Soviet and American officials on Friday (20 June) dedicated a monument to three Russian airmen who made the first trans-Polar flight landing at Vancouver, Washington on 20 June, 1937.
CUs Newspaper photographer of Russian pilots (3 shots)
CUs Two Russian pilots mobbed by newsmen (4 shots)
SV One of pilots receiving bouquet
SV Son of dead pilot receives flowers
CU Navigator and co-pilot
SVs Co-pilot and navigator with newsmen (3 shots)
CUs Newsmen and dead pilot's son (2 shots)
SV Co-pilot and navigator
CUs Original news paper stills of four pilots (4 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: "Early on Sunday, June 20th, 1937, three Russian aviators completed the first non-stop flight over the North Pole. With only ten gallons of fuel left, their single engine "plane landed at the military field in Vancouver, Washington. The Russians had been inspired by Charles Lindberg's solo flight over the Atlantic ten years before. Two of those three brave airman returned to Washington State to commemorate their record flight. They were mobbed in Vancouver by Russian newsmen who flew in just ahead of the ageing heroes. Pilot Valery Chkalov died in a crash the year following the Arctic flight. So his son accepted flowers, along with navigator Alexander Beliakov and co-pilot Georgy Baidukov. The navigator Alexander Beliakov and co-pilot Georgy Baidukov. The navigator guided their 120 mile an hour flight despite magnetic variations at the pole which made their compass useless. Co-pilot Baidukov handled the "plane for many hours, better at flying on instruments than the senior pilot. The commemoration was prompted by Russian cosmonauts' questions at the Expo '74 last year. They asked, where was this country's monument to the Russian flight? Finally, after the cold was years, the two nations are again recognising our common humanity. As this weekend's (INDISTINCT) magazine cover says when translated: 'The Russians are coming'. This is Bruce Northcott."
Initials BB/0000 BB/DW/BB/0015
REPORTER: BRUCE NORTHCOTT
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Soviet and American officials on Friday (20 June) dedicated a monument to three Russian airmen who made the first trans-Polar flight landing at Vancouver, Washington on 20 June, 1937.
Two of the fliers and the son of the third, along with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and American officials, dedicated what is believed to be the first monument to Soviet airmen in the United States.
Georgy Baidukov (68), Alexander Beliakov (78) and Valery Chkalov, who is now dead, landed at the military airport in Vancouver more than 63 hours after they left Moscow in as single-engined 'plane to fly over the North Pole 38 years ago.
They landed with only 10 gallons of fuel left in their tanks.
Baidukov, Beliakov and Chkalov's son Igor repeated the flight to attend the dedication ceremony -- in the comfort of a Soviet airliner.
(This film is serviced with a commentary by TVN reporter Bruce Northcott. A transcript is provided overleaf.)