Aerodromes

AERODROME - GULBENE

Gulbene




NOTES

  • Gulbene aerodrome was completed in 1937, and the 3rd Recon Squadron was established there in December, 1937. The airfield was built on very solid, level ground and offered obstacle-free approaches from all directions.
  • October 2, 1938 - the third waypoint on the second day of the "Flight Around Latvia" competition. The aircraft, landed, refuelled and departed in the direction of Valmiera without incident.
  • June 4, 1940 - site of Indrikis Morkans' crash, in which his passenger Janis Ozols died.
  • 1940-1941 (Soviet Occupation) - the Aviation arm of the 24th Territorial Corps is based at Gulbene, flying the ex-Latvian SV5s.
  • 1941 - 1944 (German Occupation) - (Luftwaffe units based in Gulbene during the German occupation)
  • June 1941 - very shortly after the German occupation of Latvia, various German air units would briefly stay at Gulbene as the front moved into Russia. The base itself was initially guarded by informal Latvian partisan groups, which were later organized into more formal military units. On one of these early days the airfield was attacked by Soviet bombers, but almost all of their bombs fell outside of the airfield. One bomb did strike the corner of a hangar, but the damage was minimal and there were no injuries. From that time onwards the Germans kept some fighter aircraft on alert to discourage future attacks. [Bronislavs Andersons, in Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1970, No.3]
  • While the Latvian Luftwaffe unit was stationed in Gulbene, the fliers and their ground crew were accommodated in the Gulbene castle.
  • July 25, 1944 - it is during their stay at Gulbene that the Latvian unit completes its 1000th mission.

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