Hans Wind

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Hans Wind
Hans Henrik Wind in Suulajärvi 1943.png
Nickname(s) Hasse
Born 30 July 1919
Ekenäs
Died 24 July 1995
Tampere
Allegiance Finland Finland
Service/branch Finnish Air Force
Years of service 1939-1945
Rank Captain
Unit LeLv 24
Awards Mannerheim Cross (awarded twice)
Other work Businessman

Hans Henrik "Hasse" Wind (30 July 1919, Ekenäs - 24 July 1995, Tampere) was a Finnish fighter pilot and flying ace in World War II with 75 confirmed air combat victories.[1]

Biography[edit]

Wind started his pilot career in 1938 by volunteering to join a pilot training course. He was a reserve officer in the Winter War 1939-1940 but did not fly due to a lack of available planes. Wind had now decided to enter into a military career, and he finished training as a Lieutenant on 17 June 1941. Transferring to LeLv24 in August 1941, with which he participated in the Continuation War. He flew a Brewster B239 (the export version of the Brewster Buffalo) from 1941–1943 claiming 39 of his victories in the type. On 22 September 1941 Wind was credited his first kill, a I-15. In August 1942 the squadron was transferred to Römpötti to operate over the eastern Gulf of Finland. On 14 August 1942 Wind shot down two Hurricanes, and four days later a Hurricane and two I-16s. At the end of 1942 his score stood at 14.5 claims.

On 5 April 1943 Wind shot down three Il-2s. On 14 April Wind claimed 2 Spitfires, and on 21 April two Yak-1s and shared one with fellow ace Sgt Kinnunen.

Wind was awarded his first Mannerheim Cross on 31 July 1943 and his second on 28 June 1944. In August 1943 the unit converted to the Messerschmitt Bf 109G.

He was promoted to Captain on 19 October 1943 when 24 years old and was posted from front line duty in order to instruct new fighter pilots. Wind was considered one of the most skillful aerial tacticians in the Finnish Air Force, and Wind's 'Lectures on Fighter Tactics' were written in 1943 and used in the training of new pilots for decades to come.

Wind returned to the front in February 1944. On 27 May 1944 he scored his first victory with the Messerschmitt, shooting down 2 La-5s. The Soviet Offensive in the Karelian Isthmus started on 9 June 1944. On 13 June 1944 Wind led six 109s against a formation of Pe-2 bombers, and Capt. Wind shot down four bombers. Wind's kill streak continued in the days that followed; with a P-39 and an IL-2M on 15 June, 2 Pe-2s and a La-5 the next day, and on 19 June two P-39s (both of the 196 IAP; one flown by Hero of Soviet Union and eventual 29-kill ace Major A.V. Chirkov, who bailed out) and a La-5. On 20 June 1944 Wind added 2 La-5s, 2 Yak-9s and a Pe-2. On 22 June he claimed 2 Spitfires and a La-5, with 2 La-5s and 2 DB-3Fs the next day. On 25 June he downed 3 Yak-9s and 2 Yak-7s.

He was seriously wounded in an aerial battle against some thirty Yak-9s and P-39s on 28 July 1944. Wind shot down one Yak-9 before a 37 mm shell fired by a P-39 exploded against his seat armour. Another shell pierced the armour glass behind his left shoulder, exploding on the instrument panel. Wind's left arm was badly wounded. He still managed to fly and land at an airfield even though his plane had been seriously damaged during the attack.

Wind recovered from his wounds but never flew a combat mission again. He finished the war with a total of 302 combat sorties, scoring 75 kills, and is ranked second on the Finnish aces list.

He was married on 26 August 1945 then began his studies in Helsinki School of Business having resigned from the Air Force on 10 May 1945. Wind died on 24 July 1995 and was survived by his wife and five children.

Victories[edit]

Aircraft Victories
Brewster B239 39
Messerschmitt Bf 109G 36
Total 75

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Keskinen 1978, p. 8-11.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Keskinen, Kalevi; Stenman, Kari and Niska, Klaus. Hävittäjä-ässät (Finnish Fighter Aces) (in Finnish). Espoo, Finland: Tietoteas, 1978. ISBN 951-9035-37-0.
  • Stenman, Kari and Keskinen, Kalevi. Finnish Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces 23). Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1998. ISBN 1-85532-783-X.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

 
Suomen Ilmavoimien tunnus.svg Finnish World War II aces with over 30 air victories Flag of Finland.svg

Ilmari Juutilainen | Hans Wind | Eino Luukkanen | Urho Lehtovaara | Oiva Tuominen | Olli Puhakka | Olavi Puro | Nils Katajainen | Lauri Nissinen | Kyösti Karhila | Jorma Karhunen