Aviators
Z

ZARINS, ALEKSANDRS

  • Learned to fly with the Russian air force, and flew for the White Russians during the Russian Civil War. Rank: Corporal
  • May 13, 1920 - (Latgale Front) - transfers Sopwith Camel #17 from Riga/Spilve to Rezekne.
  • May 20, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes two recon flights of the Osveja - Velikoje region.
  • May 24, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes a recon flight of the Osveja-Kahanovici-Drisa region.
  • June 14, 1920 - in Camel #17. completes a test flight in the vicinity of Rezekne.
  • June 17, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes a recon and bombing flight in the Ostrova-Opocka, Sebeza region.
  • June 22, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes a recon flight of the Sebeza, Indrica, Opocka and Rozanova region.
  • July 7, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes a test flight in the vicinity of Rezekne.
  • July 13, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes a test flight in the vicinity of Rezekne.
  • July 14, 1920 - in Camel #17, completes a recon flight over Rusoni, Sebeza and Indrica, then transfers the aircraft to Riga/Spilve. In total, he completed six combat flights during the Latgale campaign.
  • July 25, 1920 - participates in the first Latvian Aviation Festival, held at Spilve/Riga.
  • November 3, 1920 - flies one of three Sopwith Camels which are assigned to Petersfeld airfield for three days to evaluate that airfield's suitablity for future operations.
  • November 18, 1920 - participates in an air force fly-over at Dobele to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Latvian Independence.
  • March 21, 1921 - the Aviation Park is reorganized into the "Aviacijas Divizions" - Aviation Division (note: much smaller than the usual meaning of the term "Division", which is known, in Latvian, as a Divizija). Ltn.Zarins is placed in command of the 3rd Section which, initially, included only four aircraft.
  • August 7, 1921 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • March 1922 - participates in the effort to provision (by air) German ships stuck in the Bay of Riga ice.
  • 1923 - assigned to the Flight School as an instructor. Among the many pilots that he trained was R.Gulbis, and Zarins name appears in Gulbis' log book as the instructor who prepared him for his first solo flight.
  • August 6, 1923 - designated as one of only a handful of aviators initially permitted to fly the new Ansaldo Balillas.
  • June 15, 1924 - in Sopwith Camel #17 participates in the aviation festival at Riga/Spilve.
  • October 29,. 1925 - test flies and accepts two Avro trainers (#s 36 and 37) purchased from the British.
  • 1928 - the first receipient of the Clifford Harmon trophy for Latvia - an award handed out annually to the best Latvian aviator.
  • March 1, 1929 - named commander of the newly-formed Fighter Squadron of the Naval Aviation Section, stationed in Liepaja. Rank: Captain.
  • June 12, 1931 - flew Fiat CR.1 #16 from Spilve to Daugavpils to participate in the skills training camp.
  • September 28, 1932 - test flies and passes He-4 #11 after a major rebuild.
  • December 1931 - after the tragic accident of Nov.6, 1931 the commander of the Naval Recon Squadron is relieved from duty and Zarins is temporarily in command of both the Recon and the Fighter Squadrons.
  • September 12, 1933 - test flies and passes He-4 #10 after a major rebuild.
  • December 2, 1933 - serves as a member of a committee formed to review the continued airworthiness of the He-4s.
  • January 4, 1934 - serves as a member of a committee formed to review the continued airworthiness of Caudron C.60 #6.
  • June 28, 1934 - He-4 #10 crashes after the controls fail. Zarins is able to bail out, but his two passengers perish.
  • July 20, 1935 - named Commander of the Naval Section.
  • May 25, 1936 - the Naval Section is liquidated and replaced with the 8th Naval Reconnaissance Squadron, with Zarins staying on as commander.
  • June 22 - July 6, 1936 - flying Fairey Seal #28, with passengers Janis Indans and Adolfs Lidaka, participates in the goodwill flight around Europe.
  • October 29, 1936 - Zarins is relieved of command of the 8th Naval Reconnaissance Squadron. It was announced that this was done for reasons of poor health, but in fact J.Indans was dissatisfied with Zarin's progress in establishing and expanding the Squadron and replaced him with K.Ercums.
  • July 10, 1938 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Kuldiga.
  • 1941 (Soviet Occupation) - Arrested and deported to Siberia.

    Sources

    - Briedis, Emils Latviesa Stasts
    - Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
    - Jaunais Kurzemnieks July 13, 1938
    - Prieditis, Erichs Eriks Latvijas Kara Flote
    - R.Gulbis' log book

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