Danish WW2 Pilots

Fg Off. Andreas Moldt Petersen

(1921 - n.a.)

Andreas Petersen is one of the few Danes to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served as air gunner in 166 Squadron completing a tour of operations.

Andreas Petersen is born on 5 Occtober 1921 in Hellevad, Denmark. He signs on his first ship in 1936 at the age of 14. During the following years he is signed on different small ships in Danish waters.

In 1939, he signs on the training ship DANMARK that leaves Copenhagen for New York on 8 August 1939. The cruise was supposed to last 10 months, but the vessel did not return until 13 November 1945 because of the outbreak of war. The ship was scheduled to return from Jacksonville on 10 April 1940, but following the German occupation of Denmark on the 9th this did not happen. On-board were several young men, who volunteer for service in the allied forces. Of these Andreas Petersen, Hans Martensen and Viggo Pedersen volunteer for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Having signed off the training ship he signs of a Norwegian vessel, before signing on the Swedish vessel HJELMAREN in May 1941. On-board he is part of two convoys from United States to England. [1]

Operational Training

Andreas Petersen enlists in Montréal on 3 February 1943 and is posted to No. 5 Manning Depot at RCAF Station Lanchine, Montreal with the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class (R.216282). On 21 April 1943 he is posted to No. 1 Initial Training School, Toraonto, for training. At the same time he is designated for training as Air Gunner. From 2 May 1943 he is trained at No. 23 Pre-Aircrew Education Unit, University of Toronto.

On 11 June 1943 he is posted to No. 2 Air Gunners Ground Training School, Trenton, Ontario, and on 24 July 1943 he is promoted to Leading Aircraftman and further posted to No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Manitoba, graduating at 3 September 1943. He is promoted to Sergeant.

On 17 September 1943 he is transferred to No. 1 ‘Y’ Depot for overseas duties and he reports to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth, on 8 October 1943 following an Atlantic crossing on-board SS QUEEN MARY [2]

He is transferred to an Operational Training Unit at RAF Station Hixon (presumambly No. 30) training on Wellingtons. While still in training, he is on his first sortie over enemy territory on 27 December 1943 dropping leaflets over Amiens, France. Following trainings at RAF Station Hixon, he is trained at RAF Station Hemswell and RAF Station Ingham, before commencing training on four-engined aircraft at RAF Station Blyton near Gainsborough. The aircraft in question are Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax. Andreas Petersen finishes operational training on 26 April 1944. [3]

Posted to No. 166 Squadron

On 27 April 1944, he reports to 166 Squadron, A-flight, at RAF Station Kirmington. On 7 May 1994, he is on his first operational sortie; the target being the aerodrome at Rennes. A few days after, the crew receives the aircraft, in which they are to fly most of their sorties in: Avro Lancaster Mk. III (NE170 ‘AS-I’ The Imp).

In early June 1944, the crew participates in the preparation for ‘Operation Overlord’, bombing the French coastal region. On 23 July 1944, he participates in an operation against Kiel in Germany. During the raid Andreas Petersen crosses Denmark for the first time since 1939. He is stationed at 166 Squadron until 1 August 1944 completing a tour of operations. [4]

Instructor in England and Canada

In the beginning of October 1944, he is posted to RAF Station Bridgenorth as instructor.

In November 1944, he receives the Distinguished Flying Medal for his service at 166 Squadron. The medal is presented to Andreas Petersen in Copenhagen in September 1947.

He returns to Canada, reporting to No. 1 Repatriation Centre, Lachine, on 28 December 1944. He is promoted Pilot Officer (J.92910). On 15 January 1945 he is posted to No. 1 AIRCSM [?] and on 7 February 1945 he is posted to No. 6 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mountain View, as instructor. He is to stay here until the end of hostilities in Europe.

He is supposed to make a second tour of operations in the Far East. He leaves Mountain View in early May 1944 and reports to No. 1 ‘Y’ Depot on 19 May 1945. On 30 May 1945 he returns to Mountain View. He is promoted to Flying Officer on 20 June 1945. On 29 August 1945 he is transferred to No. 3 Release Centre. [5]

Returning home

Andreas Petersen is honourably released from the Royal Canadian Air Force on 5 September 1945. He signs on the training ship DANMARK on 20 September 1945 at a ceremony at which the ship is transferred from the American Coastal Command to Denmark. On 15 October 1945, the ship leaves New York bound for Copenhagen. Andreas Petersen returns to Copenhagen on 13 November 1945 after 6 years and three months abroad.

After the war, Andreas Petersen is trained as ship master and joins the Danish Naval Air Service. He is appointed Flight Officer on 15 November 1952, and promoted to Lieutenant Captain on 1 December 1954. He leaves the Royal Danish Air Force in 1957, to return to the training ship DANMARK as ship master and later as captain in the merchant navy. [6]

Sources

  1. Moldt, 1985
  2. Service card, Directorate of History
  3. Moldt, 1985
  4. Moldt, 1985
  5. Moldt, 1985, Service card, Directorate of History
  6. Moldt, 1985, Service card, Directorate of History