Palle Thomsen joins the Royal Norwegian Air Force in Canada in 1941. Though initially trained as radio mechanist, he eventually becomes pilot and is attached to 331 (Norwegian) Squadron.
Palle Thomsen is born on 25 July 1921 in Copenhagen. He is the son of Sigurd Thomsen, political editor of the newspaper Socialdemokraten (the Social Democrat).
In late 1937, Palle Thomsen signs on the M/S AMERIKA of the East Asia Company. He returns to Denmark for a few months, but in 1938 he signs on to yet another ship bound for the Far East.
In 1939, he tries to enlist for the United States Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force. In the end, he volunteers for the Royal Norwegian Air Force in Little Norway, Toronto, on 11 February 1941. He is trained as radio mechanic and functions as instructor.
Trained as pilot
On 7 September 1942, Palle Thomsen is accepted for pilot’s training. Elementary training takes place at Muskoka on Fairchild Cornells. Further training took place at No. 34 Service Flying Training School, Medicine Hat from 25 March 1943. He gets his wings on 9 July 1943.
He is transferred to England onboard M/S QUEEN ELISABETH and i posted to a training camp in St. Andrews, Scotland, awaiting advanced traning for four months. On 1 January 1944 he is posted to o. 5 (P) AFU, Tern Hill, and on 18 March 1944 he is posted to No. 53 OTU, Kirton-in-Lindsey.
While at this unit he receives the message of his father’s death; Sigurd Thomsen is killed by the Germans on 23 March 1944.
To 331 (Norwegian) Squadron
Palle Thomsen is posted to 331 (Norwegian) Squadron in July 1944 flying his first operational sortie in 12 July 1944. He is then holding the rank of sergeant.
In the beginning of November 1944, he is promoted to Flight Sergeant and he is further promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in February/March 1945. He is flying a large number of missions as 132 (Norwegian) Wing is supporting the ground forces during the last months of the war.
He returns to England as the squadron is redrawn in order to convert to Spitfire XVI in April 1945.
After the liberation
Palle Thomsen is discharged on 29 July 1945. He joins the Danish Naval Air Service on 1 August 1946, but only for about a year. In the late 1940’s, he establishes a commercial air photo company (Ancker, 2001; Ekstra Bladet, 1996; Susanne Feierskov).
Palle Thomsen's daughter, Susanne Feierskov, published a book on his father and a number of other Danish fighter pilots entitled "Med vinger og våben" (With wings and weapons) on 31 October 2011.