Danish WW2 Pilots

V/Sgt Arne Nikolajsen

(1912 - 1973)

Arne Nikolajsen is in service as cook in the Royal Norwegian Air Force in Canada and/or England during the Second World War.

Arne Nikolajsen is born on 24 April 1912 in the parish of Ørum, Randers. He is the son of farmer Ole Nikolajsen and Karoline Anisse Femhøj.

At Sea in the 1930s

On 19 March 1934 Arne Nikolajsen signs on SS EUROPA of the Danish East Asiatic company as ordinary cook. This ship arrives in Tacoma, Washington, from New Westminster, British Columbia. Since 1931, SS EUROPA had made numerous trips from Copenhagen to the West coast of U.S. and Canada.

From U.S. Immigration records, numerous arrivals in Seattle, California and New York are traceable during the 1930s. He advances to chief steward.

War breaks out

At the outbreak of war, 3 September 1939, SS EUROPA is about to make another ordinary trip to the U.S. and Canada, and Arne Nikolajsen is engaged again on 8 September 1939. Extraordinarily, the ship arrives in New York on 18 October 1939. Since other lines had ceased sailing on the U.S. due to the war, it was expected that passengers were stranded in New York. SS EUROPA returns to Denmark in December 1939.

SS EUROPA and Arne Nikolajsen leave Copenhagen once more in late January 1940 and arrive in New York on 1 February 1940. It continues its route and arrives in Seatte, Washington on 3 March 1940. On the way to New York the crew learns about the German Occupation of Denmark. The ship arrives in New York from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, on 12 April 1940. On board SS EUROPA at this point are also Svend Frederik Clement and Tage Friis Christensen who are also later volunteers at camp "Little Norway."

From New York the ship leaves for Halifax, where the Canadian authorities take charge of the ship. For about 7 months the ship is engaged in convoy shipping cross the Atlantic. On 12 December 1940 it is hit by German bombs in Liverpool. Attempts are made to salvage and repair the ship, but on 3 May 1941 it is damaged beyond repair in another German attack.

I have no information about Arne Nikolajsen being on-board at this time.

Volunteers for service in Little Norway

Arne Nikolajsen volunteers for the Royal Norwegian Air Forces at some point, but I have – at this point – little information on his service other than the fact that he is cook and holds the rank of sergeant.

(Ancker, 2001, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957, www.faergejournalen.dk)