Biplane fighter aces

Finland

Lentomestari Oiva Emil Kalervo ‘Oippa’ Tuominen

5 March 1908 – 28 January 1976

‘Oippa’ Tuominen was born in Kouvola on 5 March 1908 as the oldest of five siblings.
He did his compulsory military service in the Air Force. He was accepted despite his minimal education, four years of school, and was trained as assistant mechanic in 1926. Complying with his mother's wish, he did not apply for "dangerous" pilot training, but chose to become a professional aircraft mechanic instead.
He got married and his only son was born in 1932. He earned his living as a FAF mechanic up to 1933 when he no more could resist the call of his dreams. He applied for and was accepted to a NCO pilot training course at AOK 3.

On 1 November 1933 he was transferred as kersantti to LAs 5.

After training, he was posted to LLv 26 on 1 January 1938. This unit was a fighter squadron equipped with Bristol Bulldogs. He showed good flying and shooting skills, his eyesight was phenomenal, but his superiors considered him stubborn.
When the Winter War broke out kersantti Tuominen initially was commanded to LLv 24 to fly Fokker D.XXIs.

On 25 December, the Fokkers from LLv 24 destroyed three Ilyushin DB-3s from the 6 DBAP. The first was claimed kersantti Sakari Ikonen (FR-102) and kersantti Lauri Nissinen (FR-98) over Enso at 12:00, the second was claimed luutnantti Per-Erik Sovelius (FR-92) and ylikersantti Kelpo Virta (FR-101) over Immola at 12:05 and the third was claimed by ylikersantti Virta and kersantti Tuominen (FR-117) over Joutseno at 12:20.

On 31 December 1939, he was promoted to ylikersantti (Flight Sergeant).

The Soviets lost four SBs to the Fokkers over the Karelian Isthmus on 19 January 1940.
The first three of the SBs were from 24 SBAP. The first was claimed by ylikersantti Tuominen (FR-86) over Igolkanniemi-Laatokka at 14:30. The second was claimed by vänrikki Olli Puhakka (FR-117) over Kiviniemi at 14:30. The third was claimed by luutnantti Urho Nieminen (FR-98) over Rautu at 14:35. The fourth SB (from 72 SBAP) was claimed by luutnantti Leo Ahola (FR-113) over Uomaa at 14:50.

In February, he was transferred back to his own squadron to fly the new Gloster Gladiators.

In his first sortie in the new fighter in the afternoon on 2 February, ylikersantti Tuominen (GL-258) was in cockpit readiness when he and another pilot were scrambled to intercept a detachment of two SBs and six I-16s above Elimäki. During the ensuing combat he damaged one of the fighters over Elimäki at 15:40, forced another to make an emergency landing at Kotka at the same time, and shot down one above Suursaari (Gogland) at 16:00. All the bombers managed however to escape. The two downed I-16s were from 149 IAP, 7 VA and were flown by Kiseliov and Pindiukov.

Oiva Tuominen, Ilmari Joensuu, Lauri Lautamäki, Pentti Tevä, Jörn Ulrich, Knut Kalmberg and Lentomestari Artola were attached to the nine-plane detachment Kivinen, led by luutnantti Ensio Kivinen. They transferred first on 5 February 1940 to Mensunkangas and from there to Värtsilä on 9 February 1940. There their mission was to protect the troop movements by IV corps and group Talvela from Russian aerial attacks.

Shortly after midday on 11 February, three Gladiators from LLv 26 fought with 15 I-16s over the north shore of Jänisjärvi. At 13:30, ylikersantti Tuominen (GL-255) claimed an I-16 from 49 IAP over Soanlahti. Five minutes later, at 13:35, lentomestari Lauri Lautamäki (GL-253) succeeded in shooting down another I-16 from 49 IAP over Jalovaara.
Both claims are credited as probables (confirmed by the HQ without witnesses).

In the afternoon on 13 February, lentomestari, Lauri Lautamäki (GL-253) and ylikersantti Tuominen (GL-255) were first scrambled at 14:00 and sent to Matkaselkä. After this there was an alarm - a large Russian bomber formation was approaching! Luutnantti Knut Kalmberg (GL-260) and Kivinen took off first as they were in readiness with running engines. Five others followed so all nine Gladiators of Kivinen's unit were airborne. They met nine I-15bis fighters and engaged them. Six Russians tried to form a "Spanish ring"-defensive circle. Kalmberg attacked these Russians, but as he started shooting, three other Russians attacked him and hit his Gladiator. He tried to disengage by diving, but his plane went into a spin and dived into the ground at Havuvaara, killing him. Meanwhile, Kivinen’s Gladiator was hit in the engine. He disengaged with a steep dive and landed at Värtsilä. The rest of the Gladiators were now dogfighting with the Russians. In the dogfight Jörn Ulrich were hit and he was wounded. He made a forced landing with the last of his strength between Kuhilasvaara and Havuvaara. His Gladiator GL-257 was badly damaged and not repaired anymore. In this fight, Ilmari Joensuu (GL-256) claimed one I-15bis at 14:40 while Ulrich was credited for the destruction of two between 14:15 and 15:05. Other Finnish pilots in this engagement were Pentti Tevä and lentomestari Niilo ‘Arpinaama’ Artola. Artola was not a pilot of LLv 26 but a Blackburn Ripon pilot of LLv 16. He was on a familiarization flight with a Gladiator when the Soviet fighters appeared. He joined the battle although he was not sure how to operate the guns! However, he managed to fire a bust on an I-15 chasing a Finnish Gladiator. It seems that the I-15bis fighters were from 49 IAP, which lost Starshiy Politruk M. A. Kopman, who was KIA, while claiming two Gladiators.
As Lautamäki and Tuominen were returning from their uneventful flight, they met nine enemy bombers from 39 SBAP, 8 VA, which had taken off from Lotinanpelto (at River Svir) at 13.00, with the task of bombing fortifications north of Pyhäjärvi (hill 108,8) and dropping leaflets. In the ensuing dogfight Tuominen claimed 3 and 1 shared SBs in seven minutes and 1 I-152 while Lautamäki claimed the second half in the shared SB (this aircraft was claimed at Jänisjärvi). ylikersantti Tuominen reported:

