Mark Shevelev

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Mark Shevelev (Russian: Марк Иванович Шевелёв; 11 October 1904 – 6 October 1991) was a Soviet pilot during World War II and was one of founders and chief of staff of Soviet Long Range Aviation.[1] Shevelev held the rank of lieutenant-general. He was a head of aviation department Aviaarktika of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route[2] and a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Early years[edit]

Mark Shevelev was born 11 (24) October 1904 in Saint Petersburg to Jewish parents. Shevelev joined Red Army in 1920 and participated in the Civil War. Joined Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) in 1921. Graduated air transportation department of Leningrad Institute of transport in 1925.

Polar Aviator[edit]

Mark Shevelev joined nascent Soviet polar aviation in 1929. Since 1933 he headed aviation department of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, Participated in 6 polar expeditions in 1929-1937. In 1937 he was the deputy of Otto Schmidt, in the expedition to airlift North Pole-1 personnel and equipment to the North Pole. He had been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title (36th awarded since the award had been created) for this expedition.

During World War II[edit]

When Operation Barbarossa started, Mark Shevelev became deputy commander of air force division, then Chief of Staff of Soviet Long Range Aviation. Since Spring 1944 he commanded Soviet part of Northwest Staging Route.

Post-war years[edit]

Deputy directory of Soviet Directorate of Civil Aviation in 1947-1952. Deputy Commander, Chief of Staff of Air Force army in 1953-1954. Chief of Directorate of Polar Civil Aviation in 1960-1971. Chaired 15 polar expeditions, including ice surveilliance for icebreaker Arktika during its expedition to the North Pole.