- Learned to fly while serving with the Czarist Russian military, continued to fly for the Bolsheviks after the Revolution.
On February 8, 1919, with the Reds occupying Riga, he is based with the Soviet 1st Aviation Unit at Spilve.
When the Bolsheviks began to withdraw from Latvia, he deserted and hid until the Red forces had left.
- He became a founding member of the Latvian Air Force (Rank: Lieutenant) which, at the time, consisted of a cadre of experienced pilots without aircraft to fly.
- June 26-27, 1919 - Skrastins is a member of a group of 30 Latvian nationalists who are marching to reinforce Lt.Kraulis' group in Riga.
En route, they are attacked by a group of German soldiers. In the resulting skirmish three Germans are killed and a number
are wounded with no Latvian casualties reported.
- When aircraft become available, Skrastins is placed in command of the 2nd Flight/Unit, with a roster of 5 aviators.
- 1928 - Commander of the 2nd Squadron.
- March 5, 1920 - completes a reconnaissance flight of the Daugavgriva region.
- March 10, 1920 - with observer Rullis he completes a reconnaissance flight of the Tornakalns area, During this flight they prepare maps
outlining German positions.
- April 12, 1920 - while transferring Sopwith Strutter #5254 from Riga/Spilve to Rezekne he crashes, near Koknese.
- May 2, 1920 - V.Skrastins becomes the first fatality of Latvian military aviation. Flying Sopwith Camel #6 he was
taking off from Spilve when his engine failed and he crashed heavily.
Bruvelis, Edvins. Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
Sparnota Latvija, No.24 (Jun 1936) pg.723
Sparnota Latvija, No.71/72 (May 1940) pg.166
LATVIANAVIATION.COM contents copyright © 2021 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