Chronology

LATVIAN AVIATION CHRONOLOGY

1919

  • February 7 Nikolajs Pulins distinguishes himself in action, for which he subsequently receives the Order of Lacplesis.
  • February 8 The Bolshevik 1st Aviation Division departs from its base at Spilve.
  • May 9 Three Latvian pilots (Janis Prieditis, Voldemars Jakubovs and Narciss Puskelis) defect from the Bolsheviks, bringing their Nieuports with them.
  • May 22 The Bolsheviks withdraw from Riga and Kurzeme. The Germans take Spilve.
  • May 22 Eduard Tomsons deserts from the Bolsheviks and joins the Latvian aviation regiment on June 13.
  • June 7 The founding day of the Latvian Army Aviation Group.
  • June 19 Eduards Tomsons becomes assistant to commander Valleika.
  • June The Sachsenberg squadron is briefly based at Spilve.
  • July 10 the Latvian Army is founded, though they had already been active for many months by that time.
  • July 20 Latvian aviators hijack a shipment of aircraft from the Germans, two of which eventually become Latvian Military Aviation's first airplanes.
  • July 22 The first unit of the air force is established, commanded by Janis Prieditis, complete with 68 support personnel but no airplanes flying yet.
  • July 30, 1919 - The first Sablatnig P.III arrives at Spilve, carrying mail from Sweden and Estonia.
  • "Aeronaut" director Horst arrives at Spilve to arrange for a regular air passenger route to operate between Riga-Tallinn-Stockholm, twice weekly.
  • August 5 Sgt.Prieditis makes the first flight of the Latvian Air Group in the Nieuport 24bis.
  • August 7 The Sopwith Strutter gets its first test flight at Spilve.
  • August 20 The 2nd Aviation Squadron is established, under the command of 1st Lt. Snikeris.
  • August 26 Jakubovs & Zutte make the first military sortie, going on a bombing mission in the Sopwith Strutter.
  • August 27 Sgt.Prieditis takes the Nieuport 24bis on a sortie, bombing a railway station.
  • August Nikolajs Pulins is assigned to the 2nd Aviation Squadron as a corporal/mechanic.
  • September 7 Augusts Lazdins joins the Aviation Park.
  • September 30 The two Latvian Army Aviation Groups are combined to form the Latvian Aviation Park.
  • October 1 Bermont-Avalov forces launch their attack upon Riga.
  • October 6 Bermont begins his move upon Riga, with the actual attack starting on the 8th.
  • October 8 - Jakubovs and Peics, flying Sopwith Strutter #2341, complete a recon of Bermont's forces.
  • Jakubovs and Zutte, flying Sopwith Strutter #2341, complete a brief test flight.
  • October 9 - Prieditis transfers Nieuport #4300 from Krustpils to the Krustabaznicas Aerodrome.
  • Prieditis flys a recon of Kekava with Nieuport #4300.Jakubovs & Zutte, flying Sopwith #2341, transfer from Jaunjumpravmuiza to Sigulda.
  • October 10 Prieditis transfers Nieuport #4300 from Spilve to Sigulda.
  • October 11 - Prieditis flies a combat patrol to Kekava and Tornakalns and back.
  • Jakubovs and Zutte, in Sopwith 2341, fly a recon/bombing mission to Kekava and Tornakalns.
  • October 12 - Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a recon to Daugavgriva and Bulduri.
  • Jakubovs and Zutte, in Sopwith # 2341, fly a recon of Jaunjelgava - Kekava.
  • October 13 - Lt.Rudolf Drillis is named Commander of the Latvian Aviation Park.
  • Jakubovs and Zutte, flying Sopwith #2341, fly a bombing/recon mission to Jaunjelgava area.
  • October 14 - Prieditis flies a combat patrol in the Nieuport in the vicinity of Bulduri and Olaine.
  • Prieditis flys a combat patrol along the Jelgava-Riga highway.P.Zeltins is named adjutant to the Commander of the Aviation Park (Drillis).
  • October 15 Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies an artillery spotting mission for the British/French naval forces.
  • October 17 - Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a combat mission in the Bulli, Daugavgriva area, dropping propaganda leaflets as well.
  • Jakubovs and Sparins, in Sopwith #2341, fly a recon/bombing mission in the vicinity of Baldone.
  • October 19 R.Drillis reduces the aviation division complement sending many to infantry units (including Nikolajs Pulins).
  • October 21 Jakubovs, in Nieuport 4300, flies a combat patrol in the vicinity of Baldone-Dole.
  • October 22 - Jakubovs and Dums, in Sopwith #2341, fly a recon/bombing mission in the vicinity of Nordeki.
  • Jakubovs and Sparins crash and destroy Sopwith Strutter #2341 while taking off from Krustabaznicas aerodrome.
  • October 23 Jakubovs, in the Nieuport, flies a combat patrol in the region outside of Riga, dropping propaganda leaflets.
  • October 24 Jakubovs, in the Nieuport, flies a combat patrol in the region outside of Riga, dropping propaganda leaflets.
  • October 28 A German aircraft is brought down by Latvian small arms fire near Baldone.
  • November 1 Prieditis takes off in the Nieuport but has to immediately land with a failing engine.
  • November 2 - Prieditis takes the Nieuport on a test flight (engine repairs).
  • Mardoks and Millers transfer Sopwith Strutter #7046 from Sigulda to Krustabaznicas aerodrome.
  • November 3 - Jakubovs and Zutte fly a recon/bombing mission in the vicinity of Riga.
  • Mardoks and Sparins, in Sopwith #7046, make a brief flight but turn back almost immediately due to poor weather conditions.Mardoks and Sparins, in Sopwith #7046, make a recon/bombing flight in the area to the south of Riga.Mardoks and Zutte, in Sopwith #7046, make a recon/bombing flight in the Bolderaja vicinity.
  • November 4 - Jakubovs and Sparins, in Sopwith #7046, fly a bombing mission in the vicinity of Kekava-Baldone.
  • Mardoks and Zutte, in Sopwith #7046, fly a recon/bombing mission in the vicinity of Bulduri.Jakubovs and Sparins, in Sopwith #7046, fly a bombing mission to Dzilnas.Mardoks and Zutte, in Sopwith #7046, fly a bombing mission to Dubulti, damage the aircraft when landing.Prieditis, in Nieuport 4300, flies a combat/bombing mission in the vicinity of Olaine-Kekava.
  • November 8 Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a recon mission in the vicinity of Baldone.
  • November 9 Jakubovs, in Nieuport #4300, bombs and strafes a train and ground troops near Kekava.
  • November 10 - Jakubovs and Sparins, flying Sopwith Strutter #7046, make a forced landing between the lines near Tornakalns. The aircraft was recovered, basically undamaged, on Nov.12
  • Prieditis, in Nieuport #4300, flies a recon mission in the vicinity of Agenskalns.
  • November 11 Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a recon mission in the vicinity of Tornakalns.
  • November 12 - Mardoks and Frisbirs (mechanic) fly the Sopwith back from Tornakalns to Krustabaznicas aerodrome.
  • Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a recon mission in the vicinity of Mustave-Olaine.Jakubovs, in the Nieuport, flies a recon mission in the vicinity of Olaine.
  • November 13 Polish aviators Dhenins and Muzkovski crash near Nitaure. Their Salmson 2A2 was totally destroyed.
  • November 13 Jakubovs and Zutte, flying Sopwith Strutter #7046, are attacked by two German aircraft but managed to return to base.
  • November 15 Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a recon mission to Jelgava.
  • November 16 - Prieditis, in the Nieuport, flies a recon mission to Neigute.
  • Mardoks and Sparins, in Sopwith #7046, fly a mission to Jelgava, bombing the trains and supplies in the Jelgava station.
  • November 19 - Mardoks and Sparins, flying Sopwith Strutter #7046, come upon a German reconnaissance 2-seater and attack it. They exchange fire, but neither aircraft is brought down.
  • Jakubovs and Sparins, flying Sopwith Strutter #7046, make the last combat sortie of the Bermont-Avalov campaign.
  • November 24 Latvians take inventory of aircraft and parts abandoned at Petersfeld by the retreating Germans.
  • November 29 Bermont-Avalov's forces withdraw past Latvia's borders.
  • Prieditis relocates the Nieuport from the Krustabaznicas aerodrome to Spilve.
  • Mardoks and Millers relocate the Sopwith Strutter from the Krustabaznicas aerodrome to Spilve.
  • Sopwith Strutter 7046 (later, #2) crashes at Spilve and requires repair.Spilve is designated as the main base for Latvian military aviation.
  • December 13 a Board of Inspection evaluates the aircraft (and parts) left behind by the Germans.
  • December 17 The first of the Sopwith Camels (#8137), gifted from the British, arrives in Spilve.
  • December 24 Jakubovs takes the first Fokker D.VII for its first test flight.

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