“When I was patrolling with lentomestari Lautamäki in Jänisjärvi station area, I noticed nine SBs arriving east of Suojärvi and heading west. I signalled lentomestari Lautamäki and turned towards the enemy planes. The enemy formation banked to east and east of Soanjoki I caught them and shot the port wing aircraft into fire. It crashed in the woods. So did the next one after a minute. And the third crashed into a small pond.
Then nine more bombers arrived from Loimola direction joining the others. At first I thought they were fighters as the distance grew a little, but I caught them over Kivijärvi and shot at the starboard wing aircraft. When I fired a second burst, it crashed in flames to the north bank of Kivijärvi Lake.
At the same time an I-15 took off from the ice, I shot it immediately down at the edge of the forest, where it crashed in fire. My fighter had two bullet holes in the wings fired from the ground.
Own aircraft GL-255.”
39 SBAP lost three SBs, all of them from the 5th eskadrilya. The first was c/n 14/217, which crashed at Jänisjärvi with crew-members Mladshiy Leytenant N. M. Parshikov, Kapitan S. N. Pitek and Starshina A. A. Baranov killed. The second was c/n 16/115, which crashed at Kivijärvi with crew-members Leytenant I. A Tarasenko, Starshiy Leytenant N. V. Begichev and Starshina I. Ye. Dunayev killed. The third was c/n 11/219, which crashed at Roikonkoski after having been hit in both fuel tanks and catching fire with crew-members Leytenant A. G. Lazarykov, Starshina V.Grudinin and Starshina Sibirkulin killed while Leytenant I. S. Hramtsov parachuted at 14:50 (Moscow time) and was taken POW the following day. This was the second operational mission by the 5th eskadrilya; the first one was made the day before.
Lautamäki and Tuominen landed again at 15:30.
Lauri Lautamäki frequently flying as Tuominen's wingman, said:
“I just wonder how Oippa does it, he just squirts once and the bomber is in flames. I have to make several attacks to get the same result.”
Also during the Winter War he claimed at least four unconfirmed victories. In March, for example, flying a Fiat G.50 he attacked enemy bombers being fired at by Finnish AA at Kouvola. Two enemies were shot down, but credited to the AA. Tuominen demanded that the wrecks should be examined to determine who downed them, but his squadron leader refused.

Tuominen was promoted to vääpeli (sergeant major) on 25 April 1940.

When the Continuation War broke out in June 1941, Tuominen had acquired an excellent skill in flying his Fiat G.50. His self-confidence, never weak, had been even stronger. Once his Squadron Leader gave him a reprimand for inverted flying over a lake at the wave-tops. (In inverted position, the Fiat engine would leak oil and fuel, causing a risk of fire.) The pilot retorted that he, Tuominen, was able to do whatever he wanted to do, while others were able to do only what they could!
Tuominen was in custody on 25 June 1941, punished for flying over the no-fly zone at the Soviet border without permission some days earlier. That day 15 SB-2 bombers attacked the Fiat base in Joroinen. The FA pilots scrambled, pursued the enemy and only two of the enemy bombers escaped in the clouds.

On 4 July, Tuominen claimed his first victories in the Continuation War at Joensuu. The 1st Flight of LLv 26 was based on a natural sand field created by the extremely low water level of Lake Hoytiainen. The weather was warm, sunny, with big random Cumulus clouds. During the day, the entire flight scrambled to intercept enemy bombers reported to be approaching Joensuu. As soon as Tuominen had taken in the wheels of the FA-3, he banked and left the other fighters with the wingtip nearly sweeping the ground. He had an idea where the enemy would be, and immediately he spotted 12 unescorted SB bombers at about 3000 meters. The FA-3 did not have a radio transmitter, so he could not inform the other pilots, and they did not see how he rocked the wings of his fighter to signal about the enemy. Tuominen pulled the stick and began to approach the enemy heads-on from below. When in range he fired at the leading bomber. The salvo hit the plexi glazing in the bomber nose, and probably killed the pilot because the bomber immediately dived on its nose. Tuominen flew through the bomber formation and when he was above and behind he made a chandelle turn. He attacked the flank bomber of the formation, aiming carefully his first salvo at the gunner, then at one engine. However, another SB slowed down to enable the gunner shoot at the fighter at a range of twenty meters from the side. Tuominen felt a blow in his pedals, as if “a horse had kicked”, his fuel tank was pierced, too, but he kept “working” at his victim. Not until the SB dived with burning engines he turned his attention to the insolent bomber gunner. Now the entire bomber formation jettisoned their bombs and began to climb to seek cover in the clouds. The third SB was shot down before the cloud hid the bombers for a while. Tuominen kept pursuing the bombers. As soon as he emerged from the cloud, he fired and damaged one engine of a fourth SB. Now his damaged fuel tank had been nearly drained and he had to disengage. He had saved the town from bombardment single-handed! The ground personnel had witnessed the entire battle. The fourth SB vanished from the witnesses' view trailing smoke. The FA-3 landed, engine coughing due to fuel starvation. The wreck of the damaged fourth bomber was found later in the forest at Tohmajärvi: the engines of the SB were prone to overheating and in the warm weather; the damaged plane did not get far. Tuominen reported:

I observed the aircraft shortly after the release of the bombs and flak explosion clouds. I came in just under the clouds. I flew against them and hit the left wing aircraft straight into the engine and thereafter from 50 metres behind, when it caught fire. I fired at the second a bit from the port side, when it began to dive heavily smoking. Then I shot at three aircraft, two of which began to smoke heavily and at the same time, I got an explosive shell in my own fuel tank. Thereafter I shot the gunner who had fired at me, when the aircraft dived smoking into clouds. Only the other gun worked, since the ammunition belt snapped off after the first burst from the other gun. My plane was FA-3.”
The combat lasted from 11:00-11:20 and took place between Pyhäselkä and Tohmajärvi against SBs from 72 SBAP, which lost four SBs with nine airmen killed and three wounded.
An interesting episode followed, as they found out that the pilot of the fourth SB had bailed out and was taken prisoner. Tuominen was asked whether he would like to meet this man, and he accepted the offer. Tuominen was introduced to the captured Soviet captain as the pilot who shot him down by lentomestari Torhonen, who spoke Russian. The prisoner asked how they could be so sure about that. At least three fighters had attacked the formation, he said, two from below and one from above. It took some time to convince the captain that one single fighter had shot down all four SBs.
-Is this pilot the famous Sarvanto? the prisoner asked. Having been told who the Finnish fighter pilot was, the Soviet pilot reached his arm and shook hands with Tuominen, saying solemnly:
- Allow me congratulate you for your feat. After a while he continued:
- Allow me also congratulate the Finnish Air Force for such pilots as Sarvanto, the terror of Soviet bomber crews.

