Danish WW2 Pilots

2nd Off John Frederick Louis Zollner

(1907 - 1999)

John Frederick Louis Zollner was born in Newcastle, the son of the Danish Consul. He was trained as a civil pilot before the war and served as Second Officer and pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary from 1941 to 1945.

John Frederick Louis Zollner was born on 23 October 1907 in Newcastle, England, the son of Lauritz Ludvig Zøllner and Eleanor Maud Zollner (née Allison).[1]

Lauritz Zøllner (known as Louis Zollner) emigrated to England in 1875.[2] He founded a cattle trade business in 1879 and became a pioneer in the Icelandic trade with the United Kingdom. He was the Danish Consul in Newcastle from 1904[3], and the Doyen of the Newcastle upon Tyne Consular Association from 1927-28 and again in 1930-36.[4] Louis Zollner was also a passionate chess player and the first president of the Northumberland Chess Association.[5] In 1930, he donated a silver plated trophy a Viking warrior wielding a sword for the county championships which is still presented annually to the winner.[6]

Louis Zollner was naturalised in Britain in 1885.[7] Born in 1907 as his son, Zollner his son was, therefore, British by birth, not Danish.

Navy Reserve Officer and War Pilot

Zollner received flying training before the war and obtained his aviators’ certificate on 25 November 1934 in an Avro Avian at the Liverpool & District Aero Club. He was working as a company director in Liverpool at the time. His younger brother, Charles Raymond Zollner, had obtained a certificate as well the year before from the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Aero Club.[8]

Zollner was a member of the Royal Naval Voluntary Reserve holding the rank of Temporary Lieutenant (Special Branch) with seniority from 7 March 1940.[9]

Zollner joined the Air Transport Auxiliary on 5 September 1941 and served as a Second Officer and pilot for most of the war. He left the service on 6 February 1945.[10]At present no specific information on his service is available.

Zollner survived the war and died in April 1999 in Liverpool.[11]


[1] Ancestry: Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950.

[2] Kamp et al (1950). De Danskes Vej. Danske Pionerer og dansk Virke under alle Himmelstrøg, bind 2, p. 48-49.

[3] The Edinburgh Gazette, 29 April 1904, issue 11615, p. 470.

[4] Consular Corps in Newcastle upon Tyne. Retrieved from https://consularcorps.wordpress.com (15 July 2022).

[5] Notes on Louis Zollner, part 1, Chess Marginaliia, Retrieved from https://www.chessmarginalia.com/notes-on-louis-zollner-part-1/ (15 July 2022).

[6] Tim Wall wins Zollner Trophy, Forest Hall Chess Club. Retrieved from https://foresthallchess.org.uk/tim-wall-wins-zollner-trophy/ (15 July 2022).

[7] NA: HO 334/12/4280, Naturalisation Certificate: Lauritz Ludvig Zollner. From Denmark. Resident in Newcastle-on-Tyne. Certificate A4280 issued 10 April 1885.

[8] Ancestry: Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950.

[9] Ancestry: UK, Navy Lists, 1888-1970: 1941.

[10] ATA Personnel Database, Air Transport Auxiliary Museum & Archive at Maidenhead Heritage Centre.

[11] Ancestry: England and Wales, Death Index, 1989-2021.