Danish WW2 Pilots

Frank William Marius Jensen

(1914 - 1999)

Frank William Marius Jensen joins Royal Air Force before the war and has a long and eventful career ending as Group Captain.

Frank William Marius Jensen is born on 8 December 1914 in London. He is the son of Niels Søren Marius Jensen (born 1888 in Nykøbing, Denmark) and Elsie Neatherway. He is thus British subject by birth. [1]

He volunteers for the Auxiliary Air Force as early as on 28 November 1933 (801303, AAF). [2]

Second World War Service

Following the outbreak of the war, he enters in active duty. He is commissioned, and promoted Pilot Officer (on probation) on 17 July 1941 (102058, RAFVR). On 15 March 1942 he is granted the rank of Flying Officer (war substantial). He is confirmed in appointment as Flying Officer (on probation) on 17 July 1942. [3]

During 1942 he serves 6 months as Flight Commander at No. 52 Operational Training Unit. He is known as an outstandingly enthusiastic instructor as is awarded the Air Force Cross for his service at this unit. [4] At this point he is Acting Flight Lieutenant. [5]

He is posted to No. 195 Squadron during the first half of 1943 flying Hawker Typhoon. In August 1943 he is posted to No. 181 Squadron to take command of this squadron. [6]

Pioneering RP equipped Typhoons

In early September, the squadron receives the first RP (Rocket Projectiles) fitted Typhoons at New Romney, starting practice with the new weapon from 21 September. A month later, on 21 October, the squadron is ready for the first operation. Frank Jensen leads three of his pilots escorted by aircraft from No. 247 Squadron, and with No. 182 Squadron as top cover. Neither on this day, nor on a similar mission on 23 October, suitable targets are sighted.

On 25 October 1943, he takes off in Typhoon Ib (JP513 ‘EL-F’) leading 6 RP-armed Typhoons, with No. 247 Squadron as close escort and 182 Squadron providing top cover. The target is a power station near Caen. No. 174 Squadron would provide a diversionary attack on marshalling yards near Caen, and the plan was for Jensen’s Typhoons to use the confusion caused by the attack to cross the marshalling yards, continue along the railway line only to attack the power station further down the line. Jensen was not fond of this approach fearing that he approach would disclose the intentions. He would rather have approached the target cross-country.

The Typhoons was in the air between 1220 and 1240 hours. Frank Jensen led the 181 squadron Typhoons in two vics of three aircraft on the deck cross the channel. Cited from Shores and Thomas (2004, p 43), he explains:

Just before the target was line of poplars which marked the point where it was necessary to pull up into the rocket-launching position. At that moment all hell let loose as the Flak batteries opened up; Flg Off Hugh Collins and myself were hit immediately, and Flg Off King a few minutes later. I prepared for a forced-landing, jettisoning my rockets and cockpit side panels; with forward vision obscured by oil on the windscreen, I had to stick my head out of the side of the cockpit, but fortunately spotted a ploughed field in which to put the Typhoon down. I remember trying to keep the Tiffie straight with the rudder, as normal, and the rudder bar nearly broke my ankles!

F/O W R King is killed in the attack, while both Frank Jensen and F/O E H Collins are captured by the Germans and imprisoned in Stalag Luft 3 (3231). [7]

Frank Jensen was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross following this attack and his capture. [8]

Frank Jensen remains in the air force after the war and is eventually promoted Group Captain on 1 January 1960. In addition he is appointed OBE in 31 December 1954, and promoted to CBE on 31 December 1963. [9] He dies in 1999 at the age of 85. [10]


  1. Nykøbing Falster parish record
  2. NA, WO344/163/1 via www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4322
  3. London Gazette, Issues 35254, 35547 and 35699
  4. www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4322
  5. London Gazette, Issue 35841
  6. www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4322
  7. Shores and Thomas, 2004
  8. London Gazette, Issue 36299
  9. London Gazette, Issue 40366, 41915, and 43200
  10. Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Death Index: 1916-2005 [database on-line]