Danish WW2 Pilots

Kjeld Christian Johan Pedersen

(1917 - n.a.)

Kjeld C.J. Pedersen is trained as pilot in the Danish Naval Air Service before the outbreak of the war. In 1942 he manages to escape to Denmark in a D.H. Hornet Moth with his friend Thomas Sneum. He volunteers for the Royal Air Force and is in service in different squadrons until the end of the war flying Hurricanes and Spitfires.

Kjeld C.J. Pedersen is born on 1 February 1917 in Næstved, Denmark. He is the son of Sergeant Christian Jørgen Christian and Anna Lydia Pedersen (née Frederiksen) [1]

On 15 August 1938, he is posted to the Naval Air Service Flying School as Flyverkadetaspirant. He is promoted to Flyverkadet (Officers Cadet) on 14 April 1939 and further promoted to Flyverløjtnant af 2den Grad (Pilot Officer) on 22 December 1939. He is then attached to 1. Luftflotille (No. 1 Air Flotilla) equipped with Heinkel He 8 aircraft. Following the German occupation of Denmark Kjeld C.J. Pedersen is discharged on 31 July 1940. [2]

Escape to England

On 21 July 1941 Kjeld C.J. Pedersen and Thomas Sneum escape Denmark in a D.H. Hornet Moth. From Funen they reach Coquet Island, Northumberland, in six hours. They are met by a section of Spitfires and later Hurricanes and lands in a field outside Alnwick. A more thorough article on the legendary escape shall be written in the future. [3]

Kjeld C.J. Pedersen volunteers for the Royal Air Force and is in service from 27 June 1941 until the end of the war. On 6 December 1942 Kjeld Pedersen joins No. 33 Squadron at Benina, North Africa. He is tranferred to No. 94 Squadron at Savoia on July 28, 1943. He advances to Flight Lieutenant and 'A' Flight Commander during his time at this squadron. Following a period in hospital with infective hepatitis he is posted away from No. 94 Squadron on 28 January 1944. [4]

On 9 March 1944 he is posted to No. 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron then at RAF Station Cottishall, Norfolk, but is posted to No. 1 Squadron on 7 April 1944. This squadron is converting from Typhoon Ibs to Spitfire IXs in April 1944 and moving from North Weald to Ayr on 22 April 1944. He follows No. 1 Squadron as it advances over the continent in the last year of the war. [5]

After VE-day

Following the German surrender Kjeld C.J. Pedersen continues in RAF service for about a year ending his service in No. 26 Squadron on Spitfire XIV’s and based in Lübeck, Germany, from 10 October 1945 to 4 April 1946. [6]

On 12 July 1946 he is re-engaged by the Danish Naval Air Service and he is promoted to Flyverløjtnant af 1ste Grad (Flying Officer) on 1 August 1946. He is flying instructor at the Air Marine Station Avnø in 1947-1948.

Kjeld C.J. Pedersen continues in the then newly established Danish Air Force and retires following a long career in 1977 as Oberstløjtnant (Lieutenant Colonel). [7]

Source

  1. Parish record of Næstved, Skt. Morten
  2. Ancker, 2001; HfS
  3. Ancker, 2001
  4. Pedersen, 1983; Ian Simpson
  5. Ancker, 2001; AIR 27/4
  6. Ancker, 2001
  7. Ancker, 2001; HfF