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By H. Wittenberg

Plane layout four (2001) seventy nine - eighty

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Sample text

I then went after eight I-16s that were below me, hitting one of them in the central fuselage area with a long burst of fire. The aeroplane rolled onto its back at an altitude of 50 metres and ploughed through trees as it crashed into the forest about half-a-kilometre southeast of Shepelevskiy lighthouse. I fired at three more I-16s but to little avail. ‘The I-16s we encountered preferred to fight us on the deck, where the Russian fighter proved to be far more manoeuvrable than the Brewster. ‘An incendiary bullet hit the wingtip of my machine, which caused the wing to smoke heavily for about 30 seconds until the fire had burnt itself out.

Finally, fighters from Krasnaya Gorka and Kronstadt also flew up to Seivästö to keep the Brewsters engaged well away from the bombers. OVER THE GULF OF FINLAND Its winter camouflage heavily weathered, BW-386 of 2/LeLv 24 awaits a well-earned overhaul at Immola in March 1943. 5-victory ace MSgt Sakari Ikonen (who claimed three victories with it), the fighter was passed on to 1Lt Urho Sarjamo when the former became an instructor. Sarjamo claimed six victories with BW-386 between 18 April and 12 December 1943.

The Finns subsequently reported downing three Yakovlevs and five Lavochkins. Two-and-a-half hours later, 1Lt Hans Wind and his seven-strong formation of Brewsters attacked 15 Soviet aircraft returning to Seiskari. The Finns claimed an Il-2 and six Lavochkins destroyed. In his short combat report, 1Lt Hans Wind stated; ‘I was leading the flight when we met eight Lavochkins and six Il-2s. First, I shot at an Il-2, which tried to reach Seiskari airfield after I had inflicted heavy damage on it. The Shturmovik crashed and burned at the south end of the runway, however.

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