Nagursky Yan Iosifovich
of the Russian Navy.
Born in the Warsaw province in the city of Wloclawek. After
graduating from gymnasium teacher in the village, then he studied at
the Odessa Junker Infantry School. In
the rank of infantry second lieutenant he served in Khabarovsk. After
returning from the Far East, he became a member of the Petrograd
Aero Club, where he met the great Russian pilot, P.N. Nesterov. A
year later, they joined the aviation department of the officer
aeronautical school, then Nagursky continued his studies at the
Gatchina military school.
After the disappearance of the expeditions G.Ya. Sedov on
and G.L. Brusilov on
Main Hydrographic Office decided to try to look for them with the help of aviation. Many
Russian and foreign pilots offered their candidatures, but the
choice fell on Nagursky. The
role apparently played by the fact that he was still a naval
engineer and served in the Navy Department. Nagursky
was entrusted with the choice of the aircraft system.
In 1914, in August Nagursky made five flights off the western
shores of Novaya Zemlya, each lasting 4–5 hours, in order to search
for missing expeditions. These
were the first flights in the Arctic on an apparatus heavier than
flew a French type Maurice Farman seaplane (weight 450 kg, engine
power 70 hp, speed 90 km/h) without knowing the meteorological
conditions on the highway, without radio communication, with an
unreliable motor, without ground service, without instruments of
blind flight. The
following successful flights in the Arctic were made only after 9
years by the Swiss pilot Mittelholzer along the coast of Svalbard.
In 1915 Nagursky worked as a test pilot seaplane. As
part of the tests, he succeeded in flying a M-9 boat designed by
with a passenger and a full combat load to make two loops Nesterov
in a row.
He took part in hostilities, was awarded three orders. During
one of the battles he was shot down over the Baltic Sea, sailed for
several hours in a rubber boat and was accidentally picked up by a
Russian submarine. Comrades
considered him dead.
After the revolution Nagursky
served for some time in the Red Army,
and in 1918 went
to Poland. In
with Russia, he
did not want to participate, and to avoid mobilization, he concealed
his military rank. He
worked at a sugar factory, in the design offices of the sugar and
After the war Nagursky continued to work as a
design engineer and head of the design office in Gdansk and Warsaw . In 1955, he
attended a lecture by the famous Polish polar explorer Cheslav
Tsentkevich, who mentioned “the long-forgotten pioneer of aviation,
the Russian pilot Ivan Nagursky”. Then
Nagursky stood up and announced that he was alive.
In the summer of 1956, Nagursky
flew to Russia, met in Moscow with
polar pilots B.G. Chukhnovsky,
M.I. Shevelev and
M.A. Titlov. In Leningrad he
met Vera Sedova,
the widow of George
expedition he tried to find in 1914. Nagursky's
trip to the USSR ended
with a visit to Odessa.
On the advice of Tsentkevich, Nagursky described in two books his
polar flights and service during the First
World War. In
recognition of merit, he was awarded the Order
of the Renaissance of Poland.
He died in Warsaw and was buried in the Northern
The polar station on
Alexandra Land is the archipelago of Franz-Josef Land and a cape in
the west of this island. Called
by hydrographs in the 1950s.
The river on
the Kara coast of the southern island of New Earth.