Danish WW2 Pilots

LAC Bent Knudsen

(1924 - 2005)

Bent Knudsen is at sea at the time the Germans occupy Denmark. He ends up in Australia where he volunteers for the Royal Australian Air Force. He is in service as guard until the end of the war.

Bent Knudsen is born on 8 February 1924 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the son of Knud Valdemar and Erika Mathilde Saxdorph Knudsen (née Beck) [1]

He is at sea before the war. On 22 September 1938 he engaged in Elsinore on the M/V ASTORIA bound for the pacific. The ship arrives in Everett, Washington, from Vancouver, B.C., on 17 March 1939. Following the German occupation of Denmark, 9 April 1940, the ship sails for Australia. [2]

Volunteers for the Royal Australian Air Force

On 20 April 1943 he reports to No. 2 Recruiting Centre in Sydney. He mustered as guard and appointed Aircraftman Class I on enlistment (AUS133186). At enlistment machine hand at A.D.Thompson Pty., Mill Road, Liverpool, NSW. He is immediately posted to No. 1 Bombing and Air Gunnery School, RAAF Evans Head, for training. On 25 May 1943 he is transferred to No. 1 Recruit Depot, Shepparton, Victoria, for drill training.

From 1 June to 5 July 1943 he follows No 16 Special Guards Course and on 19 July 1943 he is posted to No. 1 Embarkation Depot, Ascot Vale, Victoria. On 17 August 1943 he is posted to No. 55 Operational Base Unit at RAAF Birdum, Northern Territory. About a week later, on 23 August 1943, he is assigned to Security Guards Unit, Darwin, Northern Territory. He holds this posting until 6 December 1944. On 20 October 1943 he is appointed Leading Aircraftman. [3]

In Service as Guard

According to Stevnsberg, he is serving as rear gunner in the Pacific. The service record does not confirm this. He is assigned, very briefly, to No. 2 Squadron, Hughes Field, Darwin, Northern Territory, for guard duty. The primary role of this unit was to protect the ground installations from attacks. [4]

On 6 December 1944 he is posted to No. 2 Personnel Depot, RAAF Bradfield Park, NSW, and on 17 January 1945 he is posted to No 5 Operational Training Unit, Williamtown, NSW. From 28 August 1945 to 11 February 1946 he is posted to No. 3 Reserve Personnel Pool, No. 1 Personnel Depot and then he is back at No 5 Operational Training Unit. This unit is renamed Crew Conversion Unit (Attack) on 12 February 1946.

On 25 February 1945 he is posted to No. 2 Personmel Depot, RAAF Bradfield Park, NSW, from where he is discharged on 8 March 1946. [5]

Bent Knudsen applies for naturalisation in 1945. [6]

He is awarded Defence Medal, War Medal 1939–1945, Australian Service Medal 1939-45, 1939-1945 Star, and Pacific Star. [7]


  1. Skt. Jakob parish record
  2. Stevnsborg, 2007, Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957
  3. Service record, NAA A9301 133186
  4. Stevnsborg, 2007, www.ozatwar.com/raaf/raafsecurityguardunit.htm
  5. Service record, NAA A9301 133186, Colin Bruggy
  6. NAA A435 1945/4/4156
  7. Stevnsborg, 2007, Service record, NAA A9301 133186