Nagursky Yan Iosifovich 
(27.01(08.02).1888–09.06.1976)

Pilot 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 the ship "St. Focka” and G.L. Brusilov on the ship "St. Anna"
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 air. He 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 D.P. Grigorovich 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 the war 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 petroleum industry.

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.V. Vodopyanov, M.I. Shevelev and M.A. Titlov. In Leningrad he met Vera Sedova, the widow of George Sedov, whose 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 Municipal Cemetery. 
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.

 

 

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