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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

RIP John Gustafsson

John Gustafsson having a frontline haircut.

Today a Swedish veteran of the Winter War of 1939-40 was laid to rest. There were not many of them left in 2013 and now John Gustafsson is no longer with us.

I met John for the first time at a military ceremony last year, he was still quite fit then and invited me to visit him in his home in Boden. I am glad I made it in time and could chat with him, get some things checked and see his photographs (one here above). What was very unusual with John's service as a Swedish volunteer in Finland was that he first belonged to the artillery in Vasa. The vast majority of Swedes then served in Lapland. In the next Finnish war, the Continuation War, he served too, in the Swedish Volunteer Company.

Thank you for letting me ask those questions and rest in peace! To any family members of John Gustafsson reading this, my condolences to you.

1 comment:

  1. What he did for Finland, he also did for Sweden. The veterans were not just adventurous, eazily discerned from the rest of the Swedish population, individuals. There was a peoples movement at the time. When helping Finland, they helped Sweden as well, and the veterans was very aware of that. Rest in Peace John Gustafsson!

    Roger Klang, Lund Scaniae Sweden