Biplane fighter aces


Luutnantti Kalervo Malinen

20 April 1913 – 4 September 1942

Kalervo Malinen was born in Kitee on 20 April 1913.

He received flying training in 1933-35 at AOK 5 and IRUK 5.

Malinen was assigned to LAs 4 on 21 May 1937 as a kersantti.

On 31 January 1939, he was promoted to ylikersantti.

He was promoted to vänrikki on 15 December 1939 and transferred to LLv 14.

During the Winter War, LLv 14 started to operate Gloster Gladiators in the middle of February 1940.

LLv 14 was taken from the eastern part of the Karelian Isthmus to repel the Russian invasion across the frozen Gulf of Vyborg. The morning mission report on 5 March 1940 says:

“Aircraft and crews: FK-110 vänrikki Ala-Panula and luutnantti Honkanen, FK-107 vänrikki Arkko and vääpeli Harju, GL-267 luutnantti Ollikainen, GL-273 luutnantti Pitkänen, GL-274 luutnantti Kuula, GL-276 vänrikki Malinen, GL-278 ylikersantti Perälä and GL-279 alikersantti Roine.
Task: Reconnaissance, bombing and strafing on the columns and camps in Häränpäänniemi-Pulliniemi-Teikarsaari-Vilaniemi.
Take-off at 06:05 hours and retrun at 07:30 hours.
Observations: On ice between Pulliniemi and Teikarsaari a continuous row of trucks towards Tuppuransaari Island. Tuppuransaari-Vilaniemi ice road full of troops, trucks and tanks. At Vilaniemi on the beach 20 tanks. Flak battery at Teikarsaari shooting at us. At Teikarsaari one kilometre long column of troops heading SE from Teikarsaari. At Vilaniemi bay several company strong waves of troops heading towards the beach. Dropped 2x50kg, 3x25kg and 6x3,5kg bombs and strafed with 2000 rounds. Enemy fighters at 5 kilometres distance north of Vyborg.”

On 7 March 1940, luutnantti Tauno Ollikainen (GL-279) led a group of six Gladiators from LLv 14 flying top cover for ground troops at Tienhaara (west of Viipuri). Between 15:15 and 15:25 and despite being outnumbered, three Russian I-153s attacked over Tervajoki. LLv 14 reported:

“Aircraft and crews: GL-279 luutnantti Ollikainen, GL-273 luutnantti Pitkänen, GL-274 luutnantti Kuula, GL-276 vänrikki Malinen, GL-278 ylikersantti Perälä and GL-279 alikersantti Roine.
Mission between 14:35 and 16:10 hours.
When patrolling over Tienhaara, two pairs of I-16s were observed, no contact. Over Tervajoki village met three I-153s, which pulled over, turned and attacked the second pair. The first pair turned around and started the combat, which was carried out between 15:15 and 15:25 hours, from 300 metres to the surface. The wind shifted the participants west of Tervajoki. Two I-153s were shot down and they both crashed in the forest. Luutnantti Ollikainen claimed one witnessed by luutnantti Kuula. The other was claimed by vänrikki Malinen and witnessed by luutnantti Pitkänen. Alikersantti Roine made a successful emergency landing to Löytöjärvi after being hit in the fuel tank. Ylikersantti Perälä’s wing touched the wing on an I-153, breaking the starboard tip of the upper wing.”
These aircraft were claimed in combat with three I-153s from 3./148 IAP led by major N. V. Gavrilov (CO) and including starshii leitenant Ivan Rybin and mladshii leitenant Yevgenii Ivanovich Zaichikov (I-153 c/n 7325). When they returned, Gavrilov claimed two Gladiators while Rybin claimed one. Zaichikov was killed in the combat, the wreck of his fighter was located in Chulkovo (former Tervajoki) only in October 2009.
The same day, both surviving Soviet pilots were decorated with the Order of the Red Banner.

On 9 December 1941, he was promoted to luutantti.

He was assigned to LeJKoulK on 17 March 1942.

On 28 June 1942, he was assigned to LeLv 6.

Malinen was killed when he piloted Blackburn Ripon IIF RI-152, which crashed 500 metres west of Nyhems lighthouse on 4 September 1942 during submarine reconnaissance over the Sea of Åland. His observer, the Swedish volunteer Sten Åke Haraldsson, was also killed.

At the time of his death, Malinen was credited with 1 biplane victory.
During his career, he was awarded with the Vapauden Risti of the 4th Class twice.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 07/03/40 15:15-15:25 1 I-153 (a) Destroyed Gladiator II GL-276 Tervajoki LLv 14

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with 3./148 IAP, which claimed 3 Gladiators while losing 1 I-153. LeLv 14 claimed 2 I-153s while suffering 2 damaged Gladiators.

Englantilaiset Hävittäjät - Keskinen, Stenman, Niska
Hurricane & Gladiator - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, ISBN 952-99432-0-2
Ilmavoitot, osa 1 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, ISBN 952-99432-8-8
Ilmavoitot, osa 2 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, ISBN 952-99432-8-8
Red Stars 7 - Talvisota Ilmassa - The Winter War In the Air - Carl-Fredrik Geust, 2011 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 978-952-5877-04-5
Suomen Ilmavoimat part II – 1928-40 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2006, ISBN 952-99743-0-2
Additional information kindly provided by Alexey Andreev and Lars Larsson

Last modified 08 May 2017