On 14 July, the swarm of 1/LLv 26 flew a combat air patrol over Suojärvi in the Karjala area. Tuominen observed three SB bombers and sent two down between 09:30 and 10:30. He reported:

“When patrolling in the Tolvajärvi-Loimolanjärvi area, three SBs came from the Suojärvi direction. I began firing, one started promptly smoking and all turned back to Suojärvi direction. I chased them, when the smoking aircraft caught fire, Two Russians bailed out and the plane fell in a lake. I shot also at a second one and it dived into the same lake. Then three I-16s arrived, but they evaded into the clouds after a couple of turns. The bomber on the left wing laid out some 100 metres of cable, which swung very much behind it. Combat height 1,800 metres. My plane was FA-26.”
The SBs was from 72 SBAP, which lost two aircraft. Starshiy Leytenant F. Ye. Yemets and Leytenants K. N. Kiselev and M. F. Solovyev returned to their own side plus Mladshiy Leytenat Kiselev, Serzhant Ivanov and Yefreytor Krivtsov were ok after making a forced landing at their own airfield.

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

On 30 July, lentomestari Tuominen (FA-26) of 1/LLv 26 engaged two SB bombers over Aunus between 08:35-09:20:

“I flew toward Vitele and Tuulos, flying away 1,000 metres higher towards the sun. I caught the planes about 10 km east of Tuulos. There was no gunner in the wing aircraft and I shot a burst straight over the rudder, when it pulled straight up and went into a spin. I shot two bursts to the gunner of the other and after that from above a burst to the back of the pilot and the same followed as with the first aircraft. The armour piercing bullets appeared to go well through the pilot’s armour plate. Combat altitude 4,200 m. My plane was FA-26.”
These victories were only credited to his as probables since there wasn’t any witnesses to the combat.

Tuominen claimed an I-16 between 09:30 and 10:30 on 1 August over Säämäjärvi.
It seems that the Soviet fighter came from 7 IAP.

In the evening on 3 August 1941, vänrikki Lauri Sihvo’s pair (the other pilot was lentomestari Tuominen in FA-26) of 1/LLv 26 encountered three MBR-2 flying boats at the mouth of River Svir. Sihvo reported:

“At 17:30-17:55 hours, I observed soon after the take off, three flying boats over Lake Ladoga. I was the first to catch them and shot the left wing plane into smoke. It moved then into the centre of the formation (at the same time came another FA, in front of which it exploded). After that, I attacked another plane, which caught fire and crashed. I attacked against the third, but the ammunition in machine-guns ran out in the middle of a burst. The speed of the boats was about 220 km/h, they flew in a tight formation and went down to the surface after the first attack. I had a bullet hole in a propeller blade. My plane was FA-33.”
Sihvo and Tuominen were each credited with one shot down and a third as a shared.
The MBR-2s came from Group Hrolenko. They each claimed one enemy aircraft and claimed a third as a shared.

Between 13:35 and 14:40 on 5 August, luutantti Olli Puhakka of 3/LLv 26 led six Fiats on a scramble mission to Tuulos, where three I-152s and three I-153s were bombing the Finnish frontline. In a short combat, all I-152s were claimed destroyed. One was claimed by luutnantti Puhakka (FA-1), one by lentomestari Tuominen (FA-26) and a third was shared between luutnantti Aate Lassila (FA-11) and vänrikki Sakari Kokkonen (FA-6).
They had been involved in combat with I-152 from 65 ShAP, which in fact lost one I-152 when Leytenant Ladtshinskiy was wounded.

Lentomestari Tuominen received the Finnish Air Force’s first Mannerheim Cross on 18 August 1941. At this time, he was the most successful Finnish fighter pilot. His commendation reads:

Lentomestari. Tuominen who is a very successful fighter pilot has shot down 18 enemy aircraft is nominated as a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross.
The document that Marshal Mannerheim based his decision on was if possible even shorter: Gen. Lundqvist wrote:
Tuominen is the best fighter pilot!
And annexed copies of four battles reports!

On 3 September 1941, the Karelian Army started the advance to River Svir making it in four days. Thereon the attack continued eastwards and northwards to Petrozavodsk.
On the first day, a LLv 26 Fiat swarm was on air combat patrol over the spearhead in the Säntämä-Aunus area between 11:45 - 12:40. The swarm consisted of lentomestari Tuominen (FA-26), kersantti Onni Paronen (FA-6) and vänrikki Lauri Sihvo (FA-3) and vänrikki Carl-Erik Bruun (FA-1) (on his 44th mission). Three Chaikas of 65 ShAP and two Ratas of 155 IAP were engaged and all were claimed shot down.
Tuominen shot down one of the I-16s, Paronen claimed an I-153 and Sihvo claimed a second I-153 (from 65 ShAP). Bruun shot down one monoplane but he believed that he had shot down an own Curtiss and did not at that time admit the victory. The victory was shared at that time between Tuominen and Paronen.
The last I-153 was seen leaving for Soviet territory by Bruun, Tuominen and Paronen. Tuominen flew slightly to the side and behind of the enemy fighter. When he fired the shots went to the right of the I-153 and he had to turn away. Paronen was next and his fire hit the armoured seat and sparkles was seen to fly around but the fire couldn’t penetrated the seat since the Finnish fighters wasn’t yet equipped with armour-piercing ammunition. Bruun was next and he followed the I-153 at low altitude over the fields at a speed of 360 km/h. He opened fire but to no effect. At this time, Tuominen was flying to the right of the enemy fighter and Paronen to the right. Bruun saw the enemy pilot looking at the other Finnish pilots but he probably couldn’t spot him since he was less than ten meters behind him. At the edge of a wood, the Soviet fighter was forced to climb a little and at this time, Bruun opened fire and probably hit the pilot. The I-153 turned over the right wing and crashed into the woods.
A new pair of Soviet I-153s was spotted to the left but these chose not to engage and they turned south. The Finnish pilots also turned towards home since they began to be low on fuel.
Paronen’s combat report stated:

“At 11:50-12:40 hours. I shot first at one I-16 from straight behind and thereafter in a bank. The plane caught fire and smoked heavily. I pulled away, when lentomestari Tuominen shot at the plane when it crashed to the ground. After this, I attacked an I-153 from above and behind. The aircraft did not dodge at all, but crashed to the ground in a shallow bank and caught fire. After this, I fired at the last I-153, which was set aflame by vänrikki Bruun. I saw altogether four aircraft being shot down. My plane was FA-6.”
65 ShAP lost one I-153 and the pilot Leytenant S. P. Korolev was killed while 155 IAP lost one I-16.
When they returned to base Bruun asked Tuominen why he didn’t shot down the I-153 and he answered that he had been trying to hit the wing-support since he wanted to see the wings folding on the enemy fighter!
Carl-Erik Bruun was the only piloting officer that served all the war 1941-1944 in LeLv 26. He as born on 6 January 1920 in Turku and passed away on 9 October 2001 in the same town.

On 16 September, LLv 26 was transferred to LeR3 and transferred to Immola.

Between 08:55-09:15 on 30 September, Tuominen (FA-6) claimed an observation balloon over Lempaala, Kannas.

On 3 May 1942, there was a reorganisation of the Finnish Air Force and at the same time, there was a redesign of the names of the units and thus LLv 26 became LeLv 26.

At 15:40 on 23 May, Lentomestari Tuominen’s (FA-6) pair of 1/LeLv 26 scrambled towards Loviisa. They met a Hurricane, which was claimed by Tuominen as a probable (shot down without witnesses) over Kallbådagrund. The fighters returned at 16:20.

On 4 June 1942, the undercarriage of FA-1 collapsed as Tuominen was landing at Malmi, and the fighter nosed over. Tuominen was lightly injured and hospitalised for a few days.

During a search to Lavansaari between 12:00-13:15 on 5 July, lentomestari Tuominen claimed a probable MBR.

For several months in 1941-1942 LeLv 26 was mostly grounded due to technical problems: the engines of the Fiats were worn out and could not be replaced fast enough. Some aircraft remained in usable condition, however.

In August 1942, a German-Italian naval detachment began to arrive to Lake Ladoga. It was tasked with harassment of the supply traffic to Leningrad in the southern part of the lake. The detachment operated for three months in Lake Ladoga and fiats from LeLv 26 were often assigned in protection of the outfit.

Around midday on 24 August, Luutnantti Olli Puhakka’s seven Fiats of 2/LeLv 26 were sent on an interception in the Konevitsa area. Here a combat ensued with six Il-2s escorted by four I-16s. All the escorting Russian aircraft were claimed shot down. Lentomestari Lauri Lautamäki (FA-18) claimed a probable I-16 (confirmed by the HQ without witnesses) over Saunasaari between 12:30-13:10. Luutnantti Puhakka (FA-10) claimed an I-16 over Mikkulainen between 12:35-13:20. Lentomestari Tuominen (FA-32) claimed an I-16 over Saunasaari between 12:40-13:20. Vänrikki Reino Stenberg (FA-21) claimed an I-16 over Lumisuo between 12:40-13:20.
The Russians reported that at 12:00-13:20, six Il-2s of 57 ShAP-KBF were escorted by ten I-16s, four Hurricanes, four Yak-1s and one LaGG-3 attacking an enemy naval detachment near Konevitsa. At 12:24, they were attacked by four Bf 109s and two minutes later by 12 Fiats. Of the enemy aircraft, five Fiats and one Bf 109 were shot down. At 12:28, the ground attack aircraft sank three barges and four patrol motor boats at Sortanlahti bay. At 12:55, the detachment was attacked by another four Bf 109s, of which one was sent down.

During a second sortie during the same day, lentomestari Tuominen’s (FA-32) and vänrikki Reino Stenberg’s pairs were scrambled to Miikkulainen were they engaged twelve I-16s. Tuominen claimed an I-16 over Morje at 16:40-17:20. A second I-16 was claimed by kersantti Osmo Länsivaara (FA-31) in the same combat.

On 26 August, luutnantti Olli Puhakka’s seven Fiats from 1st and 3rd Flights were scrambled in poor weather to Konevitsa, where a formation of seven I-16s, six LaGG-3a and four Il-2s were engaged. Lentomestari Tuominen reported:

“At 11:05-12:00, altitude 1,800-100m.
On the return the radio at Saunasaari informed us of four Victors coming straight at us. I observed the planes when the Russian flak shot at them. I climbed at the side??? At 1,800 metres I was at the same level as the last plane. I attacked it when all four I-153s came at me. I shot at one during the curve and the altitude fell too 200m. Three planes pulled a little altitude when I was able to shoot at the fourth and it started to pour some smoke and after a while exploding into pieces. The other three attacked me at the same time, when after rolling a while with them got to fire on one in a bank, when it crashed in a 45o angle to the ground. Two fled south. I returned low on fuel.
My plane FA-18.”
In the engagement between 11:05-12:00, lentomestari Tuominen (FA-18) claimed two I-153s as probables (confirmed by the HQ without witnesses) over Miikkulainen-Lumisuo, kersantti Osmo Länsivaara (FA-21) claimed one Il-2 over Konevitsa, lentomestari Lauri Lautamäki (FA-13) claimed a Hurricane over Konevitsa and ylikersantti P. Saarni (FA-32) claimed a damaged I-16 over Konevitsa.
In a second engagement between 11:20-11:35, vänrikki Nils Trontti (FA-33) claimed a Hurricane over Saunasaari.
The Soviets reported that at 10:28-11:47, eight Hurricanes of 3 GIAP-KBF escorted four Il-2s of 57 AP-KBF to Sortanlahti. Shortly after the strike the detachment was attacked by two Fokkers and four Capronis. In the combat four Capronis were claimed shot down. These were claimed by Kapitan K. Khametov, Starshiy Politruk N. Kosurokov, Kapitan G. Kostylev and one shared between Kapitan I. Kaberov and Starshiy Leytenant A. Yevrgafov. One Il-2 and Khametov’s Hurricane did not return.

On 21 September 1942, Tuominen and two kersanttis were on readiness at Kilpasilta. They were playing cards, when the Flight Commander, luutnantti Mikko Linkola joined them. Soon the phone rang and the pilots received a scramble order. As often before, Tuominen disappeared after start, but returned with the others about 20 minutes later. Back in the hut the men picked up their cards and continued the game in silence. Tuominen broke the silence and said in an offhand way that he had “squirted” one or two planes at Miikkulainen. “Uh huh” the luutnantti commented and the game continued in silence until the phone rang again. Linkola answered, listened and turned to stare at Tuominen. Then the luutnantti rang off and asked:
- Oippa, what was it that you just said?
- I said I squirted a couple of planes. Then he added:
- One Tchaika and one I-15, probably.
The luutnantti said that the “observer girls” in Miikkulainen had seen how a “Fiiu” pursued a Tchaika in a cloud, then they had heard shooting and soon pieces of aircraft fell out of the bottom of the cloud. The Fiat emerged from the cloud alone, the I-15 fell a moment later... The squadron leader, Major Harju-Jeanty had complained once:
- Damn that Oippa. Always he lies, and when you for once check you find that he has told the truth...
Nine Fiats of LeLv 26 had taken off for a interception mission in the Morje direction. Seven enemy fighters were patrolling in the area. Two were downed both claimed by lentomestari Tuominen, who reported:

“At 18:50-19:40, altitude 2,200m.
I took off for interception, when I saw seven enemy fighters north of the airfield. I caught them over Miikkulainen above clouds. I got to shoot at one I-153 obliquely from behind and from slightly above. I fired two bursts from 50 metres, when it caught fire. At the same all the Russians pulled into clouds. I dived after the burning plane below the clouds and saw it fall to the ground. I continued my dive in order to get out of the flak fire. When I levelled from the dive, one I-15 was a short distance in front of me, I gave a burst from about 20 metres, when it pulled up at once and fell from there in a dive. When it hit the ground it caught fire. When I was watching the fall of the I-15 the others managed to get out of my sight.
My plane was FA-26.”
Tuominen was credited with one I-153 and one probable I-152 over Miikkulainen after this sortie.

