Danish WW2 Pilots

ACW1 Erna Dalum

(1916 - 1982)

Erna Dalum was working as a domestic servant in Berkshire, when the war broke out. She was one of the Danish volunteers in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during the war.

Erna Dalum was born on 23 August 1916 in Dejlbjerg in Brorstrup Sogn, the daughter of farmer Anton Kristensen Dalum og Else Kirstine Ane Marie Dalum (née Fyllgraff). Dalum grew up in the village of Mejlby. Her mother died in 1921, when she was only five years old, and her father, in 1936.[1]

Dalum moved to the United Kingdom at some point. At the outbreak of war, in September 1939, she worked as a paid domestic servant Danish-English engineer (later Sir) Ove Nyquist Arup and his wife in Wallingford, Berkshire. Arup is considered to be among the foremost architectural structural engineers of his time and, during the war, he played a significant role in the Mulberrry Harbours used for the landings in Normandy among other constructions.[2]

Dalum volunteered for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War (441756).[3] The exact date is not known, but the service number indicate that it was between February and June 1941 in Gloucester.[4] There is no further information on the nature of her service at this point.


[1] DNA: Parish register, Brorstup Sogn

[2] Jones, P. (2008). Ove Arup masterbuilder of the twentieth century.

[3] NA: AIR 78/41.

[4] Dalum’s service number is part of a block of numbers (440001 to 450000) allotted for WAAF enlistment in Gloucester in February 1942. The next block (from 450001) was allotted in June 1941.