Thursday, August 12, 2010
Pilot's diary - Löjtnant by Dan
July 14 1946
Anders Poppius, F-16 Flygvapnet, (Royal Swedish Airforce)
We have landed in Helsingfors, or Helsinki for it's Finnish name. Given everything the Finns have had to get used to in the last week, I think having Swedish fighters landing in their airport was possibly the least worst. We had been warned that some Finns would be unhappy at seeing Swedes back in their country after it was part of the Swedish empire for so long, but on the contrary, they seem happier at seeing us that they were at seeing the Germans or the Russians coming west again.
We have our first sortie later this afternoon, we will fly patrol over the gulf and Helsinki itself. Apparently someone thinks our new J26's will do the job while the Finns concentrate on the front.
July 14 Supplemental
We are back from our patrol - WHAT A DUCK SHOOT!
I am an ace on my first outing! I have 2 MiG 3's, and 3 PE 8 heavies! 3!
It was almost murder, the fighter pilots could barely fly and there were so many in the sky we couldn't fire without hitting a red. We hit the bombers over the water in the gulf, they were still heavy with bombs and couldn't maneuver for anything. Coming from below and behind we were hitting their bellies and watching the fireworks. The bombers had teeth and Svensen got a fright when one of the red found his trigger.
Didn't do the red any good, Svenson blew him out of the sky before he could dump his eggs. After that mauling, the reds turned back. From what the Finnish ground crew said, it looks like we'll never have to buy another drink in this town again they are so happy!
I know intellectually, that the reds will get through, there are too many of them not to, and the pilots that lived will learn, tomorrow will be harder. But that is tomorrow.