Danish WW2 Pilots

Flt Lt Frede Johannes Florentsen

(1918 - 2010)

At the outbreak of war, Frede J. Florentsen is studying in Glasgow, Scotland. Finishing his studies later that year, he volunteers for Royal Air Force in the beginning of 1941. He is in service until the end of the war.

Frede Johannes Florentsen is born on 4 April 1918 in Toreby. He is the son on farmer Hans Reinhold and Olga Jenny Florentsen.

Volunteers for the Royal Air Force

F. J. Florentsen volunteers for the Royal Air Force during the war and is trained as pilot at several locations on the British Isles and in Canada. In 1941-42, he receives his initial training at Initial Training Wing in England.

In 1942-43, he is posted to Elementary Flying Training School and, later, to Service Flying Training School in Canada flying Harvards. Appointed Pilot Officer, at first he is transferred to England in 1943. He is then posted to an Advanced Flying Unit in Oxford, continuing on a Coastal Navigation Course. Finally he is trained at an Operational Training Unit in Scotland flying Beaufighters.

Operational in Coastal Command

From 1943-1945, he is attached to 254 Squadron, Coastal Command, at North Coates, flying Beaufighters. He logs about 50 operational sorties during this period. On 10 December 1944, he is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. At this point, he has been promoted to Flying Officer.

In February 1945, Frede J. Florentsen is posted to the Coastal Command Flying Instructor School, Ireland. In May 1945, he is on leave and, therefore, gets the opportunity to visit Denmark. In August 1945, he returns to England as instructor, at an Operational Trainings Unit in Scotland on Beaufighters.

Following a sick leave, during the last months of his Royal Air Force service he is commanding officer at a camp for German refugees set up at a RAF Station in Southern Wales. He resigns his commission on 17 October 1946 retaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He returns to Denmark.

Returning to Denmark

Back in Denmark, he is attached to the Army Air Corps holding the rank of Premierløjtnant (Flying Officer). He leaves the Air Corps on 1 December 1946, joining Det danske Luftfartselskab (the Danish Airlines) as commercial pilot. He retires in the early 1970’s. (Ancker, 2001)

In the early 1950's, he is attached to the newly formed Royal Danish Air Force with the rank of Flyverløjtnant af 1st Grad af Reserven (Flight Officer of the Reserve) appointed on 1 October 1952. He is promoted to Flyverkaptajnløjtnant (Flight Lieutenant of the Reserve) on 1 April 1953 (Ancker, 2001; HfF, 1955-56).