During a search sortie to Lake Ladoga between 11:40 and 12:50 on 22 October, luutantti Aate Lassila’s six Fiats of 1/LeLv 26 observed two Chaikas. One of them was shot down by lentomestari Tuominen (FA-26) over Laatokka.
On the next mission in the afternoon, the same formation engaged DB-3 bombers with fighter escort over Lake Ladoga. A swarm tied the Russian fighters in combat and two enemy fighters were sent down. Lentomestari Tuominen claimed an I-16 and reported:

“At 13:50-15:00 we engaged on a search mission enemy aircraft accounting to two bombers and eight I-16 fighters. We attacked with luutnantti Lassila from straight ahead. After turning around some time, I saw luutnantti Lassila shoot at one I-16, which went vertically down. I followed it and saw it dive into Lake Ladoga. Then I began to chase another, which while dodging came right in front of me. I fired a burst from the side at 30-50m, when it crashed in Lake Ladoga. I continued to chase three I-16s. I caught them, but then more enemy fighters came from Morje. While dodging them I tried to climb all the time to get in the clouds, because my guns did not work since the pressure bottle was empty. I was able to break off in the clouds and return to base. They fired air torpedoes.
My plane FA-26.”
Luutnantti Lassila (FA-21) and Tuominen claimed one I-16 each over Laatokka between 13:50-15:00 while vänrikki Kaarlo Stenberg (FA-31) claimed a third as a damaged over Miikkulainen (13:50-14:55).
11 AP-KBF lost two I-152s over Lake Ladoga and Serzhant A. D. Prokofyev and Yefreytor N. A. Dratshenko were killed.


© Jerry Boucher.
Picture kindly provided by Jerry Boucher from the VIRTUAL AIRCRAFT WEBSITE.
Click on the image to see it in full size.

He was posted to LeLv 34 on 8 February 1943. This unit was equipped with Bf 109Gs.

Between 05:55-06:50 on 23 April, Lentomestari Tuominen’s (MT-212) pair of 1/LeLv 34 took off for intercept over Helsinki, engaging a solitary Pe-2, which was chased and shot down near Seiskari.
The 15 ORAP-KBF reported one Pe-2 reconnaissance aircraft lost in a forced landing wounding Mayor A. A. Gorbatsh and Leytenant D. M. Kazakov.

On 2 May, lentomestari Tuominen’s pair of 1/LeLv 34 encountered a solitary Boston bomber. Tuominen (MT-205) claimed it shot down between 09:00-09:35 over Leksa, Viro, close to the Estonian coast.
One Boston from 15 ORAP-KBF did not return from the Gulf of Finland. Kapitan Zhiharev, Serzhant Zahatshenk and Serzhant Homikov were killed.

Taking off at 14:15 on 2 June, Luutnantti Väinö Pokela of 1/LeLv 34 led six Me 109s to combat a large Soviet formation, which consisted of 28 aircraft in all near Lavansaari.
Lentomestari Tuominen (MT-212) reported:

“I scrambled for Kotka. Soouth of Haapasaari I saw 8 Pe-2 and La-5 aircraft. We instantly attacked the bombers with a swarm. I fired one burst at one in the fuselage, but did not observe any results. I shat another in the starboard engine, which stopped and smoked heavily. I shot the the third in the cockpit when the canopy broke. After that from about 30 m to the starboard engine, when the wing snapped off. The plane exploded and crashed in the sea. From this, I got pieces to my propeller so that the blades were bent and I had to make a forced landing at the beach of Someri.
My plane MT-212.”
Tuominen was credited with a damaged La-5 over Someri and then a Pe-2 shot down 10 kilometres south of Someri between 14:15-14:45. Luutnantti Väinö Pokela (MT-214) claimed a second Pe-2 10 kilometres from Harjavalta between 14:15-15:15 while luutnantti Kale Tervo (MT-207) claimed a third Pe-2 over Lavansaari. Tervo also claimed one and one damaged La-5 over Seiskari (his claims were made between 14:15-15:30). A LaGG-3 was claimed as a probable by vääpeli Mauno Fräntilä (MT-217) over Seiskari between 14:15-15:15. Ylikersantti Gösta Lönnfors (MT-219) claimed a damaged Pe-2 over Suursaari between 14:15-15:35.
The Pe-2s were from 73 BAP-KBF and they lost one aircraft. Starshiy Leytenant Tsarev, Leytenant Jefimenko and Serzhant Galkin were all killed.

In the evening on 19 July, a Messerschmitt patrol of 2/LeLv 34 led by lentomestari Tuominen (MT-220) intercepted three LaGG-3s over Someri. Tuominen shot down one of these 25km from Someri between 20:35-21:35.

Early in the morning next day between 05:30-06:15, Tuominen's patrol of 2/LeLv 34 flew an intercept mission over Seiskari. Tuominen (MT-220) claimed hits on a Yak-7B, which then flipped over into the sea at the end of the runway. The Yaks were from 15 ORAP-KBF.

Between 07:55-08:55 on 24 July, lentomestari Tuominen and his patrol of 2/LeLv 34 met nine LAGG-3s flying escort for four Il-2s in the Gogland-Seiskari area. The Soviets lost two fighters to Tuominen, who reported:

"Scrambled for interception. I saw four Il-2s and three LaGG-3s between Gogland and Lavansaari. I caught the LaGG-3s south of Lavansaari, and the Il-2s went to land at Lavansaari. I did a curve battle with the LaGGs, now and then entering clouds, when we got to south of Seiskari. I shot down the first one just as it lowered its landing gear and it crashed in the sea. Six more LaGG-3s appeared. I shot one into the sea from a curve south of Peninsaari. I shot at one more, but I could not follow it when I had to go into a cloud. I broke off when they began to fly over Seiskari. The Soviets flew in circles with one of them attempting an attack.
Combat altitude 800 m.
My plane was MT-220."

