Danish WW2 Pilots

Kaj Høyer

(1912 - 1944)

Kaj Høyer is one of many young Danish seaman to join the Allied armed forces during the Second World War, but he is one of few to volunteer for the South African Air Force. He is killed in action on 13 July 1944.

Kaj Høyer is born on 4 February 1912 in Copenhagen. He is the son of Edvard and Anna Høyer. [1]

At Sea

During the 1930s he is at sea. On 21 August 1929 he arrives at San Francisco, California, on-board SS TONGKING of the Danish East Asiatic Company. He has signed on on 14 November 1928 in Denmark. [2]

In 1935-36 he is on-board the company's ship SS INDIA sailing on the pacific route. He is fouth officer. On 8 December 1935 the ship arrives at Tacoma, Seattle, from New Westminster, British Columbia. On 18 March 1936 this ship arrives at San Francisco, California, from Cristobal, Canal Zone, and a week later the ship arrives in Olympia, Washington. [3]

In 1936 the SS INDIA is transferred to the Far East. I have no information indicating whether Kaj Høyer followed the ship here. [4]

Volunteers for the South African Air Force

During the Second World War he volunteers for the South African Air Force and is trained as navigator. I have at this time no information on his whereabouts in South Africa in these years.

In 1944 he is attached to No. 40 Squadron, RAF, and holding the rank of Second Lieutenant. The squadron is equipped at this point with Wellington bombers. Following the Allied embarkment in Italy, the squadron moves to Italy from where it is able to reach targets in Northern Italy and on the Balkans. [5]

The Last Mission

On the night of 13/14 July 1944 Kaj Høyer is the Navigator of Weillington X (LN270 'BL-O'). The target on this night is the Milan-Lambrate Marshalling Yards. The aircraft is lost on the operation and the crew of five is killed in action. Apart from Kaj Høyer these are: [6]

  • Pilot Officer C. Charalambous
  • Flying Officer E. C. Martin
  • Flight Sergeant E. R. Shepherd
  • Sergeant A. J. Knight

Kaj Høyer and the rest of the crew are buried in the Padua War Cemetery, Italy. [7]


  1. www.cwgc.org
  2. California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1893-1957
  3. California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1893-1957, Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957
  4. www.faergejournalen.dk
  5. www.cwgc.org, www.raf.mod.uk
  6. Gunby, 1995
  7. www.cwgc.org