Aircraft Not Used
Latvian Navy (pre-WW2)

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the pre-WW2 Latvian Naval Aviation Division but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Hansa Brandenburg W.33
A design of this type was operated by the Latvian Navy, but the aircraft were actually Finnish licence-built IVL A.22 versions.

Heinkel He 5
The Navy operated the Swedish licence-built version of the He 5, the Svenska Aero S11 1919.

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Latvian Navy (Pre-WW2)

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Caudron C.60 2 1925 1938 France/Latvia
Fairey Seal 4 1935 1940 United Kingdom
Fiat CR.1 6 1926 1931 Italy
Hanriot HD-17 1 1924 1928 France
Hanriot HD-19a 1 1925 1929 France
IVL A.22 4 1926 1933 Finland/Latvia
SIAI S.16ter 4 1923 1926 Italy
Svenska Aero SA-10 Pirat 2 1929 1936 Sweden/Latvia
Svenska Aero S-11a 8 1926 1936 Sweden

Additional information is welcome

Latvian Navy (pre-WW2)

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Latvian Navy was first established in August 1919 as a unit (Maritime Division) of the Latvian Army. In January 1922 the Army Aviation Regiment established a Naval Aviation Department to co-operate with the Navy. In 1923 the Department was placed under the direct control of the Navy, thus forming a separate Naval Aviation unit. In May 1926 the Aviation unit was officially expanded to a Naval Aviation Division. In 1936 the Naval Aviation Division became part of the (Army) Aviation Regiment and was renamed Naval Reconnaissance Squadron No.8.

Key Dates

10 August 1919    Maritime Division established by Army Headquarters.
1 January 1922    Maritime Aviation Department created within Army Aviation Regiment.
1923    Maritime Aviation Department placed under direct control of Navy HQ.
1 May 1926    A separate Naval Aviation Division is established.
1936    Naval Aviation Division is absorbed into the Air Force.

Current Status

Transferred to Army in 1936 – not applicable.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Latvian naval aircraft were allocated a two-digit serial number between 10 and 29, e.g. Fairey Seal ’26’. Upon transfer to the Army in 1936, the surviving aircraft were re-serialled with three-digit numbers, e.g. the same Fairey Seal became ‘101’.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Liepaja

Organisational Structure

To be added.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The main Naval airfield was at Liepaja, but a couple of other airfields were also used.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Latvian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Latvian Air Force 1918-1940, Insignia Air Force Special No.5, Blue Rider 2000

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Latvian Aviation

National Markings
Latvian Navy (Pre-WW2)

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Pre-WW2 Latvian Naval Aviation Division since its formation:



  
Main MarkingFin Flash

1923-1936
The main marking, a red Swastika, was displayed in the standard six positions – above and below each wing and on each side of the fuselage. A black anchor marking was also applied to the rudder on some aircraft types.

Aircraft Not Used (Pre-WW2)

by the Latvian Air Force

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the pre-WW2 Latvian Air Force but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Albatros C.I
At least one Albatros C.I is reported to have been used, but the aircraft operated by Latvia were actually B.II examples.

Albatros C.XV
The wreck of one Albatros C.XV (serial 7818/18) was captured in 1919. It was not considered worth repairing, and so did not enter service.

APD AVDI Biplane
One AVDI Biplane was reportedly built by APD in 1929. This appears to be the result of some confusion with the APD AVDI parasol monoplane, with was evaluated by the Air Force in 1928.

Aviatik C.V
One Aviatik C.V serial 12 (ex 8205/18) was reported in use 1920-22. It was actually an Aviatik-built DFW C.V abandoned by the Germans in 1919.

Avro 616 Avian
Bert Hinkler made a non-stop flight to Riga in a Avro 581 Avian in 1927, but the machine continued in his ownership afterwards.

Dornier Do 22
Four aircraft of the Do 22K1 variant were actually ordered by Latvia, but were not delivered before the Soviet invasion in 1940.

PZL P.11
An unknown number of P.11s are reported to have flown to Latvia from Poland in September 1939, but none were taken into Latvian Air Force service.

PZL P.46/11 Sum
One example is reported fleeing to Latvia from Poland in September 1939, but none were taken into Latvian Air Force service.

Salmson 2A2
A Polish Salmson 2A2 crash-landed near Nitaure on 15 October 1919, but the wreck was considered too badly damaged to repair for Latvian use.

VEF I-12
One example reportedly obtained in 1939, but all military examples were actually operated by the Aizsargu Aviacija (National Guard).

VEF I-14
One aircraft was reportedly obtained for evaluation, but the sole prototype actually crashed a few months after its first flight and was not repaired.

MOre background info here http://latvianaviation.com/Purchases_Index.html

Latvian Air Force (Pre-WW2)

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Narrative history of the Latvian Air Force

Key Dates

AP Chronology

Current Status

Disbanded in 1940 – not applicable.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Latvian military aircraft before WW2 carried a two or three-digit serial number, allocated sequentially, e.g. Letov S.16 ’25’ or Gloster Gladiator ‘114’.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Vilnius.

