot by a submarine near the east coast of Novaya Zemlya. People landed on the ice, but the fascists continued to hunt them both on the ice and on the shore, to which the unfortunate people barely got on the half-drowned boat. For several days, emaciated sailors wandered along the glacier to the polar station, from where they were sent by plane to Dikson. After a short treatment, Leskinen headed a survey batch in the Gulf of Thaddeus, which, after wintering, carried out the planned hydrographic and topographical survey in full. 
After the war  Leskinen wintered many times on Dixon. And during this period there was a case when his life was in mortal danger. March 21, 1954 during the measurement from the ice in heavy hummocks at about. Kirov was attacked by a polar bear. Leskinen did not even have time to free the rifle, which was thrown behind his back, as the bear crushed him. The worker, who had come to the rescue, was able to distract the beast’s attention for a moment by striking the lot on a shovel. Bleeding Leskinen managed at this time to distort the bolt and shot at close range, killed the predator outright. Despite the injuries he received, he refused to take a plane from the ambulance and completed the work. He was not destined to die an unnatural death. 
Leskinen was awarded the medals "For the Defense of the Soviet Arctic", "For the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.","For labor valor".  After retirement he left for Pyatigorsk. 
An island in the Nordensheld archipelago in the Kara Sea. Discovered by Leskinen in 1942. Called at the suggestion of V.A. Troitsky in 1964 by Dixon hydrographs. 
The name was approved by the decision of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Executive Committee of April 8, 1964.

 

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