Giuseppe Biagi (explorer)

Giuseppe Biagi (February 2, 1897 in Medicina – November 1, 1965 in Rome) was Italian soldier, explorer and radio operator. He took part in the expedition of Umberto Nobile to the North Pole in the airship Italy, in May 1928.[1][2][3]


Son of Raffaele Biagi and Virginia Natali, was born and grew up in the early years at a farm in the Bolognese countryside, together with his brothers Cesira and Alfredo. In 1903 the family moved to Bologna, where young Giuseppe continued his studies at the Aldini technical institute (it).

In 1911, he started working on boats in Rimini, then decided to study radio telegraphy at Varignano Technical School, a port location near La Spezia where he later became an instructor. He participated as a radio-telegraph operator to some important actions of the First World War, where he took the nickname of Baciccia. After the war ended, he married Anita Bucilli, and they had her firstborn son, Giorgio.

In 1928 he participated in airship Italia polar expedition led by Nobile. On May 24, 1928 the airship crashed while flying back from the North Pole.

After the crash Biagi repeatedly sent the SOS signal to the support ship Città di Milano, using small shortwave transmitter Ondina 33 S. Separate device, Burndept MK IV, was used as receiver. However, the signal was not received by the support ship, but was caught in distance of 2,400 km by Russian radio amateur Nikolaj Schmidt (ru). Schmidt reported it to the authorities, who then informed Radio San Paolo in Rome. Large scale rescue operation followed, and finally Soviet ice-breaker Krassin saved Biagi and the others on July 12.

Biagi still continued his work as a non-commissioned officer of the Navy, and then retired. In the last few years of life and opened a petrol station on the Via Ostiense, on the outskirts of Rome.


  1. ^ Hiam, C. Michael (October 7, 2014). Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship. ForeEdge from University Press of New England. ISBN 9781611685602.
  2. ^ "Giuseppe Biagi - La Tenda Rossa - L'anniversario della spedizione di Biagi". Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Giuseppe Biagi, O.M. emerito dell'A.R.I. (Associazione Radioamatori Italiani)". Retrieved August 19, 2017.

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Technically oriented: