George W. DeLong bigraphy, stories - American polar explorer

George W. DeLong : biography

August 22, 1844 - October 31, 1881

George Washington DeLongAlternate spelling of name as De Long; used by his widow in all her publications, and by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. (August 22, 1844 – October 31, 1881) was a United States Navy officer and explorer.


Born in New York City, he was educated at the United States Naval Academy in Newport, Rhode Island.During the Civil War, the Naval Academy was relocated from Annapolis to Newport. In 1879, backed by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., owner of the New York Herald newspaper, and under the auspices of the US Navy, Lieutenant Commander DeLong sailed from San Francisco, California on the ship USS Jeannette with a plan to find a quick way to the North Pole via the Bering Strait.

As well as collecting scientific data and animal specimens, DeLong discovered and claimed three islands (De Long Islands) for the United States in the summer of 1881.

The ship became trapped in the ice and eventually was crushed and sank. DeLong and his crew abandoned ship and set out for Siberia in three small boats. After reaching open water, they became separated and one boat, commanded by Executive Officer Charles W. Chipp, was lost; no trace of it was ever found. DeLong's own boat reached land, but only two men sent ahead for aid survived. The third boat, under the command of Chief Engineer George W. Melville, reached the Lena delta and was rescued.

Category:1881 deaths Category:Deaths by starvation Category:American explorers Category:Explorers of the Arctic Category:United States Navy officers Category:United States Naval Academy alumni Category:De Long Islands Category:Shipwreck survivors

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