Award signifies contribution for improvement of Russian – North American relations
The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation recently received the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Award recognizing distinguished individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions for improvement of Russian-North American relations, toward peace among the Allies, and in Russian-Alaska studies.
Alexander Dolitsky, Executive Director, Alaska-Siberia Research Center presented the award to Jeff Geer, President and Chairman of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation during the June 22nd “Warplanes to Siberia” conference at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA.
Previous recipients of the award include Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir V. Putin for their dedication to American and Russian cooperation.
Upon accepting the award, Geer said “It is such an honor to receive this award. It stands as a reminder of the importance of the ‘Warplanes to Siberia’ project in telling the story of the thousands of men and woman who sacrificed everything to save the world as part of the Lend-Lease program. It makes what we are doing that much more important in recognizing that, in the midst of a global struggle, the United States, Canada, and Russia worked together as allies to defeat a great evil.”
“Warplanes to Siberia” is a flight re-creation and documentary retracing the Alaska-Siberia Air Route that runs from Great Falls, Montana to Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Between 1942 and 1945 the United States secretly ferried nearly 8,000 military aircraft to the former Soviet Union, transferring them to the Russian pilots at Fairbanks, Alaska.
This past summer, the BRAVO 369 flight team successfully completed the first leg of the flight from Great Falls to Fairbanks in a vintage North American AT-6 Texan, identical to one of the aircraft types flown up the route 70 years ago. In 2014, they plan to complete the flight to Krasnoyarsk, an additional 3,000 miles across Siberia. Geer said “this prestigious medal will be on-board with us throughout the flight.”