Aviators
B

BASKO, JEZUPS

Basko
  • January 9, 1889 - Born, near Daugavpils (Jasmuizas pag.) (Note: Basko is pronounced Bahsh-ko)
  • Completed his primary education in nearby Preili, but attended technical high school in Poland.
  • 1908 - enrolled in Vladimir war academy in St.Petersburg.
  • 1910 - graduated from the war academy.
  • 1911 - enrolls in the flight school in St.Petersburg
  • Spring 1912 - graduates from flight school.
  • August 1912 - participates with flight instructor Nestorov in a flight of approximately 1000 km, lasting 15 hours, which was a great achievement at that time.
  • Spring 1913 - enrols in the Gatchina military flight school, and completes the program by that same autumn.
  • 1914 - as WWI begins, Basko is assigned to the unit flying the Ilya Mourmetz multi-engines bombers.
  • June 5, 1914 - successfully attacks an enemy armour train, exploding its cargo of 30,000 artillery shells. For this action, he received the Order of St.Stanislaus. Shortly afterwards, he also earned the Order of St.George.
  • July 5, 1914 - his bomber is attacked by three enemy fighters. The plane is badly shot up, and Basko is also wounded.
  • July 7, 1914 - promoted to the rank of Captain.
  • After recovering from his wounds, he begins training the bomber pilots in formation flying and, when the winter sets in, they convert to operating on skis instead of wheels.
  • March, 1917 - promoted to the rank of Colonel and placed in command of the squadron. He achieved all this after completing 80 combat missions and at the remarkably young age of 28.
  • June 23, 1921 - Basko and his family return to Latvia, and he offers his services to Latvia's Aviation Division.
  • Sept.16, 1922 - Placed in command of the Aviation Division. His first task was to reorganize the Division and to establish uniform flight practices. He also had to set about replacing the war trophy collection of aircraft with more modern equipment, and he had to oversee the repair of war-ravaged Spilve aerodrome.
  • Feb. 28, 1923 - Basko is dispatched to Italy to oversee the purchase of three Savoia flying boats.
  • 1926 - the Aviation Park is renamed as the Aviation Regiment, and Basko is confirmed as its commander.
  • 1926 - young recruit Briedis describes Basko as wearing his medals in the usual manner, but with the addition of a large two-headed eagle badge on the right side of his uniform. This badge pertained to his service with the Czarist Russian air force prior to Latvian independence. Briedis further recalls that Basko spoke with a distinctly Latgale accent, and even as a senior officer he did not hesitate to fly occasionally to keep his flying skills sharp. He had little tolerance for military personnel with alcohol problems.
Basko in his IRAS uniform
  • April 23, 1926 - participates in the ceremony where young aviation regiment recruits, graduating from basic training, give their military oath of allegiance.
  • September 17, 1929 - Basko leaves his post as commander of the Aviation Regiment in order to complete advanced officer training course.
  • September 19, 1929 - Transferred to the Technical Section.
  • 1930 - Basko, on one of his frequent visits to Daugavpils, requests that he be taken for a flight in one of Irbitis' sport aircraft. Emils Briedis is assigned as the pilot, and it is completed without incident.
  • May 31, 1931 - Participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • After completing the advanced officer training, he is assigned to the HQ staff, in charge of the technical division. He is also ultimately responsible for the aircraft inspection process.
  • An expert in all things aeronautical, he wrote and published many articles in Sparnota Latvija, Latvijas Kareivis, and the Latgale-published "Dryva".
  • April 26, 1938 - promoted to the rank of General and placed in command of all aviation (at this point, that included both military and civil aviation), reporting directly to the Commander of the Military Forces.
  • May 21, 1939 - Participated in the Aviation Festival at Daugavpils.
  • June 7, 1939 - As part of the Aviation Regiment's 20th anniversary, he is awarded the Viestura Ordenis, II Class.
  • 1940 - retired from the military. During his service in Latvia, he had been decorated with the Order of the Three Stars and the Order of Viesturs.
  • 1946 - dies, after undergoing neck surgery. He is laid to rest in the Kiriki cemetery.

Sources

- Briedis, Emils Latviesa Stasts
- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Krastins, Karlis in Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1990, No.5
- Latvijas Kareivis May 30, 1931
- Latvijas Kareivis June 2, 1931
- Prieditis, Erichs Eriks Latvijas Kara Flote

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