Danish WW2 Pilots

Kell Antoft

(1923 - 2005)

Kell Antoft is one of two brothers joining the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He survives the war.

Kell Antoft is born on 24 July 1923 in Roskilde, Denmark. He is the son of Hugo Antoft (1889-1954) and Asta Antoft (1896-1988). He is the brother of Otto Hjalmar Antoft. In 1930 the Antoft family emigrates to Canada. Initially the family settles down in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1933 the family moves to Lakeville, Nova Scotia. He is educated at the Brooklyn Street School and at Kings County Academy in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

After completing grade eleven, he interrupts his schooling for a year and signs on as cabin boy on a Danish steamer loading apples in Port Williams. He arrives back in NovaScotia in May 1939, completes grade twelve in 1940, and enrols at DalhousieUniversity in 1941.

In the late 1930’s, after completing grade eleven, he signs on as cabin boy on a Danish steamer transporting apples from Port Williams to Europe. He returns to school in May 1939 graduating from grade twelve in 1940 and enrols at Dalhousie University in 1941. [1]

Joining the Royal Air Force

He interrupts his studies in the winter of 1943 joining the Royal Canadian Air Force. On 1 January 1943 he enlists in Halifax and is posted to No. 16 University Air Training Corps Squadron with the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class (U.213070). On 15 May 1943 he is transferred to a unit abbreviated “R/C M” in the documents.

On 14 June 1943 he is posted to No. 1 Manning Depot, Toronto. He is posted to No. 5 Manning Depot, Lachine, at some point, but is back at No. 1 Manning Depot, Toronto, on 8 July 1943.

On 7 August 1943 he is posted to No. 1 Initial Training School, Toronto. On 15 October 1943 he is promoted Leading Aircraftman and he is designated for training as navigator. On 13 November 1943 he is posted to RCAF Station Mountain View.

He is posted to No. 10 Air Observer School, Chatham, New Brunswick, on 15 January 1944. He is promoted to Pilot Officer on 2 June 1944. On 14 June 1944, he is posted to No. 2 Air Gunners Ground Training School, Trenton, Ontario. About a month later, on 15 July 1944, he is posted to No. 1 ‘Y’ Depot for overseas duty. He reports to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth, on 3 August 1944. [2]

According to the documents, he is trained as Radar Navigator in night fighters at an Operational Training Unit, at RAF Station Ouston in the United Kingdom. He is later transferred to Cranfield, Bedforshire, for conversion to Mosquito. I have not yet been able to establish the exact identity of these units. [3]

On 2 December 1944 he is promoted to Flying Officer. [4]

In Denmark he is part of the RAF contingent who accepts the surrender of the Danish Airfield Aalborg West from Luftwaffe. [5]

He returns to Canada later this summer, reporting to No. 1 Repatriation Centre, Lachine, on 23 July 1945. On 3 September 1945 he is posted to Moncton, on 14 October 1945 to No. 1 ‘Y’ Depot, and on 21 October 1945 to No. 10 Release Centre.

On 14 November 1945 he reports to No. 168 Squadron. This squadron is involved in the delivery of mail to Canadian servicemen in the United Kingdom and on the Continent.

He reports to No. 3 Release Centre on 28 March 1946 and is retired on 5 April 1946. [6]

After the War

He retires from RCAF in 1946 and establishes Viking Air Service Limited with his brother Finn in 1947. The company sells and ferries aircraft from Canada to Europe. Later the company becomes an agent for Canadair Limited selling spare parts for C47 aircraft. The company is later sold and Kell Antoft enters into new ventures.

He serves in RCAF Auxiliary Unit 2401 for four years after the war and is promoted to Flight Lieutenant.

Kell Antoft dies on 8 January 2005 at Halifax, Nova Scotia. [7]

Sources

  1. Antoft Family Accession
  2. Service card, Directorate of History
  3. Antoft Family Accession
  4. Service card, Directorate of History
  5. Antoft in Maxwell, 1993
  6. Service card, Directorate of History, rcaf.com
  7. Antoft Family Accession, Service card, Directorate of History