At the outbreak of the First World War he was called into the Russian army, where he served until
When the Russian army collapsed, he served in the Ukrainian army.
May 10, 1919 - volunteers for the Latvian army and is assigned to the 7th Sigulda infantry.
June 21-22, 1920 - distinguished himself in battle when he and eleven others performed a reconnaissance
behind the enemy lines, destroying phone lines and gathering information. While returning to their own side
they were encircled twice by the enemy and each time they broke out, on one occasion even taking prisoners.
(This action is noted in the Lacplesis Order citation).
1921 - Awarded the Order of Lacplesis
October 21, 1925 - completed his first solo flight.
1926 - graduated from flight school, and on May 28 assigned to the Naval Aviation Division (rank: Lieutenant)
March 4, 1927 - flying with N.Jakubovs (this time as observer) their HB-33 was totally destroyed when
Jakubovs was forced to land in heavy fog near Sarnate. The aviators survived, but had to swim in the cold waters
for an hour until fishermen could come to their rescue. Strauja did, however, suffer some injury a few days
later when he helped a crew recover the engine of the destroyed airacraft.
1933 - Transferred to the 3rd Jelgavas infantry, promoted to the rank of Captain and, later, Lt.Colonel. [Sounce: Antena]
May 25, 1936 - with the dissolution of the naval aviation squadron, E.Strauja was reassigned to
a land-based recon unit. (Note: this item and the one immediately above appear to be contradictory) [Source: Bruvelis]
1941 - (German occupation) - flew with the Luftwaffe, but later defected (with his aircraft) to the Soviets. (Note: Varpa
reports that he was "captured by the Soviets" - no mention of defection)
Returning to Latvia, he is employed as a farm tractor operator and brewery guard.
December 14, 1981 - Died, Naukseni
- Lacplesa Kara Ordena Kavalieri Ilze Antena
- Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture Edvins Bruvelis
- Latviesu Karavirs Zem Kaskrusta Karoga Igors Varpa