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Pearson Hosts Dual-Language Tribute To Chkalov

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.

April Baer/Oregon Public Broadcasting


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.

Park Ranger Luda Leksunkin

Park Ranger Luda Leksunkin

April Baer/Oregon Public Broadcasting

“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.

Andrey Yushmanov, Russian consul general, based in Seattle

Andrey Yushmanov, Russian consul general, based in Seattle

April Baer/Oregon Public Broadcasting

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.

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