On This Day in History: 1926, Norge Becomes the First Airship to Fly Over the North Pole

 Not only that, but evidence also points to Norge being the first vessel to fly over the North Pole, indeed containing the first people to reach the North Pole, with discrepancy now being accepted over Peary and Byrd's claims.

On 11th May 1926, the Norge Airship left Svalbard (Spitzbergen), planning to cross the Arctic Ocean to Alaska, via Spitzbergen, via the North Pole. On board was Umberto Nobile, the Captain of the expedition, who was from Italy, as well as two if the first men to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen and Oscar Wisting, and an American, Lincoln Ellsworth, who was a sponsor for the expedition. 

At 01:25 GMT, Norge reached the North Pole, a cross given to them by Pope Pius XI was dropped, as were the Norwegian, American, and Italian flags. Amundsen and Wisting, in the process, became the first men to visit both Poles. The Norge reached the village of Teller, Alaska, on 14th May, slightly damaged and was never used again. In 1928, Nobile led the Italia airship expedition to the North Pole, which crashed on it's return with several fatalities, although Nobile survived, and died in 1978. Amundsen disappeared in a flight between Norway and Svalbard in preparation for trying to rescue Nobile, and Ellsworth was involved in further expeditions before he died in 1951 


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