Aviators
K

KALNINS, KARLIS

Karlis Kalnins 1937
  • July 12, 1901 - Born in Vietalvas pagasts, near Madona
  • 1919 - volunteers for the Latvian army, assigned to the 4th Valmiera Infantry. Participated in the battles against the Soviets and also Bermont-Avalov.
  • 1920 - demobilized from the military because he was too young to qualify for peacetime military service. Decorated with the War of Independence medal.
  • 1921 - returns to active military service and is now assigned to the 5th Cesis infantry, in a machine gun unit. While serving with this unit he attains the rank of Sargeant.
  • 1926 - transferred to the Aviation Park, shortly to become the Aviation Regiment.
  • 1926 - graduates from flight school (observer) and is assigned to a Reconnaissance squadron.
  • August 13, 1928 - makes his first solo flight (Letov S.16)
  • Kalnins proves to have a skill for training, and becomes active in training other aviation personnel.
  • May 25, 1930 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • 1931 - is decorated with the Order of the Three Stars
  • Sept.9, 1934 - Participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • May 1936 - promoted to Staff Sargeant, assigned to the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron.
  • 1937 - promoted to the rank of administrative Lieutenant in the mechanical (aviation) specialty.
  • 1939 - decorated with the Viesturs Order, 5th class.
  • 1939 (Soviet Occupation) - Kalnins is required to serve with the Latvian "Gulbene" squadron in the Soviet 24th Territorial Corps.
  • 1941 (Soviet Occupation) - when the Soviets retreated from the German invasion, Kalnins was forced to withdraw with the rest of the Squadron into the Soviet Union. There, he was required to continue to serve in Soviet Military Aviation.
  • After the war he returned to Latvia and found employment in the Electrical Power industry in the northeast of the country.
  • 1993 - he joins the Latvian Military Officers Society. He always viewed his forced service with the Soviets as a blot on his career and, accordingly, requested he be granted membership at the rank which he held when he last served in the Latvian military, foregoing the promotions earned within the Soviet military. In November of 1993 he was officially promoted by the new Latvian military to the rank of 1st Lieutenant (retired).
  • January 6, 1997 - Aiviekste, Latvia. Laid to rest in the Vietalvas cemetary.

    Sources

    - Briedis, E. Latviesa Stasts, pg. 173, 178, 186, 197
    - Bruvelis, E. Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
    - Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1983 No.6 pg. 27, 28
    - Latvijas Kareivis, May 22, 1930
    - Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.5, 1934
    - Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.11, 1934
    - Loza & Ozolins, Latviesu Lidotaji Vol.2, pg. 79
    - Sparnota Latvija, No.58 (Apr 1939) pg.131
    - Vulfs, N. Reiz Celas Strelnieks Sarkanais pg. 3, 8

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