Danish WW2 Pilots

Pvt. Gustave Jensen White

(1919 - 2013)

Pvt. Gustave ‘Gus’ J. White enlisted in the USAAF in August 1942 and served, presumably as ground crew, during the war. He was one of the Danish nationals enlisting in the air force in the United States.

Gustave Jensen White was born as Peter Gustav Jensen Hvid on 20 May 1919 in Vejle, to carpenter Alfred Jensen Hvid and Ane Dorthea Hvid (née Nielsen).[1]

The family emigrated the the United States in 1925 arriving in New York onboard the SS Hellig Olav on 7 October 1925. His father had arrived about six months previously.[2]

The family settled in Chicago, Illinois, where he White was raised and educated. [3] In October 1940, at the time of the draft, he worked as a salesman for Hyman Henry Lurie in Chicago. Lurie was a veteran of the First World War and also served in the Second World War.[4]

Air Force Service

White enlisted as a private (36362780) in the U.S. Army on 10 August 1942 on Chicago, Illinois. [5] A few months later, on 18 November 1942, White was naturalized as a United States citizen. He was assigned to the 312th School Squadron at Sheppard Field in Texas at the time. [6] This air base was opened as an Army Air Corps training center in late 1941 and conducted basis training and technical training. [7] There is no specific information on the nature of his service at this point.

White married Elsie L. Nelson in May 1943. She was of Swedish heritage. Immediately after the wedding, White returned to Greenville Air Force Base, where he was stationed at the time. [8] This air base was completed in May 1942 as a training center for B-25 Michell medium bombers and later training on B-24 Liberators was also carried out.[9]

White seems to have served stateside and not overseas.

After the War

White returned to Chicago after the war, and worked as a carpenter for many years until retirement. He passed away on 5 April 2013 in Valparaiso, Indiana.[10]


[1] DNA: Parish register, Sankt Nikolai sogn. ‘Hvid’ is the danish word for white.

[2] Ancestry: New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957.

[3] Ancestry: 1930 and 1940 US Federal Census.

[4] Ancestry: U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947.

[5] Ancestry: U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.

[6] Ancestry: Texas, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1852-1991.

[7] Sheppard Air Force Base, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheppard_Air_Force_Base (accessed on 13 April 2024).

[8] Bridegroom Returns to Camp, Suburbanite Economist, 30 May 1943, p. 6.

[9] Donaldson Air Force Base, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donaldson_Air_Force_Base (accessed on 13 April 2024).

[10] Obituary for Gustave J. White, The Times, 6 April 2013, p. D5.