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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 202389
Last updated: 25 November 2021
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Date:01-DEC-1939
Time:11:55
Type:Bristol Bulldog Mk IVA
Owner/operator:LLv 26 Suomen ilmavoimat
Registration: BU-64
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Muolaanjärvi -   Finland
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The first contact between Soviet aircraft and Finnish fighters during the Winter War happened between 1145 and 11:55 hrs on 1 December 1939 when six Polikarpov I-16s from 4./7 IAP jumped a Bulldog pair of LLv 26 who had taken off from Heinjoki at 1125 hrs. The Finnish pilots were immediately separated from each other, and ylikersantti Toivo Antero Uuttu, an experienced 29 years old pilot who joined the Finnish air force in 1929, was left alone to fight the Russians.

He was looking for Soviet troops sputheast of Muolaanjärvi at the time. He did not see any movements so descended lower when suddenly he saw tracers flying all around him. The attack came from the sun. When he looked over his shoulder, he saw three I-16s attacking me. One was straight at his back and two others at the sides. He also saw 2 or 3 planes above him. He instinctively pulled an evasive maneuvre to the up left, and ater that managed to fire a short burst to the side of the right side plane that was pulling up. After that he pushed the nose down to be able to execute a new evasive maneuvre. When he looked up, he saw a similar case. Then he pulled towards a plane coming at an oblique angle. That resulted in the plane pulling up to the side, away. At that moment he managed to fire a well aimed brust to the fuselage bottom at plane nose. He saw couple of puffs of black smoke coming from the I-16’s engine. After that the Soviet plane swayed sideways two times and fell down wing first. Uuttu noticed a trail of pale smoke coming from the plane.

As the speed had reduced, Uuttu pushed the nose down twisting. Tracers sputtered all around his Bulldog IVA BU-64 all the time. He felt the plane fuselage shaking, and when pulled the stick, it didn’t move. He thought about jumping, ut in fear that they might shoot him on parachute he decided to fight it out to the last. He tried to evade my attackers using only rudder and aerlions. At ca. 200m when looking behind, he saw one Soviet fighter still following and shooting. He shut off my engine and pulled with both hands from the stick and it moved a bit and the plane recovered from the dive but then the plane hit the trees and he passed away.

Uuttu crashed at Muolaanjärvi (then in Finland, now in Russia), wrecking his fighter and getting injured in the process. According to Finnish sources, Uuttu’s victim reportedly also crashed and became the first aerial victory ever over Finland. Since the claim wasn’t witnessed it was only credited to him as a probable.

On the Soviet side the fighters of 4./7 IAP claimed one reconnaissance aircraft shot down between 1230 and 1315 hrs (Soviet time, one hour later than Finnish time) at Muolaa. The aircraft was claimed as a shared between Starshii Leitenant Fedor Shinkarenko (Eskadrilia leader), Starshii Politruk Gabriel Didenko and B. A. Grigoryev. Starshii Leitenant Petr Afanasevich Pokryshev from the same eskadrilia (a future ace and Hero of Soviet Union) force-landed his I-16 n° 1021625 at Kerrola, Muolaa, after reportedly engine-malfunction and it is thus possible that he also had been involved in the combat with ylikersantti Uuttu, and was the one hit in the engine by the Finnish pilot. According to Soviet reports, it was hit from below by AA fire, a bullet hitting an oil radiator, and the engine later jammed. The I-16 was later repaired.

Sources:

http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/finland_uttu.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/soviet_pokryshev.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/bulldog_finland.htm
"Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 23: Finnish Aces of World War 2", by Kari Stenman and Kalevi Keskinen. ISBN 1-85532-783-X
https://forum.axishistory.com//viewtopic.php?f=59&t=152938
http://lentolaivue26.org/laivuesivusto/historia/diary_winter_war.html
https://geographic.org/geographic_names/name.php?uni=-4148358&fid=5089&c=russia


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
01-Dec-2017 09:41 Laurent Rizzotti Added
16-Feb-2021 18:04 Lelek Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]

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