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Eino Ilmari Juutilainen - Pilot Profile - Eino Juutilainen

Eino Ilmari Juutilainen

Victories : 94.17
Country : Finland
Fought in : WW2
Fought for :
Died : 21st February 1999

One of only two Finnish fighter pilots to receive their nation's highest decoration, the Double Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, Eino Ilmari "lllu" Jutitilainen, Finland's top ace, attained an amazing 94 aerial victories during the fighting between Finland and the Soviet Union. He attained about a third of his victories while flying the American-made Brewster Buffalo, becoming the highest scoring Buffalo ace. Born in 1914, just four years before the birth of the Finnish Air Force in 1918, Jutitilainen joined the Air Force in 1935, and he was well trained in combat tactics and gunnery when the Finnish Air Force's first real combat test came about during the Winter War with the Soviet Union in 1939. Faced with very harsh conditions, it is a testimony to the skill and dedication of the ground crews, that an effective air combat campaign could be launched against the invading Red Air Force. Juutilainen's first victory was achieved in a Fokker D.XXI monoplane fighter on December 19, 1939. Spotting three Soviet DB-3 bombers, juutilainen made an approach from the rear directing short bursts at the tail gunner positions on each of the three aircraft. With no more return fire he was able to approach within 20 yards of each bomber. Utilizing all 2200 rounds of ammo, Juutilainen poured fire into the wings of each of the three bombers, one of which finally succumbed to his fire, the first of his 94 victories. Following the truce with the Soviets in March of 1940. Finland began to acquire more modern aircraft, including the Brewster Buffalo. Finland found Germany to be the only country interested in protecting it from the Soviets. In what the Finns call the "Continuation War," the Finnish Air Force faced a Soviet Air Force which outnumbered them two-to-one. However, the Finnish pilots excelled, and obtained an incredible 32:1 victory ratio with their Brewster Buffaloes. Later in the War, Jutitilainen flew Bf-109s against the Red Air Force which failed in its efforts to control the airspace over Finland. A peace treaty was signed between the two countries in September of 1944. The Finnish Air Forces, and its brave and talented fighter aces like Juutilainen, had succeeded in preserving their country's independence. Juutilianen flew a total of 437 combat sorties. Never was his aircraft hit by fire from an opposing enemy aircraft. This unprecedented combat record no doubt reflects Juutilainen's great eyesight and tremendous natural flying ability, but also is testimony to his coolness under fire, and his fantastic situational awareness. Jutitilainen had an uncanny ability to execute deflection shots when firing his weapons. He also understood that the likelihood of a successful burst rose dramatically as range closed between the pursuer and the pursued. Very often the ace would fire when he was within 20-50 yards of his opponent. Jutitilainen survived the War and today lives in Finland. His autobiography, entitled Double Fighter Knight, was published in English in 1996 and can be obtained from Zenith/Classic Motorbooks. As an interesting historical note, the blue swastika on juutilainen's aircraft had nothing to do with the Nazis. The first aircraft flown by the Finnish Air Force in 1918 was donated by count Erik von Rosen, a Swede, who had his personal lucky insignia, the blue swastika, painted on the aircraft. This was adopted on all Finnish Air Force aircraft thereafter. Eino Juutilainen passed away on 21st February 1999.

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Artwork featuring this Ace : Prints and Paintings Available to Purchase!

 The Brewster Aeronautical Corp. commenced development of the F2A Buffalo in 1936 in response to a US Navy request for a carrier-based fighter capable of 300 MPH. Development took place at the time when Grumman was also working on its first carrier-based fighter for the Navy.  Utilizing an all-metal, mid-wing, monoplane design, the first Brewster Buffalo prototype flew in 1937. An initial order for fifty-four aircraft was placed in mid-1938. The F2A-1 utilized a 900-HP R-H20-34 radial engine, and was armed with four machine guns. Eleven of the aircraft from the first production order were assigned to VF-3, which was based at that time on the USS Saratoga. The remaining forty-three aircraft were sent to Finland, which was fighting off an invasion by the Soviet Union. In 1940 the F2A-2 variant entered production utilizing a more powerful 1200-HP engine. Capable of 323-MPH, orders for three hundred additional aircraft were obtained, including 170 from the RAF, which at that time was in the midst of the Battle of Britain.. The Brits found the Buffalo very ineffective, and not capable of dog fighting with the faster and highly maneuverable Bf-109s it faced. The British withdrew the Buffalo from front line service, sending most of its aircraft to units in the Far East, where the Buffalo would later play a role in defending Java, Burma, Manila, and Singapore. Meanwhile the US Navy was becoming disenchanted with the aircraft due to weakness in its landing gear, and its minimal armor plating. Nonetheless, the Buffalo was one of the front line fighters the United States had in its arsenal when America entered WW II on December 7, 1941. During the only serious combat in which the Buffalo was flown by US forces, VMF-221 lost 18 of its 25 F2As during the Battle of Midway. The Buffalo proved to be no match for the faster and highly maneuverable Mitsubishi Zeroes flown by the Imperial Navy. Despite its lack luster reputation, the Buffalo was utilized effectively by the Finnish Air Force in fighting the Soviets. Some of this success is no doubt due to the relative lack of combat experience by many of the Soviet pilots, the fact that the Soviets had stuck with bi-plane fighter designs longer than other countries, and the fact that Finland had some excellent pilots of their own. The top Finnish ace, Eino Juutilainen, attained thirty-three of his incredible ninety-four victories while flying the Brewster Buffalo. Several of his victories were obtained against American-built Curtis P-40s, which had been sold to the Red Air Force. In his dramatic depiction, entitled Buffalo Ace, aviation artist Stan Stokes shows Juutilainen in action against Soviet P-40s during the defense of Finland.  Buffalo Ace by Stan Stokes.Click For DetailsSTK0132

Eino Ilmari Juutilainen

Aircraft for : Eino Ilmari Juutilainen
A list of all aircraft associated with Eino Ilmari Juutilainen. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Buffalo aircraft.

Manufacturer : Brewster


Full profile not yet available.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Me109 aircraft.

Manufacturer : Messerschmitt
Production Began : 1937
Retired : 1945
Number Built : 33984


Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.

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