Danish WW2 Pilots

Sgt Antoine Marie Leon Winther

(1921 - 1941)

Antoine Winther was a member of the French Air Force at the outbreak of war. In June 1940, he escaped to England and continued flying training in the Free French Air Force.

Antoine Marie Leon Winther was born on 27 August 1921 in Paris (XVIe) to Carl Winther and Germaine Winther (née Waldmann). The father was Danish consul in Paris during the war.[1]

At the outbreak of war, Winther was a student pilot in the French Air Force training at the Ecole de Pilotage n° 27 (No. 27 Pilot School) in Vannes. Not accepting the French defeat in June 1940, he and a number of fellow students managed to escape to England via Saint-Jean-de-Luz. They arrived in Liverpool on 29 June 1940 on-board the SS Arandora Star, which was sent by the British government to evacuate Polish soldiers from France in June 1940.[2] He continued flying training in Britain.

He joined the Les Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres (FAFL) on 1 July 1940[3], and was posted to the French Elementary Flying Training School at RAF Odiham. On 14 May 1941, Winther reported to 5 Service Flying Training School for No. 61 Flying Training Course. The course ended on 6 August 1941.[4]

Winther arrived at 59 Operational Training Unit at RAF Crosby-on-Eden on 18 August 1941 for No. 7 Course. Three weeks later, on 12 September, he was killed in an accident during flying training.[5] He had taken off in Hurricane I (V7251) on a night sortie, but crashed at Low Wood Farm, Warwick Bridge, Cumberland, about 4.5 km from Crosby-on-Eden.[6]

Winther was awarded Médaille de la Resistance (France) and Kong Christian X Erindringsmedalje 1940-45 (Denmark).[7]


[1] SHD: AC 21 P 172273. Name of his mother also stated as Maria del Carmen Ernestine Aimée Winther (née Waldmann).

[2] Lafont, H. (2002). Mémorial des forces aériennes françaises libres, p #.

[3] SHD: AC 21 P 172273.

[4] NA: AIR 29/556.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Hurst, M. (1997). Air crashes in the Lake District, 1936-1976.

[7] Lafont, op.cit., allieret.natmus.dk