Arne Johnny Langhof Bøge volunteers for the Royal Norwegian Air Force during the Second World War. He is shot down on a mission in August 1943 and becomes prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III.
Arne Johnny Langhof Bøge is born on 04 November 1917 in Copenhagen. During the Second World War, he volunteers for the Royal Norwegian Air Force and is trained at Flyvåpnenes Treningsleir (FTL) in ‘Little Norway’, Canada, from mid-1941.
He is trained as pilot and is posted at No. 332 (Norwegian) Squadron in June 1943. In the beginning of June 1943 he is admitted to the hospital for reasons that I have not been able to trace. We know this because Kjeld Rønhof and Carl Erik Randløv visits him at hospital.
He participates in his first operational sortie – a convoy patrol – on 26 June 1943 taking off at 1000 hrs. from North Weald in Spitfire Vb (BL294). According to production information on Spitfires this is a Spitfire IX, but it is listed as a Spitfire Vb in the 332 (N) Sqn operational record book.
The Last Mission
On 15 August 1943 the squadron is part of the escort of B-17 Fortresses heading for Amiens and Vitry (Ramrod 202). A J L Bøge takes off in Spitfire IX ( BR630 ‘AH-‘) at 1850 hrs. with the rest of the squadron. They meet three boxes of 20 B-17s each off Berck-sur-Mer in Northern France heading for the target. Having bombed the target, the B-17s set course for Gravelines.
No. 332 (N) Squadron sees 6 Fw. 190s of I. and II./JG2 approaching the bombers from astern. The squadron dives towards the enemy aircraft and two pilots engage in combat near Vitry and between Arras and Donai. Lieutenant Werner Christie (blue 1) and his wingman, A J L Bøge (blue 2), both destroy a Fw. 190. Unfortunately Bøge is hit.
According to the 332 (N) Sqn. operational record book (appendix 20):
K. Rønhof states that he saw another Fw 190 firing on Sgt. A Bøge’s aircraft, hits being made all over the Spitfire IX. Sgt. A. Bøge then called up on his R/T stating that his aircraft was on fire. He was told to turn his aircraft south and go as far as possible and bale out. To this he answered “O.K. Cherio”. E. Westly states that when seing Sgt. A. Bøge’s aircraft last it was heading South towards a forest and it was followed by several (about 5) Fw. 190’s.
A J L Bøge manages to bail out but is captured by the Germans and interned in Stalag Luft III. It was Bøge’s 7th operational sortie at the squadron.
Following the German surrender he returns to Denmark and is attached to the Danish Naval Air Service. He is promoted to Flyverløjtnant af 1ste Grad on 1 June 1946. He is transferred to the Royal Danish Air Force when it is established in 1950. On 1 March 1952 he is promoted to Kaptajn (Captain).
(Ancker, 2001; AIR 27/1728; Franks, 1998; Foreman, 2002)