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Wilkins, George Hubert, Sir,, 1888-1958



  • Existence: 1888 - 1958

George Hubert Wilkins was born on October 31, 1888, in South Australia. He studied engineering part time at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries, then pursued interests in photography and cinematography in Adelaide and Sydney. In 1908, he sailed for England to work for the Gaumont Film Co. From 1913 to 1916, he was second-in-command on Vilhjalmur Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition. An early aviator, Wilkins was also second-in-command of the British Antarctic Expedition to Graham Land (1920–21), and accompanied Sir Ernest Shackleton on his last Antarctic expedition (1921–22). In 1926, Wilkins began a series of trial flights to test the feasibility of air exploration of the then unknown Arctic region north of Point Barrow, Alaska. On April 16, 1928, he and his copilot flew over unknown seas from Point Barrow to the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) archipelago north of Norway, completing the 2,100-mile journey in 20 1/2 hours. For this feat he was knighted. In 1931, he took the U.S. submarine Nautilus and navigated it under the Arctic Ocean. He was the manager of Lincoln Ellsworth’s U.S. Antarctic expedition (1933–39) and subsequently acted as consultant and geographer to the U.S. armed services. Wilkins died on December 1, 1958 in Framingham, Mass.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

George Wilkins papers

Stefansson Mss-62
Identifier: Mss-62
Overview George Hubert Wilkins (1888-1958), arctic explorer, scientist and aviator. Consist of diaries, reports and correspondence of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-1918, as well as manuscripts of his autobiography and his book "Under the North Pole," newspaper clippings, articles, scrapbooks and other writings related to a variety of arctic expeditions, including the "Levanevsky Search".