Kyösti Karhila

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Kyösti Karhila
Nickname(s) Kössi
Born (1921-05-02)May 2, 1921
Rauma, Finland
Died September 16, 2009(2009-09-16) (aged 88)
Helsinki
Allegiance Finland Finland
Service/branch Air Force
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Continuation War

Kyösti Karhila (May 2, 1921 – September 16, 2009) was a Finnish World War II fighter ace with 32¼ victories. He was born in Rauma, Finland. He began flying in Lentolaivue 32 and flew later in LeLv 30, LeLv 32, LeLv 34 and LeLv 24. He scored 13¼ of his victories with P-36 Hawks and 19 with Bf 109s.

Biography[edit]

After the war broke out on the 30 November 1939, Karhila was drafted and posted to Kauhava Air Base for training. On coompletion of training he was then posted to LeLv 24 at Siikakangas, equipped with the Fokker D.XXI. He was then posted to LeLv 30 on 20 June 1941. In mid July the unit was re-equipped with the Curtiss P-36 Hawk. Karhila's first air combat was on 31 July 1941, against two Soviet Air Force I-153's.

Karhila transferred to LeLv 34 based at Utti in March 1943, flying the Bf 109G-2. In March 1944 his flight was posted piecemeal into LeLv 30 at Malmi to defend Helsinki, although after the Soviet ground offensive commenced in June 1944 the flight returned to LeLv 34.

After his air force career he flew airliners for Finnair, Aero O/Y and Spearair. He gathered 556 flying hours during the war (in 304 combat sorties) and 24,000 after the war. He died in Helsinki at the age of 88 as the last of the Finnish fighter aces. F18 Hornet of the Finnish Air Force performed a flypast over the city during the ceremony.

Aerial victories[edit]

Date Own aircraft Place Enemy aircraft
August 1, 1941 CU-502 Jääski ⅓ balloon
August 10, 1941 CU-567 Kirvu ½ Polikarpov I-16
August 13, 1941 CU-561 Kirvu ½ Polikarpov I-153
August 18, 1941 CU-570 Sintola 1 Polikarpov I-153
September 3, 1941 CU-566 Kuokkala 1 Polikarpov I-153
September 17, 1941 CU-552 Siestarjoki 1 MiG-3
September 19, 1941 CU-560 Ohalatva 1 MiG-1
June 15, 1942 CU-560 Mergino 1 Yak-1
June 28, 1942 CU-560 Vitele ½ Pe-2
July 5, 1942 CU-560 Sampotuksa 1 Polikarpov I-16
August 21, 1942 CU-560 Lyugovitcha 1 Polikarpov I-16bis
September 29, 1942 CU-571 Saarimäki ½ Pe-2
November 9, 1942 CU-571 Mulberskoye ½ MiG-1
November 9, 1942 CU-571 Ylä-Sotkusha ¼ Pe-2
February 9, 1943 CU-560 Saarentaka 1 Pe-2
February 11, 1943 CU-560 Savijärvi ½ LaGG-3
February 11, 1943 CU-560 Novinka 1 LaGG-3
February 11, 1943 CU-560 Malkjärvi 1 U-2
May 4, 1943 MT-214 Ino 2 LaGG-3
May 21, 1943 MT-224 Lavansaari 1 La-5
July 19, 1943 MT-224 Pöytsaari 1 Pe-2
August 20, 1943 MT-229 Seiskari 1 La-5
May 28, 1944 MT-403 Kuusalu, Estonia 1 Pe-2
June 21, 1944 MT-405 Tienhaara 1 Il-2
June 30, 1944 MT-436 Perojoki 1 Yak-9
July 1, 1944 MT-461 Teikarsaari 1 Il-2
July 3, 1944 MT-461 Portinhoikka 1 Il-2
July 4, 1944 MT-460 Vatnouri 1 P-51
July 5, 1944 MT-461 Tuppuransaari 1 Yak-9
July 7, 1944 MT-461 Vatnouri 1 P-51
July 9, 1944 MT-461 Kylä-Paakkola 1 Il-2
July 10, 1944 MT-461 Terhonjärvi 1 La-5
July 10, 1944 MT-461 Uusikylä 1 Yak-9
July 11, 1944 MT-461 Hirvisaari 1 La-5
July 16, 1944 MT-460 Ritasaari 1 Yak-9
July 18, 1944 MT-460 Malkola 1 La-5
July 18, 1944 MT-460 Kylä-Paakkola 1 La-5
CU = P-36 Hawk, MT = Bf 109

External links[edit]