Theme of Aviation in Stamps of the 1st Independence of Latvia

In the period between the wars, several series of stamps devoted to aviation came out. Some series were specifically designed for the aviation postal service, but series „Aviācijas pionieri” („Aviation Pioneers”) was for raising funds for the Injured Aviators Fund.

The Building of Spilve’s – Unique Heritage

The buildings of Spilve Airfield is of a very high value as a pearl of Stalin’s neo-classicism. There is no other specimen of the Soviet architecture in Riga or elsewhere in Europe with the tiniest detail preserved in it. The building currently enjoys the status of a National Cultural Monument.

Kārlis Skaubītis (1889-1929) An Honest fighter

Kārlis Skaubītis was an outstanding aviator and a legend in Latvian aviation. He was one of the most honest pilots of all, and he worked professionally under various regimes, always trying to avoid any involvement in politics. The son of an impoverished farmer, he became one of the pioneers of Latvian aviation.

Jezups Bashko (1889 – 1946)From a servant to a general

A descendant of a large, poor family who persistently and determinedly strives for knowledge – that was how the hard-working inhabitant of Latgale arrived to St. Petersburg in early 20th century. The intention to study mathematics turned out to be too expensive, and Bashko entered a military college. This was where he met the love of his life – aviation.

Eduards Pulpe (1880 – 1916) The tenacious ace with „a volcano in heart”

Eduards Pulpe was a citizen of the Russian Empire, a French pilot, but mostly a Latvian and an aviator in heart. The educated young man with a high intellect and technical thinking left a promising job and went to France to become a pilot. There was no doubt when the war broke out. He voluntarily and imperturbably went on audacious missions to become the most outstanding Latvian military pilot.

The First Adventuress: Baroness de Laroche (1884-1919)

She was beautiful, tempting and eccentric. She was also the first female pilot in the world. Baroness de Laroche was a very ambitious woman, indeed. Her name shows this. The first aviatrix was not a noblewoman. On the contrary, she was born in 1884 into a working family in Paris, and she was called Eliza Leontine Deroche. Her father was a plumber, but that did not keep his daughter from setting her heights much higher.

The General’s Daughter in the Skies of the Tsar. Lidija Zvereva (1890-1916)

The temptation to take to the skies spread throughout the world very quickly, and many distinguished women yielded before it. The name of the first female pilot in Russia, Lidija Zvereva, is linked to Latvia which, during the era of the Russian Empire, became an important centre for the development of aviation. That was largely due to Zvereva, although her life was tragically short. She died when she was 26.

The American Dream and Tragedy: Harriet Quimby (1875-1912)

The United States of America, home of the legendary Wright brothers, also produced a star called Harriet Quimby – a woman who was very much ahead of her time. The delicate and beautiful woman was an outstanding journalist, dreamed of becoming an actress, wrote screenplays for silent films in Hollywood, and then became the first female aviator in America.

The First Latvian Female Aviator Flies and Sings Alīda Pavlovska (1916-1991)

Latvian men who were passionate about aviation found various armies during the era of political chaos, and that allowed them to become aviators in the German, French and tsarist air forces. The age of the Russian Revolution was particularly full of adventure. Latvians fought on the side of the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks alike. Politics were secondary, the main thing was to fly, fly, fly! Many pilots served alien powers, and they returned to Latvia legally or illegally to establish the country’s own air force. But what were women to do?

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