*Click on any picture to see full size.
A Flight Tunic to a Senior Sergeant
A senior NCO of the Finnish Air Force at a forward base. He is wearing the 'flight tunic', which is made out of a coarse blue-gray wool. The cap is similar to the German M-43 cap. A full on view of the NCO. For now, we will have to ignore the pants as I have not found any. It was not uncommon for men to wear the flight tunic with service pants. The Finns favored a closed tunic for work wear. The rank system for enlisted was signified on the collar for the army and the air force with Chevrons. The blue denotes that this is for the Air Force. Four chevrons denotes a Senior Sergeant. By clicking and looking at the larger picture, it is clear that this man was promoted in the field from a Sergeant as the last chevron is more crudely sewn in.

Two well worn ribbons. The first, which almost seems bloodstained, is for the Medal of Liberty, 2nd class. The second ribbon is for the Winter War of 1939-1940 with the Soviets. The zinc crossed swords signify that the recipient was a combatant.
The shoulder features the branch of service devices for the Air Force. It is a stylised cross composed of a propeller and wings. In the middle is the Finnish swastika, which, as we have stated, was a good luck symbol of one of the early Finnish aviation pioneers and had nothing to do with Nazism. The device is hollow stamped out of brass and is attached directly with prongs through the fabric. The inside of the tunic showing the issue stamps. The tunic is dated 1943. The metal hooks for closing the collar rusted due to age and moisture. The collar, in fact, is the most worn part of this tunic.

Enlisted Air Force had a choice of caps. The one shown here is the M-43 style similar to the Germans. The other style is the more traditional envelope side cap. Both were the same color with the blue and white cockade in the middle.
The enlisted cockade. Officers wore a device that was a red circle with a gold rampant lion in the center. The interior of the cap showing the size (58) and the year 1944. A typical enlisted leather belt. The buckle is for the army. I have not seen anything that showed enlisted Air Force with a different symbol. Either way, it would be safe to assume that you made do with what was around.

All images © 2000 Tod Rathbone