In the morning on 26 July, between 07:00-07:55, he claimed two damaged La-5s over Lavansaari.

On 17 August, kapteeni Kullervo Lahtela and his patrol of 2/LeLv 34 was sent on interception to the Someri-Lavansaari area, where air combat ensued with four Il-2s and six Yak-7s. Two of the Il-2s were claimed shot down. One was claimed by kapteeni Lahtela (MT225) over Someri between 10:05-10:45, while the second was claimed by Tuominen 10km east of Someri between 10:05-10:55.
7 GShAP-KBF reported the loss of two Il-2s around Someri. The pilots, Leytenant Yerohin and Leytenant Fedorov were killed.

In a sortie between 14:55 to 16:00 on 20 August, luutnantti Kyösti Karhila's swarm of 3/LeLv 34 met a 16-plane detachment over Seiskari. Lentomestari Tuominen (MT-201) claimed one Boston from 15 ORAP-KBF damaged over Seiskari while luutnantti Karhila (MT-229) claimed a La-5 20km from Seiskari.
The Russians reported that at 15:03-17:00 (Moscow time) one Boston of 15 ORAP photographed Gogland and Tytärsaari. One the return leg, three Fw190s attacked at Peninsaari at 16:39. The rear gunner responded, shooting down one plane. The Boston made a forced landing at Seiskari, damaged.

In the afternoon on 22 August, the three-plane patrol of 3/LeLv 34, led by luutnantti Lasse Lehtonen, fought four Il-2s and their cover of four La-5s at Seiskari. One Il-2 was shot down by lentomestari Tuominen (MT-216) over Seiskari between 14:55-15:45.

On 7 September, he claimed two damaged LaGG-3s 10 and 15 kilometres from Tytärsaari between 10:45-11:40.

The 1st flight was transferred to the defence of Helsinki, and the pilots saw very little action. Between 23 August 1943 and 7 July 1944, Tuominen did not claim any victories.

In September 1943, there was a battle south of Helsinki and Tuominen again damaged his fighter by debris from a victim. He had to land at Tallinn, where Luftwaffe had a base. Unfortunately, the base was under Soviet air attack, and as soon as Tuominen had climbed out of his fighter, he had to take cover in a ditch. A fuel dump was hit and burning petrol began to flow in the ditch. The Finnish pilot had to crawl for his life to avoid being burnt alive while bombs kept falling nearby. The flaming liquid was catching up with him so he had to get up and leave his cover. Fortunately, the bomber wave had passed, and Tuominen decided to get out of the hellish place by any means. He saw a Luftwaffe Ju 52 taxiing toward the end of the runway and made a dash at it. As the Junkers was turning at the end of the runway for takeoff, Tuominen began to bang at the door with his fists. As soon as a surprised German airman opened the door, the Finnish pilot pushed himself in and asked in German where the plane was heading. He was told that the destination was Pori, where Luftflotte 5 had a big maintenance depot. The stranded pilot got a ride roughly in the right direction. It must be kept in mind that this is what Tuominen himself told… Meanwhile at Malmi the other pilots were guessing at the fate of the missing ace. In the heat of the battle, no one had seen what had happened to Oippa. They were not very worried, because Tuominen used to boast that no such pilot was born as to shoot him down. Then the Flight Commander received a phone call from a M.P. who had nabbed a suspect. The man claimed to be lentomestari Tuominen on his way to the base at Malmi. He had no ID documents because he was on return from mission, but curiously enough, over Lauttakyla and without his fighter! The commander asked the policeman to describe the suspect.
- Leather jacket, flying helmet, odd-looking square goggles, dark as a Gypsy, handsome teeth, cursing like a Turk!
The commander asked the M.P.s to send the man to Malmi, although he failed to understand how his pilot who had gone missing in the Gulf of Finland could be found deep inland...

2/LeLv 34 got a Messerschmitt pair in the air on 3 February 1944 and between 09:30-10:50, Tuominen damaged a Pe-2 over Kallbådagrund.

On 14 February 1944, the frontline squadrons received a task prefix into their name and LeLv 34 thus became HLeLv 34.

He was posted to HLeLv 30 on 6 March 1944.

On 24 May, HLeLv 30 covering Helsinki was scrambled when Russian reconnaissance aircraft crossed the Gulf of Finland. Lentomestari Tuominen of the 2nd Flight reported:

"Flight time 16:45-17:35.
I took off on interception, and I found a Pe-2 some 20 km south-east of Stenskär. I tried defelction shooting first, after which it went into a cloud pillar. As it emerged I shot from above and behind at the left engine which caught fire. I gave it another burst and the fire spread into the fuselage. I did not see it anymore after it went into a cloud some 30 km south-east of Tytärsari.
Heavy snow and bad visibility.
By plane was MT-407."
This claim was credited to him as a damaged.

He was posted back to HLeLv 34 on 9 July 1944 (?).

Between 13:50-14:35 on 8 July, lentomestari Tuominen of 3/HLeLv 34 led a three-plane swarm on a reconnaissance to Uuras. During this sortie, he claimed a solitary Pe-2 from 140 BAP over Humaljoki.
This claim in confirmed into the wing's account.

Around midday on 9 July, majuri Eino Luukkanen of HLeLv 34 led seven Bf 109s to Äyräpää on bomber escort, when they were attacked by ten Russian fighters. Lentomestari Tuominen (MT-468) claimed a La-5 over Pölläkkälä between 11:30-12:30 while majuri Eino Luukkanen (MT-415) claimed a Yak-9 from 14 GIAP in the same area between 11:30-12:40. Lentomestari Ilmari Juutilainen (MT-426) claimed an Airacobra over Vuoksenranta between 11:40-12:40.

Between 16:50-18:00 on 15 July, the Bf 109s from HLeLv 34 clashed with Soviet fighters over Äyräpää. Lentomestari Tuominen claimed on Yak-9 from 21 KIAP-KBF and one La-5 while luutantti Paavo Myllylä (MT-406) claimed a Yak-9.

The Messerschmitt’s from HLeLv 34 clashed with Soviet fighters between 13:50-15:10 on 18 July. Lentomestari Tuominen claimed a Yak-9 over Heinjoki while majuri Eino Luukanen (MT-415) claimed an Airacobra over Vuosalmi.

He was again posted back to HLeLv 30 on 6 August 1944.
Tuominen only claimed five more victories in 1944. This was not bad for a 36-year-old fighter pilot. But he did not excel as he did in 1941- 42. There was no room for lone wolves any more in the confined theatre of war at the Carelian Isthmus. The enemy was better trained, equipped with radar and led with radio, and as usual, numerically superior. Moreover, the Finnish fighters were concentrated in escorting bombers on the strikes against enemy troops and material on the front line. Ilmari Juutilanen, among others, appreciated Tuominen very much, saying that he often was the first one to spot the enemy and very fast in making up a strategy to get in an advantageous position for attack.


