Aviators
D

DRILLIS, RUDOLFS

Drillis
  • May 10, 1893 - Born in Grostona, near Madona.
  • 1914 - enrolled in the Riga Polytechnical Institute.
  • 1915 - moves to St.Petersburg
  • 1916 - volunteers for the St.Petersburg 1st Aviation Unit in the Imperial Russian Air Force. He is sent to Peter I Polytechnical Institute for aviation-related studies. Graduates from the St.Petersburg aviation officers school.
  • Upon graduating he receives a promotion, is transferred to the aviation reserve and dispatched to Sevastopol for pilot training.
  • March 19, 1917 - completes his first solo flight (in a Farman Type IV).
  • Upon completing flight school, he is again promoted and then returned to his unit.
  • January 1, 1918 - released from military service. Despite his successful graduation from pilot training at Sevastopol, for the remainder of his military career he never again piloted an aircraft.
  • January 7, 1919 - returns to Latvia and finds employment as a primary school teacher.
  • July 27, 1919 - Called into the Latvian military and assigned to the aviation section, from where he is immediately reassigned to the army's technical branch, aviation section. Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • September 13, 1919 - transferred back to the Aviation Park.
  • October 13, 1919 - named Commander of the Aviation Park.
  • October 1919 - Drillis requests, and receives, the authority for the army technical division to retire aircraft which are not suitable for continued service.
  • November 1919 - organizes and directs a major catalogue project, searching abandoned airfields for suitable aircraft and supplies for the Aviation Park.
  • December 9, 1919 - in a secret memo to the military command he is critical of the performance of his predecessor, A.Valeika. He cites the disorganized manner in which the aviation section was re-deployed during the Bermont-Avalov crisis.
  • December 21, 1919 - promoted to rank of 1st Lieutenant.
  • November 23, 1920 - a founding member of the original Latvian Aero Club.
  • February 12, 1921 - retires from military service. He returns to his studies, earns a doctorate in biomechanics and then becomes a professor at Latvian University.
  • 1944 - fled to Germany, where he administered the Latvian schools in Augsburg.
  • 1950 - emigrated to the USA.
  • October 17, 1982 - dies, in the USA.

Sources

- Andersons, E. Latvijas Brunotie Speki, pg. 288
- Bruvelis, E. Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
- Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1969 No.2 pg. 14 [Rucels]
- Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1991 No.1 pg. 53 [CM]
- Insignia Magazine - Latvian Air Force 1918-1940 pg. 8
- Irbitis, K Latvijas Aviacija un tas Pionieri pg. 24
- Irbitis, K. Of Struggle and Flight
- Sparnota Latvija, No.36 (Jun 1937) pg.170
- Subota, Sandra Aviacijas Attistiba Latvija, pg. 1, 3, 4, 6

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