Aviators
S

SKURBE, ARVIDS

Skurbe
  • Born: October 23, 1888 in Dzukste - Irlava.
  • His father was Latvian, but his mother was of German/Swedish descent, and did not speak Latvian. As a result, the spoken language of his family was primarily German. Arvids grew up fluent in Latvian, German, Russian and French.
  • 1897 - his family moves to Jelgava
  • Began his education in Jelgava, with hopes of becoming a doctor, but his family could not afford the lengthy schooling which that would require and he began to consider a career as a military officer.
  • 1908 - Enrolled in the Vladimir Military College in St.Petersburg.
  • 1910 - Graduates from Military College with rank of Lieutenant, assigned to the 10th Grenadier Company.
  • 1914 - assigned to the 218th Gorbatovska regiment, commanding the machine gun unit.
  • Took part in the battles in Poland, wounded in the head and hand.
  • Recovered and was promoted to Captain.
  • Was gassed in action and sent to Vladimir to recover, where he marries Lidija Petrova (a Russian).
  • Converts to the Catholic faith.
  • September 1915 - he transfers to the Latvian Strelniek, Vidzemes 4th battalion as Commander.
  • Promoted to 1st Lieutenant, he is transferred to Moscow to command a Cadet Group. Skurbe
  • After the Russian Civil War he was released from the military and, as a instructor of the Officer class, is arrested by the Bolsheviks.
  • Worked in a slaughterhouse in Moscow.
  • 1920 - returned to Latvia
  • June 8, 1920 - joined the Latvian military, initially in the Border Guard, then in the armoured regiment and the tank regiment.
  • May 24, 1924 - Transferred to the Aviation Division, assigned to be assistant to the Commander.
  • Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
  • 1925 - Awarded the Order of Lacplesis.
  • January 4, 1926 - Carries out the role and responsibilities of Commander in Col.Basko's temporary absence.
  • promoted to Colonel.
  • March 3, 1926 - en route to the Aviation Show in Helsinki, Skurbe is a passenger when the Junkers F-13 he which he is travelling crashes in the fog. The aircraft is badly damaged, but he is unhurt.
  • November 1926 - graduates from flight school (observer)
  • October 27, 1927 - makes his first solo flight in Albatros #20 Skurbe
  • August 16, 1928 - qualifies as a pilot
  • 1929 - logs a total of 27.29 hours of flying time.
  • September 19, 1929 - Promoted to the rank of Colonel and made Commander of the Aviation Regiment. His period as Commander was marked by his focus on raising the standard of military competence and reinforcing military discipline.
  • May 31, 1931 - Participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • 1935 - Completes the advanced officer training courses.
  • August 10, 1935 - replaced, at his own request, as Commander of the Aviation Regiment (by J.Indans).
  • August 31, 1935 - named Commander of the Aviation school.
  • 1936-1939 - Technical division
  • 1939 - retired from the military, holding not only the Order of Lacplesis, but also the Order of the Three Stars, the Order of Viesturs and many decorations from foreign aviation services.
  • February 24, 1944 - (German occupation) named commander of the Riga military region. (Rank: Colonel)
  • His only son was killed while serving as an officer with the Latvian Legion.
  • 1944 - escaped to Germany, ended up on the Cedelheim DP camp, in Belgium.
  • Briefly lived in Grevene, West Germany.
  • 1947 - emigrated to England, where he became a leader of the Latvian community in Manchester.
  • 1957 - retires from his employment (he worked in a retirement/nursing home for military veterans).
  • March 22, 1972 - dies, in Hereford, England. Skurbe
    Sources
    - Atpuhta Magazine, No.289 (May 16, 1930)
    - Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
    - Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts 1958, No.6
    - Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts 1968, No.6
    - Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts 1972, No.3
    - Kadets No.4 (1974)
    - Lacplesa Kara Ordena Kavalieri Ilze Antena, ed.
    - Latviesu Karavirs Zem Kaskrusta Karoga Igors Varpa
    - Latvijas Kareivis May 30, 1931
    - Latvijas Kareivis June 2, 1931

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