Lentomestari Tuominen of 1/LeLv 34 leans on his Me109G (MT-220), at Utti in June of 1943.
Tuominen scored 3 victories with this Messerschmitt.

Tuominen was Finland’s most successful biplane fighter aces and Finland's fifth highest ranking fighter aces during the Second World War with 2 and 1 shared biplane victories and a total of 33 and 4 shared victories claimed during more than 400 missions.
The victories were scored while flying Fokker D.XXI, Gloster Gladiator II, Fiat G.50, and Messerschmitt Me109G! He had also shot down at least one observation balloon.
During his career, he was also awarded with the Vapauden Risti of the 4th Class.

On 6 January 1945, Tuominen resigned from FAF service and became a taxi operator. He remained an active hobby pilot as long as he could.

Tuominen pasted away on 28 January 1976.

A rare honour was bestowed on him as Republic of Equatorial Guinea issued a postage stamp with his portrait in the stamp series ’Heroes of the Air’.


Model and image courtesy of Jari Juvonen - Jari Juvonen's Home page.
Tuominen scored one victory, an Il-2, with this Messerschmitt Me109G-2 on 17 August 1943.

Claims:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  1939                
  25/12/39 12:20 ½ DB-3 (a) Shared destroyed Fokker D.XXI FR-117 Joutseno LLv 24
  1940                
1 19/01/40 14:30 1 SB (b) Destroyed Fokker D.XXI FR-86 Igolkanniemi-Laatokka LLv 24
  02/02/40 15:40 1 I-16 (c) Damaged Gladiator II GL-258 Elimäki LLv 26
2 02/02/40 15:40 1 I-16 (c) Destroyed Gladiator II GL-258 Kotka LLv 26
  02/02/40 16:00 1 I-16 (c) Probable Gladiator II GL-258 Suursaari LLv 26
  11/02/40 13:30 1 I-16 (d) Probable Gladiator II GL-255 Soanlahti LLv 26
3 13/02/40 14:00-15:30 1 SB (e) Destroyed Gladiator II GL-255 Jänisjärvi LLv 26
4 13/02/40 14:00-15:30 1 SB (e) Destroyed Gladiator II GL-255 Jänisjärvi LLv 26
  13/02/40 14:00-15:30 ½ SB (e) Shared destroyed Gladiator II GL-255 Jänisjärvi LLv 26
  13/02/40 14:00-15:30 1 SB (e) Probable Gladiator II GL-255 Roikonkoski LLv 26
  13/02/40 14:00-15:30 1 I-152 Probable Gladiator II GL-255 Loimola LLv 26
  1941                
5 04/07/41 11:00-11:20 1 SB (f) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-3 Pyhäselkä-Tohmajärvi LLv 26
6 04/07/41 11:00-11:20 1 SB (f) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-3 Pyhäselkä-Tohmajärvi LLv 26
7 04/07/41 11:00-11:20 1 SB (f) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-3 Pyhäselkä-Tohmajärvi LLv 26
8 04/07/41 11:00-11:20 1 SB (f) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-3 Pyhäselkä-Tohmajärvi LLv 26
9 14/07/41 09:30-10:30 1 SB (g) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Soujärvi LLv 26
10 14/07/41 09:30-10:30 1 SB (g) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Soujärvi LLv 26
  30/07/41 08:35-09:20 1 SB Probable Fiat G.50 FA-26 Aunus LLv 26
  30/07/41 08:35-09:20 1 SB Probable Fiat G.50 FA-26 Aunus LLv 26
11 01/08/41 09:30-10:30 1 I-16 (h) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Karjala LLv 26
12 03/08/41 17:30-17:55 1 MBR-2 (i) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Laatokka LLv 26
  03/08/41 17:30-17:55 ½ MBR-2 (i) Shared destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Laatokka LLv 26
13 05/08/41 13:35-14:40 1 I-152 (j) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Tuulos LLv 26
14 03/09/41 11:45-12:35 1 I-16 (k) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Aunus LLv 26
  03/09/41 11:45-12:35 ½ I-16 (l) Shared destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Aunus LLv 26
  30/09/41 08:55-09:15 1 Balloon Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Lempaala LLv 26
  1942                
  23/05/42 15:40-16:20 1 Hurricane Probable Fiat G.50 FA-6 Kallbådagrund LeLv 26
  05/07/42 12:00-13:15 1 MBR-2 Probable Fiat G.50 FA-6 Lavansaari LeLv 26
15 24/08/42 12:40-13:20 1 I-16 Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-32 Saunasaari LeLv 26
16 24/08/42 16:40-17:20 1 I-16 Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-32 Morje LeLv 26
  26/08/42 11:05-12:00 1 I-153 Probable Fiat G.50 FA-18 Laatokka LeLv 26
  26/08/42 11:05-12:00 1 I-153 Probable Fiat G.50 FA-18 Laatokka LeLv 26
17 21/09/42   1 I-153 Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Kannas LeLv 26
  21/09/42   1 I-15bis Probable Fiat G.50 FA-26 Kannas LeLv 26
18 22/10/42 11:40-12:50 1 I-153 (m) Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Laatokka LeLv 26
19 22/10/42 13:50-15:00 1 I-16 Destroyed Fiat G.50 FA-26 Laatokka LeLv 26
  1943                
20 23/04/43 05:55-06:50 1 Pe-2 (n) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-212 Harjavallanjärvi 1/LeLv 34
21 02/05/43 09:00-09:35 1 Boston (o) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-205 Leksa, Viro 1/LeLv 34
  02/06/43 14:15-14:45 1 La-5 Damaged Bf 109G MT-212 Someri 1/LeLv 34
22 02/06/43 14:15-14:45 1 Pe-2 (p) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-212 10km S Someri 1/LeLv 34
23 19/07/43 20:35-21:35 1 LaGG-3 Destroyed Bf 109G MT-220 25km Ka Someri 2/LeLv 34
24 20/07/43 05:30-06:15 1 Yak-7B (q) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-220 Seiskari 2/LeLv 34
25 24/07/43 07:55-08:55 1 LaGG-3 Destroyed Bf 109G MT-220 Seiskari-Peninsaari 2/LeLv 34
26 24/07/43 07:55-08:55 1 LaGG-3 Destroyed Bf 109G MT-220 Seiskari-Peninsaari 2/LeLv 34
  26/07/43 07:00-07:55 1 La-5 Damaged Bf 109G MT-204 Lavansaari 2/LeLv 34
  26/07/43 07:00-07:55 1 La-5 Damaged Bf 109G MT-204 Lavansaari 2/LeLv 34
27 17/08/43 10:05-10:55 1 Il-2 (r) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-201 10km E Someri 2/LeLv 34
  20/08/43 14:55-16:00 1 Boston (s) Damaged Bf 109G MT-209 Seiskari 3/LeLv 34
28 22/08/43 14:55-15:45 1 Il-2 Destroyed Bf 109G MT-216 Seiskari 3/LeLv 34
  07/09/43 10:45-11:40 1 LaGG-3 Damaged Bf 109G MT-229 15km from Tytärsaari LeLv 34
  07/09/43 10:45-11:40 1 LaGG-3 Damaged Bf 109G MT-229 10km from Tytärsaari LeLv 34
  1944                
  03/02/44 09:30-10:50 1 Pe-2 Damaged Bf 109G MT-232 Kallbådagrund 2/LeLv 34
  24/05/44 16:45-17:35 1 Pe-2 Damaged Bf 109G MT-407 Stenskär 20km Ka 2/HLeLv 30
29 08/07/44 13:50-14:35 1 Pe-2 (t) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-445 Humaljoki 3/HLeLv 34
30 09/07/44 11:30-12:30 1 La-5 Destroyed Bf 109G MT-468 Pölläkkälä HLeLv 34
31 15/07/44 16:50-18:00 1 Yak-9 Destroyed Bf 109G MT-405 Äyräpää HLeLv 34
32 15/07/44 16:50-18:00 1 La-5 (u) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-405 Äyräpää HLeLv 34
33 18/07/44 13:50-15:10 1 Yak-9 (v) Destroyed Bf 109G MT-405 Heinjoki HLeLv 34

