Two D.VIIs were abandoned by the Germans at Spilve in 1919. The
Latvians assessed them for airworthiness or fitness for repair in December of that year..
The first one , with Bestellnummer 8595/18 (OAW), they found was airworthy and ready for use.
It was powered by a 160 hp Mercedes engine, serial no. 45187.
1919, December 24. The first of the DVIIs is flown, by V.Jakubovs (flight
lasting about 50 minutes). Further flights took place on January 2, 5 and
10, 1920 for the testing of propellers.
January 5, 1920 - J.Prieditis flies the D.VII
June 8, 1920 - The aircraft is flown from Spilve to Rezekne to take part
in the battles vs the bolsheviks in Latgale. En route, the aircraft crashes
approximately 10 km from Rezekne.
July 20, 1921 - Aircraft is involved in a crash during a forced landing. Undergoes repairs and is returned to service.
1921 - this aircraft is assigned to the flight school.
August 21, 1923 - this aircraft is involved in a ground accident, colliding with Halberstadt C.V #19. The Fokker
was not repaired and eventually written off.
Believed to be the second of the Spilve D.VIIs, this one had a fire-damaged
engine and fuselage and was deemed to be beyond repair. Amazingly, this
aircraft was eventually resurrected as Fokker D.VII #16. It is also possible that
Fokker #16 was a different aircraft entirely, acquired from unknown sources.
1922 - appears on the roster of the Flying School.
1923 - Karlis Kleins passes his flight test in Fokker #16.
1924 (early) - on the roster of the fighter squadron.
Margeris Kenins purchased a 180-hp BMW engine from the Aviation Regiment.
This engine was reported to have been salvaged from a crashed D.VII
- Brannon, D.Edgar Fokker D.VII in Action
- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Humberstone, Richard Latvian Air Force 1918-1940
- Irbitis, Karlis Of Struggle and Flight
- Lamberton, W.M. Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War
- Sparnota Latvija
- Windsock Datafile Special - Fokker D.VII Anthology V.III
Profiles courtesy of Arvo Vercamer
Additional research provided by Moshe Bukhman.