Organisational Structure

To be added.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

In addition to the main base, here are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which were sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Latvian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Latvian Air Force 1918-1940, Insignia Air Force Special No.5, Blue Rider 2000

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Latvian Aviation

Latvian wikipedia

Narrative History (Pre-WW2)

of the Latvian Air Force

The Latvian Air Force was first formed in 1919, but details of its early history are sketchy. Lieutnant Alfred Valeika was ordered to form a Latvian Army Aviation Group on 7 June 1919. He gathered together a number of personnel with flying and technical experience gained from service in the Russian Bolshevik Air Service. In July the first aircraft were obtained, by hijacking a shipment of ex-Soviet aircraft captured by the Germans. After minor repairs these machines saw service against Russo-German forces occupying the country. Another aircraft was obtained subsequently, and used to form a second aviation unit.

On 30 September 1919 the two Army Aviation Groups were amalgamated to form the Latvian Aviation Park. The defeat of the Russo-German forces in mid October 1919 left a number of aircraft at abandoned German airfields. Those in the best state were overhauled and restored to flying condition. In 1920 a School of Military Aviation was established. March 1921 saw a re-organisation which resulted in Latvian Aviation Division being created. Further expansion resulted in the force being renamed the Latvian Aviation Regiment in 1926. In 1936 the previously separate Naval Aviation Division was incorporated into the Latvian Aviation Regiment as a new Squadron.

The aircraft in service when the USSR invaded in June 1940 were withdrawn from use and stored. During the period of German occupation 1941-44, several of these stored aircraft found their way to Germany, where at least some of them where flown. A number of Latvian pilots flew alongside the Luftwaffe on operations against the Red Army during this time.

Key Dates (Pre-WW2)

of the Latvian Air Force
Key Dates:
7 June 1919    Latvian Aviation Group established
30 September 1919    Latvian Aviation Park established
20 January 1920    School of Military Aviation established
10 March 1921    Latvian Aviation Park becomes Latvian Aviation Division
18 September 1926    Latvian Aviation Division becomes Latvian Aviation Regiment
18 September 1936    Latvian Aviation Regiment absorbs Naval Aviation Division
25 December 1940    Latvian Aviation Regiment formally disbanded

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Latvian Air Force (Pre-WW2)

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Albatros B.II 4 1920 1929 captured/Latvia
Albatros C.III 6 1919 1929 captured
Ansaldo A.1 Balilla 12 1923 1930 Italy
Ansaldo SVA 10 5 1923 1936 Italy
APD AVDI Monoplane 1 1928 1928 Latvia
Avro 504K 2 1925 1933 United Kingdom
Avro 548N 2 1924 1933 United Kingdom
Beardmore WB-26 1 1926 1926 United Kingdom
Bristol Bulldog IIA 12 1929 1940 United Kingdom
Caudron C.60 2 1925 1938 France
Cukurs C.6 1 1939 1940 Latvia
de Havilland D.H.9A 7 1926 1938 United Kingdom
DFW C.V 3 1919 1926 captured
Dornier Do 22 2 1930 1940 United Kingdom
Fairey Seal 4 1936 1940 United Kingdom
Fiat CR.1 6 1926 1937 Italy
Fokker D.VII 2 1919 1924 captured
Gloster Gladiator I 26 1937 1940 United Kingdom
Gourdou-Leseurre GL-22B3 1 1924 1936 France
Halberstadt C.V 2 1919 192? captured/Latvia
Hannover CL.III 2 1923 1928 captured
Hanriot HD.17 1 1924 1927 France
Hanriot HD.19A 1 1925 1928 France
Hawker Hind 3 1937 1940 United Kingdom
IVL A.22 4 1926 1933 Finland/Latvia
Junkers CL.I 1 1919 1922 captured
Letov S.16L Smolik 21 1927 1940 Czechoslovakia
LVG C.V 2 1919 192? captured
LVG C.VI 3 1919 193? captured
Martinsyde A.D.C.1 10 1926 1938 United Kingdom
Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard 1 1924 1937 United Kingdom
Miles Magister 1 1939 1940 United Kingdom
Nieuport 23 1 1919 1921 captured
Nieuport 24bis 1 1919 1923 captured
Rumpler C.I 1 1919 1925 captured
RWD RWD-8 20 1940 1940 interned
SIAI S.16bis 4 1923 1926 Italy
Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter 6 1919 1935 United Kingdom
Sopwith 2F1 Camel 7 1920 1927 United Kingdom
Stampe-et-Vertongen SV.5 16 1935 1940 Belgium
Svenska Aero S.IIa 6 1926 1940 Sweden
Svenska Aero SA-10 Piraten 2 1929 1940 Sweden/Latvia
Udet U-12B Flamingo 7 1930 1940 Latvia
V.E.F. I-12 4 1938 1940 Latvia
V.E.F. I-15 2 1939 1940 Latvia

Additional information is welcome

National Markings
Latvian Air Force (Pre-WW2)

of the Latvian Air Force

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Pre-WW2 Latvian Air Force since its formation:



  
Main MarkingFin Flash

1918-1940
The main marking, a red Swastika, was displayed in the standard six positions – above and below each wing and on each side of the fuselage. No fin or rudder markings were used.