Danish WW2 Pilots

Jens Henning Gielstrup

(1917 - 1943)

Jens Henning Gielstrup is working as reporter in London at the outbreak of the war. He volunteers for the Royal Air Force, but is killed in action on 23 August 1943.

Jens Henning Gielstrup was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the son of architect Knud Gielstrup and Elise Gielstrup (née Møller). The family moves to Svanninge near Fåborg early in his life. [1]

He finishes his A-levels in 1935 and works as journalist at the tabloid "B.T." from 1935 to 1939. In these years he also writes two novels, Kys til højre og venstre and Det gode hjerte, the former earning him the H.C. Andersen memorial medal. [2]

In 1940 he is head-hunted to another newspaper, "Politiken" and in March 1940 he becomes the newspaper's correspondent in London. [3]

Volunteers for Royal Air Force

In September 1941 Jens Henning Gielstrup volunteers for the Royal Air Force. He is trained in Britain and in Alberta, Canada from June 1942 to February 1943. On 23 March 1943 he is part of No. 51 Intake at No. 5 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit, Tern Hill. From here he is posted to No. 61 Operational Training Unit. The specific dates are unknown to me, but on 19 May 1943 while at this unit, he damages (cat B) Spitfire IIA ( P8088) when it stalls on landing due to an engine failure, collapsing the undercarriage. At some point during the summer of 1943, he is posted to No. 611 Squadron. [4]

The last Mission

On 23 August 1943, he is one of his first missions from RAF Coltishall in Spitfire Vb (P8545). The aircraft is one of eight Spitfires targeting shipping off Den Helder. The formation attacks in two sections. Gielstrup is Blue 4 in Blue section led by Norwegian Captain Arne Austeen. Gielstrup's aircraft is seen to dip the port wing and crash into the see and breaking up. Gielstrup is killed. [5]

He is commemorated in RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, United Kingdom, Panel 124. [6]

  1. Christian parish record, Danish 1925 Census
  2. Dahl, 1959
  3. Heiberg, 1999, 2003, 2003, Palmér, 1945
  4. Heiberg, 1999, 2003, 2003, No. 5(P)AFU ORB via Tom Thorne, forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=20734
  5. AIR 50/173
  6. www.cwgc.org