Danish WW2 Pilots

Flt Lt. Poul Ulrik Axel Keel

(1912 - 1944)

Because of his death at an Operational Training Unit, I initially thought that Poul Ulrik Axel Keel was killed during his flying practice. But the London Gazette confirms that he is commissioned as early as in 1941. He serves on No. 45 Squadron in North Africa.

Poul Ulrik Axel Keel is born on 23 December 1912 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the son of managing director, engineer Harald Oluf and Hilma Olivia Mathilde Victoria Keel (née Hansen). [1]

At the time of the German occupation of Denmark, he is working in Tanganiyika, and as a consequence he is cut off from his family. He seems to have served the Kenya Regiment (No.1329), but so far I have no further details of his service. [2]

Among the men on the nominal roll of this regiment are also Svend Erik van der Aa Kühle, who is killed in action on 12 February 1942, while in service in the Royal Air Force and his brother Carl Gustav van der Aa Kühle. I have no other information on a link between Keel and the Kühle brothers than the relation to the Kenya Regiment.

Volunteers for the Royal Air Force

Poul Ulrik Axel Keel volunteers for service in the Royal Air Force most likely during 1940. He volunteers for the Royal Air Force probably in 1940. On 2 April 1941, he is commissioned (101474, RAFVR) for the duration of hostilities as Pilot Officer on probation. A year later he is confirmed in this appointment and further appointed to Flying Officer (war substantive). [3]

He serves on No. 45 Squadron, as a pilot, from 8 December 1941 to 16 August 1943. [4] He is promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 2 April 1943. [5]

In what must have been one of his first missions, on 12 December 1941 his wireless operator and aerial gunner Sgt. J. F. Jennings is slightly injured in the buttock as an anti aircraft bullet pierced the floor of the aircraft while over target near Derna Road in Tunisia. [6]

Last flight

On 4 June 1944, Poul Ulrik Axel Keel is killed in a training accident. Taking of at 0342, the Wellington Mk. III (BK470) of No. 16 Operational Training Unit, Barford, St. John, fails to become properly airborne on take-off and ended up amongst buildings at Lovells Farm. Two other crew members are injured. [7]

Poul Ulrik Axel Keel is taken for cremation at Golders Green. [8] He is later repatriated to Denmark where he is buried at Solbjerg Parkkirkegård, afd. 5.A., nr. 176.

Information on Poul Ulrik Axel Keel has been gathered in close cooperation with Colin Bruggy.

  1. Frederiksberg parish record
  2. information via Colin Bruggy, http://home.comcast.net/~kenyaregiment/k.html
  3. London Gazette issues 35247 and 34650
  4. information via Colin Bruggy
  5. London Gazette issue 36030
  6. NAA A705 163/127/36
  7. Chorley, 2002
  8. www.cwgc.org