Aviators
B

BULMANIS, NIKOLAJS

Bulmanis
  • 1900, May 29 - Born, in Jaunpils.
  • 1918 - Completed Alexander II high school in Russia
  • 1919, May 5 - as a volunteer, joined the Latvian Army, was assigned to the "Student" Company of the Kalpaka Battalion and participated in the Latvian War of Independence.
  • 1919, May 20 - wounded in the right hand.
  • 1919, November 9 - assigned to military college.
  • 1920, May 20 - Graduated from miitary college. Rank: Lieutenant
  • 1920, June 5 - Assigned to the 2nd Ventspils Infantry.
  • 1922, Dec.1 - promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant
  • 1923 - Completed the supplementary officer training program
  • 1924, May 29 - Transferred to the aviation school.
  • 1925, November 9 - makes his first solo flight (Sopwith Strutter #2)
  • 1925 - passes his flight test (Avro #33)
  • 1926, January 22 - flies Albatros #3
  • 1926, August 30 - flies Martinsyde ADC #1
  • 1926, Nov 25 - Completes his exams, graduates from flight school, and is designated as a qualified pilot. Assigned to the artillery spotting unit.
  • 1926, October 16 - 18 - participates in the Goodwill flight to Estonia
  • 1927, Feburary 11 - flies Gourdou Lesseure #30
  • 1927, March 14-June 6 - Completed air gunnery and bombing courses in Bordeaux, France.
  • 1927, July 14-Sept.2 - Acting Commander of the Reconnaissance Squadron.
  • 1928, March 21 - promoted to the rank of Captain.
  • 1928, April - transferred to flight school to serve as a practical instructor.
  • 1928, April 13 - flies SVA #38.
  • 1928, April 18 - passes the examinations and achieves the status of "active combat pilot"
  • 1928, September 3 - Assigned as Commander of the Mechanical Division at the flight school.
  • 1928, September 10 - Crashes (with 1st. Lt. Gravers) in DFW C.V #3. Suffered fractures to the nose and upper jaw, remained in hospital until Oct.9. The aircraft was destroyed and not repairable.
  • 1928 - logged a total of 171.04 hours of flying time (the second highest in the Aviation Regiment) while serving as a flight instructor.
  • 1929, January 1 - Assigned as Commander of the observer/pilot Division of the flight school.
  • 1929, July 18 - flies the Letov S.16 #48
  • 1929, August 21-Sept. 2 - travels to Sweden to evaluate potential aircraft purchases.
  • 1929, November 12-Decermber 22 - travels to Poland to evaluate potential aircraft purchases.
  • 1930, February 14 - flew Bristol Bulldog #70
  • 1930, Feb.14 -1932 - Squadron Leader of the 1st Fighter Squadron, flying Bristol Bulldogs.
  • 1930, May 25 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • 1930, June 6-July 15 - travels to England to evaluate potential aircraft purchases.
  • 1930, November 11 - force-lands Martinsyde ADC.1 #61 in a ditch.
  • 1931, May 31 - Participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • 1931, Sept.1 - begins 2-year advanced Staff Officer training program at the Belgian War Academy.
  • 1933, August 9 - completes the program of study in Brussels, successfully passes the examinations, and returns to Latvia.
  • 1933, Oct. 6 - Assigned to the Technical Division HQ.
  • 1934, Jan.27 - placed in command of the Fighter Aircraft section of the Aviation Regiment.
  • 1934, Sept.9 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • 1934, Nov.1 - Assigned as adjutant to the Aviation Regiment commander.
  • 1935 - The Civil Aviation Command is established, and Bulmanis is selected as its first administrator, serving from Jan.28 - May 22, 1935.
  • 1936, April 6 - a member of the Board which evaluated and recommended the purchase of Gloster Gladiators from England.
  • 1935, April 9-May 6 - travels abroad to evaluate potential aircraft purchases.
  • 1935, May 14 - promoted to rank of Lt.Colonel.
  • 1936, July 7 - participated in the Aviation Festival at Spilve.
  • 1936, July 10-Sept.2 - travels to Poland to evaluate potential aircraft purchases. While in Poland he flew the Potez XXV, RWD 8 and R.XIII.
  • 1936, September 27 - attends the start of the first "Flight Around Latvia" competition.
  • 1936, Dec 1 - is 'checked out' on the Stampe & Vertongen SV5.
  • 1937, February 2 - a member of the Board which proposed the purchase of Hawker Hind aircraft, which would serve as a transitional trainer to help pilots adjust to the much greater speed of the Gladiators.
  • 1936, April 16 - assigned as Aviation Program Administrator.
  • 1938, August 21 - as assistant to the Commander of the Aviation Regiment (and with the rank of Lt-Colonel) he participates in the Aviation Festival at Spilve.
  • 1938 - flew a Polish PWS-26.
  • 1939 - Aviation Program is renamed the Aviation School, he remains on as Commander of the Aviation School.
  • 1944, August 22 - (German Occupation) - called into the Aviation Branch, where he is to be made Commander of NSG 12. His first task is to renew his flying skills at the Kalnciems aerodrome and, after a brief check-out, he reports for duty with the squadron.
  • 1944, September 18 - Named Commander of NSG 12.
  • 1944, September - Z.Tamsons defects to Sweden, and the aircraft with which he escapes also contains Bulmanis' briefcase. Months later, probably as a result of the missing papers, Bulmanis is falsely reported to have, himself, defected to Sweden.
  • 1944, December - the Latvian aviation unit is officially disbanded and Bulmanis is assigned to the 15th Latvian Division, training and reserve batallion. He reports for duty but, because of damaged hearing, does not pass the medical test of fitness for duty, and is released from service. He joins his family in Germany and, at the end of hostilities, they find themselves in the French-controlled sector of Austria.
  • 1947-1948 - military officers in Belgium, whom he knew from 1933-34 when completing his advanced officer training in Brussels, learn of his situation and offer to help him find a suitable position in Belgium. He remains there until 1950 when he emigrates to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to join his son.
  • During his career, he earned:
    • War of Liberation medal
    • Latvian Republic 10th Anniversary medal
    • Order of the Three Stars - IV and V class
    • Belgian Crown Order, IV class
    • Rank: Lt.-Colonel
  • 1990 - Died, in Toronto, Canada

Sources

- Briedis, Emils Latviesa Stasts
- Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1979 No.6 pg. 19
- Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1980 No.1 pg. 37
- Hazners & Berzins (ed) Latviesu Karavirs Otra Pasaules Kara Laika, Vol.7 pg.36, 39,
          45, 46, 50
- Kadets No.9, pg.65
- Latvijas Kareivis May 22, 1930
- Latvijas Kareivis May 30, 1931
- Latvijas Kareivis June 2, 1931
- Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.5, 1934
- Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.11, 1934
- Neulen, H.W. In The Skies of Europe, pg. 303
- Silgailis, A. Latviesu Legions, pg. 225
- Sparnota Latvija

I would like to thank the Bulmanis family for their generous help in the preparation of this brief Biography.

LATVIANAVIATION.COM contents copyright © 2017 Gunārs Zūlis and heirs. All Rights Reserved.
Contributors of individual materials retain all rights to their collections and creative works.
LATVIANAVIATION.COM is a LATVIANS.COM project.

Design and hosting by [Clear-and-Simple] · Chicago · New York