Aviation Historian 4
R.Tisdale, A.Vercamer - Before & After
Gloster Gladiator I No 125 of the 1st Squadron, Latvian Air Force, was dispersed to Rumbull from Riga-Spilve on the morning of the Soviet invasion of Latvia on June 16, 1940
Latvia was under Soviet control by August 1940 and the surviving Gladiators were gathered at Krustpils, where some were crated for shipment to Germany. Others, including No 125, were marked for service in the Soviet Air Force
Records reveal that a number of Soviet Gladiators were captured by German forces, possibly including No 125, and used by the Luftwaffe to tow gliders for pilot training until all were withdrawn from use by March 1943
The Latvian Gladiators, probably at Riga-Spilve. The fighters were paid for by funds raised through a special National Lottery, the aircraft being presented at a ceremony on August 12, 1938.
Few photographs of the Latvian Gladiators in Soviet markings exist; this one shows them looking somewhat the worse for wear, the various insignia on the fin and rudder having been removed as souvenirs.