The discovery of her middle name in a document in the National Archives opened several new paths in the research for more information on the service of this volunteer. Emma Cathrine Mortensen served as a nurse in Scotland during the war.
Fg Off. N. P. W. Pedersen was one of more than twenty Danes serving in Bomber Command. He was killed 73 years ago today, when his aircraft failed to return. His story iis covered in Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom as well as in an updated article on my website www.danishww2pilots.dk.
In the preface of Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom I mention that my research continues. Much information still out there to be to be collated and communicated on the Danish air force volunteers. Only two days ago, a friend pointed me in the direction of a newspaper clipping from August 1945 mentioning the death of Sgt Jens J. Scott, who died serving in VMF-451 on 11 May 1945. I have written a brief profile for my website from the preliminary research on him.
G. C. Egebjerg served as a pilot in both RAF and USAAF during the Second World War. He served in the Mediterranean area flying Blenheim, Marauder and Mitchell medium bombers. Egebjerg's story is covered in Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom as well as in this newly updated article on my website.
Flere end 250 danskere - mænd som kvinder - meldte sig under 2. verdenskrig til de allierede luftvåben. Fra Europa over Nordafrika, Mellemøsten, Indien og Burma til New Guinea, Australien og Japan var der danskere i luften såvel som på jorden. Nogle var flygtet efter den tyske besættelse for at kæmpe, andre var med besættelsen blevet afskåret fra at vende hjem, og endnu andre var danske i udlandet, der valgte at kæmpe for Danmark.
Mikkel Plannthin har i mere end 15 år kortlagt danskernes indsats og fortæller om de frivilliges indsats med udgangspunkt i sin nyligt udgivne bog ”Britain’s Victory, Denmark’s Freedom”.
Foredraget afholdes i regi af Frihedsmuseets Venner. Foredraget afholdes på dansk.
On New Year's Day 1944, Fg Off. Niels Erik Westergaard DFC took off from East Kirby on his 25th and last mission. A few hours later the Lancaster was hit by flak and crashed near Grossbeuthen south of Berlin. All members of the crew were killed. Westergaard's story is covered on my website in an updated profile article as well as in Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom as well.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Only days before Christmas 1943, FS Svend Sondergaard was killed, when Halifax V LK644/ZL-C was lost during a raid on Frankfurt. The crew of seven was lost. Sondergaard was born in Denmark in 1921, but the family emigrated to Canada in 1929. He enlisted in the RCAF in July 1941 and transferred to England in March 1943. Following ground service as Airframe Mechanic in 426 Sqn, he was accepted for aircrew duties. In Nov 1943, he was posted to 427 Sqn. The Frankfurt raid on the night of 20/21 Dec 1943 was Sondergaard's third operation. He was the younger brother of Andrew Christian Sondergaard, DFC, who also served as Flt Eng in the RCAF. A. C. Sondergaard completed fifty operations in 405 Sqn from Dec 1942 to Jan 1944.
Over the years researching Danes in the Allied air forces, I have have only been able to identify a few Danish nationals serving in the USAAF. Tonight, I learned about another two: 1st Lt Thorkil Jensen served as a navigator in 324th Bomb Squadron and flew 30 missions in 1944-45. Sgt Svend Bue Røndum served in the Pacific. Both men had emigrated from Denmark to the United States and later became US citizens. Jensen even thought he was a US citizen at enlistment and had convinced a judge to sign a document stating that he was.
If you have troubles figuring out what to wish for Christmas, I am sure Santa would not mind bringing a copy of Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom in his sledge ...
On this Remembrance Sunday we remember and honour our fallen. The Book of Remembrance in Holmens Church in Copenhagen includes the names of Danes, who lost their life in the fight for Denmark's freedom in the Allied forces 1940-45. Lest we forget ...
"Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom" was the motto of one of the Spitfire Funds set up by Free Danes around the world in 1941. The aim was to collect funds to equip a Danish squadron with Spitfires and man it with Danish pilots. A Danish squadron never materialised, but three Spitfires were donated to No. 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron on 10 April 1942 at a ceremony at RAF Station Ibsley. Two Danish fighter pilots - Plt Off. Svendsen and Plt Off. Thalbitzer - were posted to the squadron as well. This new article from my website tells the story of the Danish Spitfires. The story is part of the wider story of Danes in the Allied air forces covered in my book.
Earlier today, I had the honour to give a lecture on Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom at the Fly & bok 2017 seminar in Oslo, Norway. In some ways the Danish and Norwegian stories of occupation are similar; in other ways there very different. Therefore, it is very interesting to compare the story of the Danish volunteers to the Norwegian story.
Fg Off. Børge Nielsen flew thirty-nine operations from Italy in 1944 as part of 104 Sqn, 205 Grp. He survived until the end of hostilities, but died in a fatal crash on 16 October 1945, when his Wellington crashed near Naples. His story is covered in chapter 6 of Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom as well as in the updated profile on my website.
DANISHWW2PILOTS.DK - the website that I established in 2005 to share the stories of the Danish air force volunteers in the Second World War - has had a makeover. A new and responsive design makes it easier to navigate on mobile devices. For the past years, my focus has been to write Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. As a consequence, the personal profiles of the volunteers are not all updates with my latest research. I intend to do this in the months to come.