Biplane fighter aces


Lentomestari Valio Valfrid ‘Valtsu’ Porvari

10 November 1913 – 2 April 1993

Porvari was born on 10 November 1913 in Sippola.

He received flying training in 1936-37 at RAOK 2 and AOK 5.

He was assigned to LLv 26 on 1 September 1936 as a alikersantti

He was promoted to kersantti on 29 June 1937 and posted to LLv 26 on 1 February 1938 and he was to serve in LLv 26's 3rd Flight for the whole war.

During the October 1939 war exercises he was assigned Bristol Bulldog IVA BU-68.

At 12:00 on 27 December 1939, he claimed a damaged I-16 over Käkisalmi.

Porvari was promoted to ylikersantti (Flight Sergeant) on 8 January 1940.

On 15 February, a patrol led by luutnantti Siiriäinen attacked a nine-strong DB formation. One bomber was forced to land on the ice of Lake Suulajärvi after being shot down by ylikersantti Porvari at 15:15. This was a DB-3 from 42 DBAP flown by Leytenant Nechiporenko. A second DB was also damaged in this combat.
In addition, one R-5 was destroyed by vänrikki Eero Enroth in the same area at 15:25. In fact, this was an R-5 from 7 ShAP, 7 VA flown by Leytenant Stepurenko, which was only damaged and made a forced landing. The aircraft was however destroyed when the pilot attempted a take-off after a quick repair.

At 13:15 on 16 February one I-16 fighter was shot down by Porvari above Kämärä.
The only Soviet loss in this area this day seems to have been an I-15bis of 9 ShAP, 7VA, flown by Leytenant Yepohin.

He was promoted to vääpeli (Master Sergeant) on 1 March 1940.

On the first day of the Continuation War on 25 June 1941, LLv 26 had been flying air combat patrols all morning. A swarm of luutantti Lauri Hämäläinen’s 2nd Flight had just landed at Joroinen 15 SBs of 72 SBAP attacked from 1,000 meters at 11:45. Despite being low on fuel, two Fiats took off amidst the falling bombs and caught the attackers. One of the Fiats was flown by kersantti Sulo Suikkanen (FA-15) who took off at 11:30 and landed again at 11:45. In his attack, he claimed one and one shared SB in the Tuusmäki – Haukivesi area.
Meanwhile luutnantti Urho Nieminen, who had led the six G.50s of 3/LLv 26 unnoticed passed the bombers without spotting them, was immediately called back to his base by radio. Diving on the bombers from a superior height at 11.55, the Fiat pilots totally claimed 13 bombers in flames in just 20 minutes (including Suikkanen’s claims). Nieminen described the combat:

“I engaged with my flight 15-20 aircraft strong SB formation above Tuusniemi. With the over speed gained from the altitude we got straight into the business. I shot at two aircraft on the right flank (both engines on fire). I improved two smoking cases. At Kerisalo Island, I got again into a favourable position behind one SB. Its fuel tanks exploded in the air. The aircraft crashed. I continued to fire at the remaining aircraft. I ran out of ammunition, 4-5 aircraft were still flying in the formation, also the smoking one I had fired at. The planes made independent evasive manoeuvres within the formation and the composition of the formation changed all the time. Own aircraft FA-11.”
Nieminen was credited with three victories and vääpeli Porvari (FA-20) was credited with three and one shared between 11:55 and 12:15. Additional bombers were claimed by vääpeli Lasse Aaltonen (FA-33) (one and one shared), vänrikki Sakari Kokkonen (FA-21) (one and one shared), kersantti Ilmari Pöysti (FA-5) and ylikersantti Onni Paronen (FA-6).
Soviet records acknowledge the loss of nine SBs to ’12 Bf 109s’, of which they downed three! 72 SBAP lost squadron commanders Kapitan V. I. Polyakov and Kapitan N. K. Inozemzev.

Lentomestari Porvari in the cockpit of Fiat FA-33 at Kilpasilta in the summer of 1943.

He claimed a damaged I-16 over Jalovaara between 07:35 and 07:45 on 15 July.

He was promoted to lentomestari (Warrant Officer) on 23 July 1941.

Between 09:40 and 10:00 on 19 August, he claimed a damaged Pe-2 while flying a Brewster BW-359.

Between 14.15 and 14.50 on 23 August, he claimed an I-153 from 65 ShAP between Laatokka-Vitele. During this mission he was flying a Brewster B.239. This claim was only credited to him as a probable (confirmed by the HQ without witnesses).
This was Porvari’s last claim during the war.

Povari was credited with 5 victories, scored on 251 sorties, at the end of the war.
During the war, he was decorated with the Vapauden Mitali 1st Class and the Vapauden Risti 4th Class.

After the war he served with LeR 3

Porvari left the service on 16 May 1947 to become a farmer.

He died on 2 April 1993.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  27/12/39 12:00 1 I-16 Damaged Bulldog IVA BU-68 Käkisalmi 3/LLv 26
1 15/02/40 15:15 1 DB-3 (a) Destroyed Gladiator GL-264 Suulajärvi 3/LLv 26
2 16/02/40 13:15 1 I-16 (b) Destroyed Gladiator GL-264 Kannas 3/LLv 26
3 25/06/41 11:55-12:15 1 SB (c) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-20 Tuusmäki-Haukivesi 3/LLv 26
4 25/06/41 11:55-12:15 1 SB (c) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-20 Tuusmäki-Haukivesi 3/LLv 26
5 25/06/41 11:55-12:15 1 SB (c) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-20 Tuusmäki-Haukivesi 3/LLv 26
  25/06/41 11:55-12:15 ½ SB (c) Shared destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-20 Keski-Suomi 3/LLv 26
  15/07/41 07:35-07:45 1 I-16 Damaged Fiat G.50 FA-20 Jalovaara 3/LLv 26
  19/08/41 09:40-10:00 1 Pe-2 Damaged Buffalo B.239 BW-359 Säämäjärvi 3/LLv 26
  23/08/41   1 I-153 (d) Probable Buffalo B.239 BW-359 Laatokka-Vitele 3/LLv 26

Biplane victories: 2 destroyed, 1 damaged.
TOTAL: 5 and 1 shared destroyed, 1 probably destroyed, 3 damaged.
(a) DB-3 from 42 DBAP flown by Leytenant Nechiporenko.
(b) This claim has not been possible to verify with Russian sources.
(c) Claimed in combat with SBs from 72 SBAP. LeLv 26 claimed 13 SBs in this combat of which 9 are acknowledged by Soviet records.
(d) I-153 from 65 ShAP shot down.

Finnish Aces of World War 2 - Kari Stenman and Kalevi Keskinen, 1998 Osprey Publishing, London, ISBN 1-85532-783-X
Hävittäjä-Ässät (Finnish Fighter Aces) - Kalevi Keskinen, Kari Stenman and Klaus Niska, 1994 Apali, Tampere, ISBN 952-5026-00-0
Ilmavoimat talvisodassa- Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman kindly via Tuomo Lukkari
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
LeR 2 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2001, ISBN 951-98751-0-7
Suomen Ilmavoimat part III – 1941 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-1-3
Additional information kindly provided by Alexey Andreev

Last modified 13 September 2007