Boriss Azeļickis
Azeļickis family archive

Boriss Azeļickis was an expert glider pilot and instructor at the Rīga Glider Flying school.[1]

Gliding emerged as a sport in post-WWI Germany because powered flight had been restricted by the Treaty of Versailles. Azeļickis graduated glider pilot training school in Darmstadt, Germany[2]—Darmstadt was home to one of some twenty centers of glider flying and instruction associated with German universities.

Returning to Latvia, Boriss became an active and enthusiast gliding proponent, teaching, competing, and writing extensively. In no small part owing to his efforts, gliding developed a significant following; 1939, a year before WWII, marked the first international Baltic glider competition.

Boriss Azelickis biography[3]

  • 1912: Born in Moscow.
  • As a child, flees the Bolshevik Revolution to Riga with his mother and brother.
  • Graduates with a business degree (“merchant”) and begins work in his grandfather’s canned goods Kuzubov factory in Rīga.
  • Begins to fly gliders in his teens. In 1934, undergoes training in Darmstadt, Germany, with well-known German aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, at the school for tethered gliding of the DFS (Deutsche Forderungsanstalt für den Segelflug — German Institute for Glider Research).
  • 1936: Marries Esther Spitzbarth.
  • 1937: Birth of his only child, Marina.
  • 1938: Continues to gain experience with gliders. Obtains his “Silver-C” badge (more than 200 hours’ flying) and his qualifications as principal flight instructor. Is named assistant to the director of the Gliders section of Latvian Aviation, in charge of training and organisation.
  • 1939: Competes in the First Baltic Sailplane competition in Kaunas, Lithuania.
  • 1940: Completes a sailplane flight of 250 km.
  • 1940: Remains in Riga after the invasion by the Red Army.
  • 1940: Contributes a chapter on Latvian gliding to the book edited by Hubert Zuerl entitled “Der Segelflug im Wettbewerb der Völker” (Berlin 1941).
  • 1941: Migrates to Germany, as part of the Baltic Germans resettlement program. Is interned in camps for displaced persons in Ludwigslust, Germany. Attempts unsuccessfully to reunite with his wife and daughter in Posnan, Poland.
  • 1941: Is drafted into the Luftwaffe and is billeted at a base in Königsberg, Germany.
  • 1941: Disappears during a reconnaissance flight over Russia. Is believed to have died during that mission.


Newspaper and Periodical Clippings

[1Spārnota Latvija, 1 January 1937, retrieved 19 February 2016.
[2Spārnota Latvija, 11 January 1935, retrieved 19 February 2016.
[3In Russian, Boris Azelitzky, Борис Азлелицкий. Biographical information from the Azelickis family.
Updated: May, 2016

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