Biplane victories: 2 and 1 shared destroyed, 4 probable, 1 damaged.
TOTAL: 33 and 4 shared destroyed, 11 probable, 9 damaged, 1 balloon.
(a) Claimed in combat with DB-3s from 6 DBAP.
(b) Claimed in combat with SBs from 24 SBAP.
(c) Two I-16s from 149 IAP, 7 VA shot down. The pilots Kiseliov and Pindiukov flew them.
(d) Claimed in combat with I-16s from 49 IAP.
(e) Claimed in combat with 39 SBAP, 8 VA. LeLv 26 claimed four bombers while three were actually lost. All three SBs were from the 5th eskadrilya. The first was c/n 14/217, which crashed at Jänisjärvi with crew-members Mladshiy Leytenant N. M. Parshikov, Kapitan S. N. Pitek and Starshina A. A. Baranov killed. The second was c/n 16/115, which crashed at Kivijärvi with crew-members Leytenant I. A Tarasenko, Starshiy Leytenant N. V. Begichev and Starshina I. Ye. Dunayev killed. The third was c/n 11/219, which crashed at Roikonkoski after having been hit in both fuel tanks and catching fire with crew-members Leytenant A. G. Lazarykov, Starshina V.Grudinin and Starshina Sibirkulin killed while Leytenant I. S. Hramtsov parachuted at 14:50 (Moscow time) and was taken POW the following day.
(f) Claimed in combat with SBs from 72 SBAP.
(g) Claimed in combat with SBs from 72 SBAP.
(h) Claimed in combat with I-16s from 7 IAP.
(i) Claimed in combat with MBRs from Group Hrolenko.
(j) Claimed in combat with I-152s from 65 ShAP, which lost one aircraft while LLv 26 claimed 3.
(k) Claimed in combat with I-153s from 65 ShAP and I-16s from 155 IAP. LLv 26 claimed three I-153s and two I-16s. At least one I-153 from 65 ShAP was lost.
(l) Claimed in combat with I-153s from 65 ShAP and I-16s from 155 IAP. This aircraft was actually shot down by vänrikki Carl-Erik Bruun but not claimed by him at the time. LLv 26 claimed three I-153s and two I-16s. At least one I-153 from 65 ShAP was lost.
(m) Claimed in combat with I-152s from 11 AP-KBF, which lost two I-152s.
(n) Claimed in combat with Pe-2 from 15 ORAP-KBF.
(o) Claimed in combat with Boston from 15 ORAP-KBF, which reported one lost with 3 of the crew KIA.
(p) Claimed in combat with Pe-2 from 73 BAP-KBF, which lost 1 aircraft. 1/LeLv 34 claimed 3 Pe-2s and 1 damaged.
. (q) Claimed in combat with Yak-7Bs from 15 ORAP-KBF. Claim confirmed into wing’s account.
(r) Claimed in combat with Il-2s from 7 GShAP-KBF, which reported two lost. 2/LeLv 34 totally claimed two Il-2 shot down..
(s) Claimed in combat with a Boston from 15 ORAP-KBF, which force-landed damaged at Seiskari.
(t) Claimed in combat with Pe-2 from 140 BAP. Claim confirmed into wing’s account.
(u) Claimed in combat with Yak-9 from 21 KIAP-KBF.
(v) Claim confirmed into wing’s account.


Lentomestari Tuominen of 1/LeLv 26 sitting on the tail of his Fiat G.50 (FA-26) on 13 August 1941.
Tuominen scored 13 victories with this Fiat.

Sources:
Double Fighter Knight - Ilmari Juutilainen, 1996 Apali Oy, Tampere, ISBN 952-5026-04-03
Englantilaiset Hävittäjät - Kalevi Keskinen, Kari Stenman and Klaus Niska
Finnish Air Force 1939-1945 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 1998
Hurricane & Gladiator - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2005, ISBN 952-99432-0-2
Hävittäjä-Ässät (Finnish Fighter Aces) - Kalevi Keskinen, Kari Stenman and Klaus Niska, 1994 Apali, Tampere, ISBN 952-5026-00-0
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
Oiva ”Oippa” Tuominen - from mechanic to Knight (WWII Ace Stories) - Ossi Juntunen, 1999
Suomen Ilmavoimat part II – 1928-40 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2006, ISBN 952-99743-0-2
Suomen Ilmavoimat part III – 1941 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-1-3
Suomen Ilmavoimat part IV – 1942 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-2-0
Suomen Ilmavoimat part V – 1943 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2007, ISBN 978-952-99743-3-7
Suomen Ilmavoimat part VI – 1944 – Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2008, ISBN 978-952-99743-5-1
Additional information kindly provided by Alexey Andreev, Göran Bruun, Carl-Fredrik Geust, Sari Lehmuskallio and Pentti Perttula.




Last modified 20 December 2011