Aviators
P

PRIEDITIS, JANIS

Prieditis
  • Born: May 17, 1897 in Riga
  • June, 1915 - Joined the Russian army, assigned to the 1st Aviation Group in Petrograd.
  • Completed the aviation theory courses, then sent to Moscow for flight school.
  • 1917 - Temporary posting to France to attend the Farman flight school (and others) and earns the highest level of pilot qualifications.
  • At the end of 1917 he returns to Russia and receives a promotion in rank.
  • May 9, 1919 - serving in Zemgale for the Bolshevik air force, he flies over to the German side.
  • June 28, 1919 - he transfers to the Latvian military aviation unit. Rank: Sargeant
  • July 22, 1919 - ordered to form the first squadron, with himself as Commander.
  • July 29, 1919 - Assigned to commission overseeing acceptance of war trophy aircraft
  • August 5, 1919 - makes the first flight of the Latvian air force in his Nieuport.
  • August 25, 1919 - Prieditis flies the Nieuport for a half hour on a familiarization flight.
  • August 27, 1919 - Prieditis makes the second offensive sortie patrolling Krustpils-Livani-Cargrade-Krustpils. He dropped 7 bombs flying at an altitude of 900 metres for one hour and 10 minutes. The aircraft received bullet holes in three places. He ran out of gas and had to glide back to the aerodrome.
  • 1919 - promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Ercums
  • October 15, 1919 - distinguished himself in a particularly difficult 90-minute flight over the enemy near Daugavgriva. He dropped bombs, scattered the enemy, and made tactical observations. (Noted in his Order of Lacplesis citation)
  • October 18, 1919 - appointed commander of the 1st Squadron.
  • 1920 - Awarded the Lacplesis Order
  • March 26, 1920 - was a member of the commission charged with accepting the aircraft gifted from the British (Camels and Strutters)
  • July 25, 1920 - participated in the first Latvian Air Show (at Spilve) flying Sopwith Camel #6.
  • March 21, 1921 - The Aviation Division is established and Prieditis is appointed commander of the 1st Squadron.
  • August 7, 1921 - participated in the second Latvian Air Show (at Spilve) flying Nieuport 24bis (#4300).
  • 1922 - Completed Officer training courses, appointed commander of the Fighter Squadron.
  • 1923 - Promoted to the rank of Captain.
  • 1926 - Promoted to Lt.Colonel
  • 1928 - Appointed head of the Aviation training school.
  • 1929 - Assigned Regiment-wide administrative duties.
  • 1936 - Released from military service.
  • June 7, 1939 - As part of the Aviation Regiment's 20th anniversary, he is awarded the Viestura Ordenis III.class (with swords).
  • 1940 - (Soviet occupation) Arrested and condemned to death. Note that prominent among the 'evidence' against him was the text of his book "Musu Lacplesi" (Our Heroes).
  • Died: March 15, 1941 - Shot in the Riga Central Prison, by the Soviets.

    Sources

    - Atpuhta Magazine, No.289 (May 16, 1930)
    - Lacplesa Kara Ordena Kavalieri Ilze Antena, ed.
    - Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture Edvins Bruvelis

    With research contributions from M.Bukhman and E.Bruvelis.

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