Aviators
B

BALODIS, JANIS

  • September 16, 1930 - graduates from flight school.
  • 1931 - Graduates from officer training program. Rank: Lieutenant
  • June 5, 1932 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • May 28, 1933 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • September 8, 1935 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • April 6, 1936 - participates in the committee to select a new fighter aircraft for the Aviation Regiment. (Committee selected Gloster Gladiators) Rank: Captain
  • 1936 - participates in the naval goodwill flight around Northern Europe.
  • December 16, 1936 - participates in the committee to select a two-seater trainer/light bomber. (Committee selected the Hawker Hind)
  • August 21, 1938 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • November 1938 (until Soviet Occupation) - commander of the 2nd fighter Squadron, based in Riga and now equipped with Gloster Gladiators. Note that, as a commander, he had little tolerance for drinking among his pilots - either on or off duty. He had a rule that, when at the Daugavpils training facility, the officers and enlisted men would eat together, not segregated as is the custom.
  • E.Briedis, a pilot in the 2nd Fighter Squadron, tells of an occasion where Balodis almost crashed his Gladiator. At the Daugavpils training camp the pilots were expected to practice recovery from a spin, but they were reluctant to spin the aircraft, even in practice. Balodis climbed into a plane himself and, after an aerobatic display, put the airplane into a spin. The spin continued far longer than was safe, or he had intended, and he was able to rescue the situation only at treetop level.
  • May 21, 1939 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Daugavpils.
  • June, 1939 - he is decorated with the Order of Viesturs, IV class (with swords).
  • July 2, 1939- participates in the Aviation Festival at Rujiena.
  • July 16, 1939 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Liepaja.
  • July 23, 1939 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Gulbene.
  • June 1940 - in addition to his duties as Commander of the 2nd Fighter Squadron, he is responsible for overseeing the practical flying segment of the program at the Riga flight school and appears on the roster as commander of the Primary training squadron with its Udet Flamingos.
  • 1941 (Soviet Occupation) - arrrested and deported to Siberia, where he dies of starvation.

Sources

- Aviacijas Svetki (1932) Programma, pg.10
- Aviacijas Svetki (1935) Programma, pg.12
- Briedis, E. Latviesa Stasts, pg. 114, 115, 118, 121, 122, 129, 131
- Bruvelis, E. Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1970 No.3 pg. 17
- Humberstone, R. (ed) Latvian Air Force 1918-1940 pg.16
- Irbitis, K. Of Struggle and Flight
- Jaunais Kurzemnieks May 30, 1934
- Sparnota Latvija, No.22 (Apr 1936) pg.650
- Sparnota Latvija, No.51 (Sept 1938) pg. 616
- Sparnota Latvija, No.60 (June 1939) pg.218
- Sparnota Latvija, No.61 (July 1939) pg.247
- Sparnota Latvija, No.62 (Aug 1939) pg.270
- Sparnota Latvija, No.63 (Sep 1939) pg.297, 298

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