Aviators
B

BRIEDIS, EMILS Emils Briedis

  • July 4, 1905 - Born, in Stende pag.
  • 1914 - attended primary school locally
  • During WWI, his family fled to Russia. First, to Pogoreloje Gorodisce, then Moscow, where he continued his primary schooling.
  • 1918 - his family moves to Siberia.
  • July 1921 - the family returns to Latvia.
  • February, 1926 - joins the Aviation Regiment
  • April 23, 1926 - having completed his basic military training, he signs his military pledge.
  • Serves in the Aviation Regiment as a records clerk.
  • 1933 - completes the "motorists" course
  • 1934 - is offered an administrative position in the newly-founded Latvian Aero Club, but he declines as it would have required him to leave the Regiment.
  • July 9, 1935 - makes his first solo flight, in a Flamingo, at Spilve.
  • September 1935 - assigned to the 2nd Fighter Squadron. Rank: sergeant
  • September 22, 1937 - crashed Martinsyde ADC.1 #66, near Carnikava.
  • August 21, 1938 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • Summer, 1938 - assigned Gloster Gladiator #166.
  • October, 1938 - still on the roster of the 2nd Fighter Squadron.
  • January, 1941 - (Soviet Occupation) - accepted as a pilot in the civil aviation service, flying ambulance aircraft.
  • July, 1941 - Sent to the Mineralnije Vodye for training on twin-engined aircraft, then assigned to Eastern Siberia.
  • Serves as a flight instructor in Siberia.
  • Assigned to the Soviet (Latvian) night-bomber unit, flying U-2 biplanes.
  • Shot down by German anti-aircraft fire. His navigator dies and he is burned in the crash.
  • Captured by the Germans and returned to Riga for questioning.
  • Sent to a series of POW and work camps in Germany, from which he makes two unsuccessful escapes.
  • Liberated from the POW camp by the Americans. Given a choice to escape to the west but, after hearing that the Soviet Union has pledged amnesty to Soviet military personnel released from POW camps, he decides to return.
  • After being questioned by Soviet authorities, he is permitted to return to Riga where he lives, with his family, for about two years.
  • November 27, 1948 - he is arrested and faces unfounded charges, essentially for being a surviving prisoner of the Germans.
  • February 5, 1949 - his is sentenced to 15 years labour in Siberia, along with the loss of his rank of Lieutenant.
  • December 8, 1954 - he is released from the camp in Siberia and returns to Riga.

Sources

- Latviesa Stasts Emils Briedis
- Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture Edvins Bruvelis

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