"Mersu" - the spoken term in Finnish usually for Mercedes-Benz. In the case of the aircraft, "Mersu" is short for Messerschmitt and is the title of Kari Stenmann's book devoted to the type in Finnish service. Sadly only available in Finnish, Stenmann's opus is subtitled " Messerschmitt Bf 109 G in the Finnish Air Force" and that sums up nicely what this book is all about! Larger than A4-format, 400 pages, 479 b/w- and 6 original colour photos, 24 colour plates by Karolina Holda and Thierry Dekker, 32 line drawings in 1:72 and 1:48 scales. Hstory of each machine, kills and losses.. Note that the last flight of the type in Finnish service was 1954. See below for a short three-part video review courtesy of JJ.
Below; colour image from the book - HLeLv 31 Mersuja at Utin in 1953
Above; Kapteeni Veikko Karu, Mannerheim-ristin ritari. Immola 1943.01.15
Below; two shots of SSgt Erik Edward Lyly, an ace in the Continuation War. He flew in the LeLv 24 and LeLv 34 (HLeLv 34), the two most successful fighter squadrons of the Finnish Air Force, often flying as a wingman for the most proficient Finnish ace Air Sergeant Master Ilmari Juutilainen. He achieved a total of 8 air victories during the wars.
SSgt. Erik Lyly with his Bf 109 G 2 at Utti AFB, summer 1943. A good view of the Flettner tab on this tall-tailed Gustav. For more on the tall-tailed Bf 109 with adjustable trim tabs and the handling difficulties inherent to the type go here Contending with Torque
Below; Bf 109 G-6 W.Nr. 164 920 "NY+AJ " "MT 439" Kapt. Hans Wind, 3/HLeLv 24, Lappeenranta, 19 June 1944. Source: SA-Kuva 155482.
Bf 109 G-6 W.Nr. 411 902 "MT 417" HLeLv 34, Maj. Eino Luukkanen, Immola, 15 June 1944.
Below; Bf 109 G-6 W.Nr. 411 902 "MT 417" HLeLv 34, Maj. Eino Luukkanen, Immola, 15 June 1944.
Click on the video header title to go to the video on youtube or watch here with a single click - three 30 second clips looking at Kari Stenman's "Mersu" - the Bf 109 in Finnish service
Much more on Finnish Bf 109s and Finnish aces in this highly recommended book with English text via Claes Sundin's Centura Publishing here
Below; Bf 109 G-6/R6 W.Nr unknown "Rote 26", 2./JG 302, Helsinki-Malmi, 28 February 1944. Note black lower surfaces on the starboard wing and the flame-damping exhaust covers. This night fighter detachment of JG 302 was based in Helsinki during early 1944.
..Elements of wilde Sau night fighter Gruppe I./JG 302 were based at Malmi/Helsinki during the period 13 February 1944 to 15 May 1944, as Einsatzkommando Helsinki (Jafü Ostland). Some Einsatzkommando Helsinki machines displayed a yellow 'Eastern Front' fuselage band, see below.
Takeoffs and landings at night on dimly lit airfields in a single-engine fighter for a sixty-minute sortie on instruments in often atrocious weather conditions required considerable feats of airmanship and accidents were a frequent occurrence. This I./ JG 302 Bf 109 G-6 has come to grief on landing during the unit's Helsinki deployment....
Above; Bf 109 G-6 W.Nr. unknown "Rote 29", 2./JG 302, Helsinki-Malmi, Finland, March 1944.