Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

Article about: Thanks Dastier... for describing a very interesting slice of history Given the co-operation between Finland and Germany do you think any Finnish pilots fought alongside the German airforce a

  1. #1

    Default Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    I came across a link to Major E. Stenbäck in his parade uniform.
    He had military pilot's wings from six countries: Finnish (left pocket), German (under the Finnish wings), French (over the right pocket), Estonian, Latvian and Polish (over the ribbon).

    I wondered if he was unique in gaining so many pilot wings?

    Name:  Hist-07l.gif
Views: 875
Size:  26.0 KB
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    I can see Finnish awards on his tunic. He also appears to have a Finnish dress belt and a Finnish cap. If he is Finnish that would help explain his having both Finnish and German pilot wings. Who is this fellow?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    He is Major E. Stenbäck

  4. #4

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    The website link to Major E. Stenbäck is: Finnish Fighter History - Kasinhäntä 1925 - 1939

    I haven't found any other information about this seemingly unique pilot?
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    Thats a lot of wings....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    The website link to Major E. Stenbäck is: Finnish Fighter History - Kasinhäntä 1925 - 1939

    I haven't found any other information about this seemingly unique pilot?
    Yes, I found that too plus another FMP - Flying Squadron 44 1939 - 1944 from which Major E. Stenbäck is listed as one of the commanders of Flying Squadron 44 (Lentolaivue 44 (LLv.44).

    This was a bomber squadron equipped with Bristol Blenheims and Douglas DC-2s in the Finnish/Soviet Winter War and later Ju 88As in the Continuation War.

    But nothing about Major E. Stenbäck the person.
    Last edited by dastier; 04-06-2012 at 04:15 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    Quote by Scout View Post
    Thats a lot of wings....
    That's what caught my attention

    I guess the Polish wings might indicate his participation in the Polish-Soviet War as volunteer pilot in the PAF, pure conjecture of course but if there were American volunteers in PAF then maybe a few Finns and other anti-Bolshevik fighters as well?

    The French wings maybe because in 1924 the Finnish Air Force acquired some aircraft from France and possibly Erik Stenbäck (b.16.12.1897) flew in French airforce in some capacity or other? The Latvian and Estonian wings who can guess... Major E. Stenbäck must have had quite a career
    Last edited by StefanM; 04-06-2012 at 07:21 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    Finland and Estonia have a long tradition of mutual aid. Both Finns and Estonian fought in each others defensive and civil wars. So I could see Maj. Stenbäck directly involved or receiving a ceremonial Estonian award. And he may have fought for Latvian Independence against the Reds as well.

    The German wings - depending if its Imperial German or Nazi Germany, might have to do either with WW1 or WW2. I'm not up on German insignia so perhaps someone can tell which Germany we are talking about. But some White Finnish volunteers trained in Germany during WW1. If Imperial, Stenbäck may have flown for the Kaiser. Or he may have been a Finnish volunteer in the Luftwaffe in WW2 - he was commander of a Finnish Ju 88 squadron.

    As for the French wings - just a wild guess but I know of another Finnish soldier that fought in the French Foreign Legion after he became person non grata in Finland (SS volunteer). Maybe this happened to Stenbäck.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    Maj. Stenbäck has certainly piqued my interest and the scenario's you mention just add to my interest
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Six Pilot wings from six countries—unique?

    A little background that might help put things in perspective:

    Although part of the Swedish kingdom at one time, at the start of WW1 Finland like Estonia, Latvia and most of Poland was part of the Imperial Russian Empire. I believe Finland was given the status of a Grand Duchy and thus had more independence in its domestic affairs. The Bolshevik Revolution gave the Finns impetus to create their own independent state but there were two factions, the Whites and the Reds, that had opposing ideas on how that state would be constituted.

    The Finns considered electing a German prince to rule Finland in a constitutional monarchy but for various reason this did not happen. They chose instead to form a republic. The Reds wanted to create a republic based on the Bolshevik system and to keep Finland aligned with Soviet Russia. The Whites were opposed to any Soviet styled government and were more disposed towards Germany. This lead to the Finnish Civil War which, by what I have learned, was anything but civil.

    During WW1 the Whites prepared themselves for the impending civil war by sending volunteers to train in Imperial Germany (the Finnish Jaegers). I'm sure I read that Estonians formed a unit to fight alongside the Whites in the Finnish Civil War. Imperial Germany also sent troops to fight with the Whites.

    As we all know here in the Polish forums, Lenin, Stalin and other Bolsheviks were still imperialists. After the collapse of both the Imperial German and Imperial Russian Empires, the Latvians and Estonians, like the Poles, needed to defend their new found independence from both the Soviet Bolsheviks, the remnants of the German Army and the Freikorps. Disillusioned with the state of affairs in the Weimar Republic, these German ex-soldiers and their commanders wanted to carve out their own Baltic German state and maintain the privileges of the Baltic Germans already living in Estonia and Latvia.

    Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Poland all succeed in establishing (or re-establishing) their independence for a time. We all know what comes next.

    Maj. Stenbäck, as a pilot, might have been involved in all of the above. We know that he was in the Finnish Air Force when the Soviets attacked in 1940. And later again when Finland aligned itself with Nazi Germany to regain territory conceded to the Soviet Union (as part of the peace treaty that ended the Winter War).

    There was a history and tradition of Finnish/German military cooperation. The leaders and military of the Soviet Union were aware of this. The extreme manifestation of Finnish involvement in the affairs of Nazi Germany - the Continuation War of 1943/44, Finnish volunteers in the SS - was and and to some extent still remains an embarrassment to Finland.

    This is pure conjecture on my part but its possible that the lack of knowledge of such an interesting aviator such as Maj. Stenbäck may have something to do with this. Finnish soldiers that were in the SS sometimes had to leave Finland to escape retribution. Lauri Törni who was both a highly decorated Finnish officer and a SS-Untersturmführer was imprisoned by the Finns for treason after WW2.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Regia Aeronautica Pilot Wings

    In Italian militaria
    09-27-2012, 09:03 PM
  2. Balloon Pilot Wings

    In Insignia, Flags and regalia
    06-04-2012, 07:57 AM
  3. Us wwi pilot wings tiffany marked real or repo??

    In WW1 Allies: Great Britain, France, USA, etc 1914 - 1918
    01-23-2012, 10:43 AM
  4. Need help! US Pilot wings real or fake??

    In Insignia, Flags and regalia
    01-23-2012, 10:37 AM
  5. 08-16-2010, 03:04 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •