The Russian Consulate from Seattle and others were in the audience Saturday for the anniversary of a famous Russian test pilot’s historic flight to Vancouver.
Fort Vancouver National Park held a dual English-Russian presentation at Pearson Air Museum.
Park Ranger Luda Leksunkin came from the former Soviet Republic when she was eight. She gave a talk on pilot Valery Chkalov’s transpolar voyage. He made an unscheduled landing in Vancouver in 1937.
“It is no secret,” Leksunkin said, “that many times the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States was tense. When Chkalov and his crew landed here on Pearson airfield, the whole world was watching to see the outcome. How would American receive their foreign guests?”
Leksunkin explained how General George Marshall welcomed the aviators in his own home, and later escorted them to meet President Franklin Roosevelt.
The management of Pearson Air Museum has been the subject of a dispute over the past year. The Park Service and the Fort Vancouver Trust recently entered mediation to try to resolve their differences over what kind of events should be held on Museum grounds.