Pro Patria – Bruno Johannes Heliste

Jaeger Bruno Johannes Heliste who fell at the Battle of Pelkosenniemi on the 16th December 1939. Winter War

Bruno Johannes Heliste was a farmer from Rantsila, Northern Ostrobothnia region. He was married and had 5 children.

Infantry Regiment 40 was a unit made up of older reservists and was lacking in equipment compared to other Infantry Regiments. However, due to the advancing Soviet 122nd Rifle Division in the Salla region, the unit was desperately needed.

The regiment was hastily loaded onto a train and steamed towards Kemijärvi. They arrived on the morning of the 16th December and were sent to Pelkosenniemi in an effort to halt the encroaching Soviet force.

4th Company was part of the 2nd Battalion’s initial contact at Kitinen River Ferry Crossing on the evening of the 16th December. As the Soviet force pushed back the 2nd Battalion, the 1st and 3rd Battalions started a flanking maneuver that would encircle the enemy. On the morning of the 18th December, several Soviet tanks and infantry tried to push through the Finnish defences. During the intense fighting, Jaeger Bruno Heliste was killed.

His body was return to his home of Rantsila.


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