The Malmö Flygindustri MFI-9 Junior was a light aircraft produced in Sweden in the 1960s. The aircraft was also produced under license as the Bölkow Bo 208.
One variant of the MFI-9 which gained widespread fame was the MiniCOIN (an acronym for “Miniature Counter-Insurgency”), a modification of the MFI-9B military trainer variant of the MFI-9, adapted to carry weapons.
The name and concept originated with Carl Gustaf von Rosen, who realized that in a low intensity conflict even a few small, minimally armed aircraft are capable of having a significant impact. Light aircraft are in any event more suitable for operation in the primitive conditions typical in such conflicts. Von Rosen was familiar with the military trainer version of the MFI-9, which was robust enough to be able to carry significant loads of ordnance suspended from hard points on the wings.
A number of MFI-9Bs had been constructed in hopes of a sale to the Swedish Air Force, but when the sale fell through, the aircraft became available at a low price. So in May 1969, von Rosen formed a squadron of five MiniCOINs to fight in the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970) on the side of the Biafrans in support of their effort to create an independent state.
Von Rosen had the planes painted in camouflage colours and fitted with rockets from Matra, and proceeded with a band of friends to form a squadron called Biafra Babies to strike at the airfields from which the federal Nigerian Air Force launched their attacks against the civilian population in Biafra. On May 22, 1969, and over the next few days, Von Rosen and his five aircraft launched attacks against Nigerian airfields at Port Harcourt, Enugu, Benin and other small airports. The Nigerians were taken by surprise and a number of expensive jets, including a few MiG-17 fighters and three out of Nigeria’s six Ilyushin Il-28 bombers, were destroyed on the ground.
The pilots included Lynn Garrison among a group of other mercenaries. Lynn Garrison co-ordinated the attacks, personally destroying an Ilyushin Il-28 and a MiG-17.
The MiniCOINs saw extensive service during most of the war, including the delivery of food aid drops. Garrison introduced a supply-dropping procedure learned in northern Canada. A bag of grain was enclosed in a larger bag before dropping; when the load hit the ground, the inner bag would rupture, while the outer bag contained the contents. Many lives were saved through air drops using this simple concept.
Sourced from: WKPA