James Urness was born in a farmhouse in North Dakota. He joined the Air Force after high school. He served as an aircraft navigator and a communications officer for twenty years. Following his retirement from the military, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska. He worked as a software engineer with the Boeing Company for the next nineteen years. Jim has a wife, three children, and four stepchildren. He has made his home in the state of Washington for the past forty-one years. 25 Brave Men, Jim’s first book, is the product of twenty years of research on the Lady Franklin Bay expedition.
25 Brave Men: Tales from an Arctic Journey
In 1881, twenty-five volunteers traveled north beyond Greenland to establish a meteorological outpost in an uninhabited land. They were supposed to receive fresh supplies the following year, but poor planning, ice, and weather kept the relief vessels from reaching them.
On August 8, 1883, the men set out for Littleton Island to meet a rescue party. They journeyed more than four hundred miles by boat and another hundred on foot to find that nobody was waiting for them. When the rescuers finally arrived in June of 1884, only seven survivors remained; one died on the journey home.
25 Brave Men tells the story of every member of the Lady Franklin Bay expedition. With detailed accounts of their lives and deeds, James Urness pays tribute to the courage it takes to keep moving forward in the face of great personal risk.