Aviators
S

SPROGIS, FRICIS


Fricis Sprogis
  • March 4, 1897 - born
  • 1918 (Russian Civil War) - flies, as observer, with noted Estonian pilot I.Nusberg.
  • October 1919 - February 1920 - completes pilot training at the Jegorevska flight school in Russia.
  • 1922 - a member of a Soviet Fighter Squadron.
  • 1924 - receives his release from the Soviet military, returns to Latvia and joins the Aviation Regiment.
  • Nov.10, 1924 - October 2, 1925 - serves as a flight instructor'
  • June 13, 1925 - takes N.Pulin's "Spriditis II" on its first test flight. He and Pulins took this aircraft on tour, holding small one-plane aviation festivals with flying demonstration by Sprogis and lectures by Pulins. These were enthusiastically received in the smaller communities which rarely saw airplanes, and serves to raise money for Pulins' aviation projects.
  • During his service in the Aviation Regiment he flies an unusually wide assortment of aircraft.
  • 1930 - assigned to a reconnaissance unit, flying the Letov S.16
  • June 5, 1932 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • May 28, 1933 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • September 9, 1934 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • September 8, 1935 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • August 20, 1937 - selected for training as a pilot for the Valsts Gaisa Satiksme.
  • 1939 - serves as an instrument flight trainer for military pilots, using the Miles Magister aircraft.
  • 1940-1941 (Soviet Occupation) - Serves in the Latvian Squadron of the Soviet 24th Territorial Corps, stationed in Gulbene and flying the SV.5s. Rank: Sargeant.
  • June 26 1941 - the Germans attack the Soviet union and, when the Gulbene Squadron is ordered to withdraw into the Soviet Union, he departs with them, flying out in an SV5 with F.Ellins.. It is interesting to note that, a few days earlier when K.Krastins approached him to tell him of their plan to desert to the German side and invite him to join the group, he declined, but kept his word not to reveal their plan to the Soviet authorities.
  • Serves as a flight instructor in the Soviet Union.
  • Serves with the Latvian night bomber unit of the Soviet Air Force. Flying PO-2s, he sees a great deal of action and eventually is named Squadron Commander, with the rank of Captain.
  • December 30, 1944 - he is the pilot for the 4,000th combat mission flown by the Latvian/Soviet night bomber unit.
  • December 12, 1976 - Died, in Riga.

    Sources
    - Briedis, E. Latviesa Stasts
    - Bruvelis, E. Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
    - Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1983 No.4 pg. 9
    - Daugavas Vanagu Menesraksts, 1983 No.6 pg. 27, 28, 29
    - Irbitis, K. Of Struggle and Flight
    - Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.5, 1934
    - Latvijas Kareivis, Sept.11, 1934
    - Sparnota Latvija, No.61 (July 1939) pg.255
    - Vulfs, N. Reiz Celas Strelnieks Sarkanais

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