Famous Masons

Many men throughout history have been members of our fraternity.

In these pages we will present you with them and try to impress upon you the great men that have been Masons.

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Photo of Bernt Balchen

Bernt Balchen

Aviator
Birthday: November 23, 2899 Deceased: November 17, 1973

Biography

A pioneer polar aviator, navigator, aircraft mechanical engineer and military leader. A Norwegian native, he later became a U.S. citizen, and was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. His service in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II made use of his Arctic exploration expertise to help the Allies over Scandinavia and Northern Europe. After the war, Balchen continued to be an influential leader with the U.S. Air Force, as well as a highly regarded private consultant in projects involving the Arctic and aviation.

In 1939, Balchen was in Helsinki, working on a contract to provide U.S. fighter aircraft to Finland, when the Soviet attack on Finland took place. Enlisting with the Norwegian Air Force, he made his way to the United States on a crucial mission to negotiate ?matters pertaining to aircraft ordnance and ammunition with the question of the Norwegian Government?s possible purchase of such materials in the United States of America.

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