Silas Cheesman

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Silas Alward Cheesman (born May 31, 1900 in Saint John , New Brunswick , Canada , † April 4, 1958 in Fort William , Ontario , Canada) was a Canadian pilot who is known for his work for the Australian polar explorer Hubert Wilkins .


Cheesman was the son of truck driver Thomas Walter Cheesman and his wife Jessie. He initially worked as an aircraft mechanic for the Aero Corporation in Detroit and from 1924 for the Ontario Provincial Air Service . In 1928 he switched to Western Canada Airways as a bush pilot , which operated particularly in northern Canada.

Cheesman was next to Carl Ben Eielson , Joe Crosson (1903-1949) and Parker Cramer (1896-1931) one of the pilots in the Wilkins-Hearst Antarctic Expedition (1928-1930) and carried out the Antarctic flight on December 29, 1929 by. On July 3, 1930, he narrowly escaped death when his plane crashed in Ontario. In 1937 he was involved with Wilkins in the failed rescue expedition for the Soviet pilot Sigismund Lewanewski and his five crew members.

During World War II he served as a submarine hunter with the Royal Canadian Air Force . After the war he worked as a rescue pilot in Labrador . Cheesman died of a heart attack on April 4, 1958 . Cheesman Island , an island in West Antarctica, has been named after him since 1950.


  • John Stewart: Antarctica - An Encyclopedia . Vol. 1, McFarland & Co., Jefferson and London 2011, ISBN 978-0-7864-3590-6 , p. 312 (English).

Web links

  • Al Cheesman. Information on the homepage of the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center (English)
  • Harold Wright: God is my co-pilot. Short biography on (English)