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Postby shipstamps » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:04 pm

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The rescue of Papanin's North Pole Meteorological Party in 1938 is commemorated on these stamps. On May 21, 1937, four Soviet scientists, I. Papanin, P. Shirshov, Y. Fyodorov and E. Krenkel, were landed at the North Pole by aircraft. At the end of a fortnight a base had been established and the four men were left alone to make recordings of the drift of the polar ice. Slowly at first, but with increasing speed the ice on which they were established moved towards Greenland. By January 1938 the floe arrived off North East Green-land and, colliding with grounded ice, split apart: Only a small insecure area of ice was left to them. By February 19 they reached lat 70 deg. 54 min. N., long. 19 deg.48 mm. W.; between Scoresby Sound and Tan Mayen, where they were located by two of the three Ice-breakers sent to pick them up, the Taimyr and the Murman. When rescued, their ice-floe was reduced to only 30 yards by 50 yards, and this was cracked in four places. During their 274 days on the floe they had drifted more than 1,500 miles from the North Pole. Each icebreaker took two of the rescued men, all four later transferring to the third rescue ship, the Ermack, for a triumphal return home. SG787/8
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