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Airmen of Latvian Origin Who Flew during Spanish Civil War

Fuerza Aérea de la República Española

NAME                                                         VICTORIES    UNITS    COMMENTS

Pumpur, Petr (Peteris) Ivanovič  Пумпуp Петр (Петерис) Иванович  5 [2+3]  3. esc   „Julio“, 13. 10. 1936 - 11. 05. 1937

  • The late 30’s and early 40’s were times of great purges in the Soviet Union. There were two waves of purges in the VVS RKKA. The first was in 1937-1939 and ended when Beria took command of the NKVD after Jezov. 5616 officers from the VVS were purged during this period and of these only 892 returned to service.
    The second purge against the VVS RKKA started in April 1941. At least 18 high air force commanders were arrested under false accusations of a conspiracy against Stalin made up by the NKVD. The conspiracy was supposedly led by General Kiril Meretskov (a veteran from Spain), who had been chief of the General Staff (August 1940 – 14 January 1941). Rychagov was arrested on 24 June 1941. Other arrested included the Commander of the PVO General Pulkovnik F. M. Stern (a veteran who had served in Spain, Lake Khasan, Khalkin Gol and Finland - as commander of the Air Force of the 8th Army), the deputy commander of the General Staff Yakov Shmushkevich (arrested on 14 June 1941), the deputy commander of the VVS RKKA Academy Kombrig F. K. Arzenuchin, the chief of Staff VVS P.O P. S. Volodin, the Commander of the VVS Moscow Military District P. I. Pumpura (who had been fighter commander in Spain 1936-1939) and several others. All of them were badly tortured during the NKVD questioning.
    Forty six persons, including 17 Generals, among them Lieutenant Generals Pyotr Pumpur, Pavel Alexeyev, Konstantin Gusev, Yevgeny Ptukhin, Nikolai Trubetskoy, Pyotr Klyonov, Ivan Selivanov, Major General Ernst Schacht, and People's Commissar of Ammunition Ivan Sergeyev, were sentenced to death by the Special Council with the approval of Stalin and were executed on the Day of the Red Army, February 23, 1942.

Petr (Peteris) Ivanovič Pumpur
Petr (Peteris) Ivanovič Pumpur

Polikarpov I-15, 3. Escuadrilla de Chatos, El-Soto airfield (Madrid area), December 1936.
Polikarpov I-15, 3. Escuadrilla de Chatos, El-Soto airfield (Madrid area), December 1936.

Sources & Literature
  1. Абрамов, Александр: Красные соколы, Лучшие Асы России, 1914 - 1953 гг.,
  2. Абросов, Сергей Владимирович: В небе Испании 1936-1939 годы, Издательство: г.Москва, без издательства, 2003, ISBN: 5-08-0040-89-0.
  3. Абросов, Сергей Владимирович: Воздушная война в Испании. Хроника воздушных сражений 1936-1939 гг., Издатель: Яуза, Эксмо, 2008, ISBN: 978-5-699-25288-6.
  4. Каминский, Олег Александрович: Их называли «испанцами», Издательство: Друк, Одесса, Украина, 2009, ISBN: 978-966-490-028-4.
  5. Пумпур Пётр Иванович, 25. 4. 1900 - 23. 3. 1942, Герой Советского Союза, Герои страны,


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