William F. C. Nindemann

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William F. C. Nindemann
William F. C. Nindemann.jpg
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William Friedrich Carl NindemannGerman: Wilhelm Friedrich Carl Nindemann ] (born in Gingst, island of Rügen, Germany, 22 April 1850; died 6 May 1913 Hollis, New York) was an explorer on arctic expeditions originating in the United States.


He graduated from the public school in Gingst in 1865, and in 1867 came to New York and served as quartermaster on a yacht. He went on the arctic expedition in the steamer “Polaris,” which sailed from New London on 3 July 1871. On 15 October 1872, the “Polaris” being fast in the ice and leaking badly, the crew was ordered to land provisions, and while thus engaged the floe broke, and Nindemann with eighteen others drifted southward for 196 days without seeing the ship again. This part of the crew were rescued by the steamship “Tigress” on 29 April 1873.

After returning to Washington, Nindemann volunteered on the “Tigress” in her search for the “Polaris,” and remained with this vessel until October 1873, when he joined the crew of the steamer “Jeannette.” On 9 October 1881, Captain DeLong sent Louis P. Noros (born Fall River, Massachusetts, 1850; d. Providence, Rhode Island, April 3, 1927[1])and Nindemann to find aid. Taking a southern course, they wandered until 21 October when they were met by a native, who took them to Kumak Surka, where they sent a message through a Russian exile to George W. Melville, who afterward joined them at Bulun. Subsequently Melville, James H. Bartlett, and Nindemann explored the delta for traces of DeLong's party, and on 15 March 1882, they found the bodies of DeLong and his companions. A thorough but unsuccessful search was made for Lieutenant Charles W. Chipp and his party.

In 1890, he was awarded a medal for bravery by the United States Congress. During the Russo-Japanese War, he took several submarines to Japan for the Holland Submarine Boat Company. He served in the Spanish-American War.

Nindemann invented a tong for the gaff of fore-and-aft rigged vessels, which was patented in 1883, and was the author of a pamphlet entitled “Eines deutschen Matrosen Nordpolfahrten” (A German sailor's journey to the North Pole), edited by Karl Knortz (Zürich, 1885).


  1. ^ ancestry.com--U.S. Navy Pensions Index



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