Thnx for posting photos, Arensburger! Somehow I forgot to do it here
The last one is from DP camp in Germany, and uniform is mixture from pre-war Estonian uniform, German SS uniform, and with self made cap badge.
This cap badge is most probably made from 20th Division collar patch. What itself was the central theme from Estonian Cross of Freedom
And (as I have visited Estonian State Archieve recently, and among other things also looked on A-E Mere's service record) updated info on his service in Estonian Army.
Ain Ervin Mere borned on February 22nd 1903. He joined voluntarely Tallinn Schoolboys Battalion on December 16th 1918 when he wasn't even 16. From March 6th 1919 he went from this Battalion to frontline duty - to 3rd Wide-track Armored Train where he was placed in 1st MG command. On April 8th he was wounded during action near Kosheljaha-Irboska - grenade exploded not far from train, and he got shrapnell to his head and back. You still can see marks of wounds on those WW2 photos, posted by Arensburger.
He was in Tallinn 2. Military Hospital until July 4th 1919, after it he was again listed in Tallinn Schoolboys Battallion. On October 1st 1919 he was released from service, as too young for mobilisation.
On July 1920 he started to study on Army Technical courses, which soon was renamed to Army Technical School. He finished studies in this school on July 27th 1923, was promoted to sub-Lieutenant, and was sent to serve War Ministry Mechanical Works as chief of car repair shop. On March 15th 1924 there were major changes in Mechanical Works - it was renamed to state owned factory "Arsenal", and A-E Mere working-place was renamed there as production technician.
But already on April 1st 1924 Mere went to serve to Aviation Regiment, he was placed to Sea Flying Squadron as observer, and was sent to aviation school to learn to fly. From December 10th 1924 he was reposted to Land Airplanes Division workshop and he got the post of chief of the workshops. Same time he was still studing in Flying School.
He finished studies in Flying School on July 17th 1925, and got his pilot wings on July 20th 1925. His marks were "Excellent" for theoretical part, and "Good" for practical flying. On the autumn of 1925 he and 3 more pilots were ordered to start to learn on pilot's instructors courses under british pilot Emery. He finished those courses on the spring of 1926 with overall mark "Good". He started to work as instructor in Estonian Flying School. on November 28th 1926 he was promoted to Lieutenant.
On summer of 1928 were invited from Royal Air Force 3 more instructors to teach Estonian Flying School instructors to teach flying according to RAF methods. Mere studied in group of Flight Lieutenant O E Worseley, and finished his studies in November 1928. After it he continued as instructor in Flying School. He was also teaching engine and materials sciences there. On March 1st 1929 he was promoted as Group Leader in Flying School.
On July 1st 1930 Aviation Regiment was liquidated, and all it's parts became independent units. Also those unit's were reformed quite dramatically. But A E Mere remained as Group Leader for Group No 1 in Flying School. On September 4th there were first aviation competitions in Estonian Air Force between different units and pilots. Mere was representing Flying School on those competitions, and won them. On February 24th 1931 he was promoted to Captain.
From March 12th-17th 1931 Mere was participating on quite risky operation of saving Estonian fishermen (actually they hunters for such strange animals like "hülged", don't know how to translate them
) from ice. There were 4 pilots involved in those operations where they had to land with their landplanes on drifting ice fields to collect fishermen. They collected during those flights all 43 drifting fishermen, and 12 flying hours in windy weather with very poor visibility.
From May 28th until June 25 1931 he participated in competitions to enter to Higher Military School. He was succesful, and passed the competitions. During the summer he was on familarization training in different units (Car and Tank Regiment, Artillery camp, 1st Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Train Regiment, Cavalry Regiment, Communications Battallion and Pioneer Battallion). On October 1st 1931 he started studies in Higher Military School. He finished studies there on Aprill 4th 1934. After it he came back to Flying School and he was promoted to temporary chief of flying training department.
Already on May 15th 1934 he was posted to General Staff of Armed Forces where he was placed in 5th Department. From July 1st 1934 he was named as chief of sub-department B in 5th Department. On February 24th 1938 he was promoted to Major. And he kept the place until March 1st 1939.
From this date he started to teach in Military School. First as temporary lecturer, from December 12th 1939 as full-time lecturer.
On 1940 he was left to serve in Soviet-organised 22nd Territorial Rifle Corps. But about that you can already read from posts above