Danish WW2 Pilots

T/Sgt Frants Michael Christian Fredrerik Sporon-Fiedler

(1922 - 2000)

T/Sgt Frants Sporon-Fiedler volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force in November 1943 having graduated from Harvard University. He was the son of the consul general in San Francisco, who had broken ties with the Danish Government following the German occupation.

Frants Michael Christian Frederik Sporon-Fiedler was born on 3 December 1922 in Frederiksberg, Denmark, the son of Axel Caspar Frederik Sporon-Fiedler and Karen Frederikke Nødager Sporon-Fiedler (née Eriksen).[1]

Frants Sporon-Fiedler in his RCAF uniform and showing off the 'DENMARK' shoulder title (courtesy of the Sporon-Fiedler family)
Frants Sporon-Fiedler in his RCAF uniform and showing off the 'DENMARK' shoulder title (courtesy of the Sporon-Fiedler family)

A Career Diplomat’s Son

A. C. F. Sporon-Fiedler—Sporon-Fiedler’s father—was a career diplomat. Having earned a degree in law, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1916. He was posted to New York as consul in 1920, worked at the embassy in Haag, the Netherlands from 1927-1930 before being posted as consul in San Francisco in September 1930. In 1939, he became consul general.[2]

During the German occupation he supported the position of the Danish ambassador to the United States, Henrik Kauffmann, who—on his own initiative—signed the agreement on the defence of Greenland with the United States. As a consequence, A. C. F. Sporon-Fiedler was dismissed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 1941.[3] He refused to step down and continued his functions as the consul general during the rest of the war.[4] He was reinstated as consul general on 8 May 1945.[5]

Harvard Graduate

The family lived in Outer Richmond in San Francisco and Sporon-Fiedler attended local George Washington High School.[6]

He was enrolled at Harvard University in September 1940 having won a scholarship to the university.[8] He was a resident of Eliot House and graduated as a Bachelor of Science in Economics before his wartime service.[9] In the academic year 1941-1942, he was one of 125 upperclassmen of high scholastic standing to receive a scholarship from the Harvard Corporation.[9]

Sporon-Fiedler fought in the 165-pound class in the 1942 University Boxing Championships.[10] He lost to Tom Bartlett.[11]

Trained as a Wireless Operator and Air Gunner

Sporon-Fiedler attempted to join the Norwegian Air Forces in exile in camp Little Norway in Canada,[12] but the Norwegians had ceased to accept non-Norwegians for Air Force training in the fall of 1942.[13]

Instead, Sporon-Fiedler volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force as did a number of other Danes in the same situation. He enlisted in Vancouver on 1 November 1943 with the rank of AC2 (R.282337). He was posted to 3 Manning Depot in Edmonton and, on 1 January 1944, to 14 Explosives Depot.

On 14 May 1944, he was posted to 11 Service Flying Training School, Yorkton, Saskatoon, and on 28 July, he continued training at 2 Wireless School, Calgary, Alberta. He was promoted to Leading Aircraftman on 28 August 1944. He continued training at 10 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mount Pleasant at Prince Edward Island. On 29 March 1945, he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant and status as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.[14] He returned to the United States on the same day to resume residence.[15]

The was was coming to a close and, on 29 April 1945, he was transferred to 8 Release Centre. He was discharged from the RCAF on 3 May 1945.[16]

After the War

Between 25 April and 26 June 1945, delegates of fifty nations met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization. The conference resulted in the creation of the United Nations Charter, which was opened for signature on the last day of the conference.[17] Denmark—not invited to the conference originally—was one of four contries invited to join the conference on 5 June 1945. The Danish delegation was headed by ambassador Henrik Kauffmann and included Hartvig Frisch (MP), Povl Bang-Jensen, and professor Erik Husfeldt. Sporon-Fiedler was the Danish Delegation Secretary.[18]

Sporon-Fiedler returned to Denmark after the war and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[19] He earned a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Copenhagen in 1952.[20] He served as the chargé d’affaires at the Danish embassy in Mexico in the early 1960s.[21] He also served at the Danish embassy in Prague before joining the World Bank in 1970.[22]


[1] DNA: Parish register, Frederiksberg Sogn. Originally baptised Frants Michael Christian Frederik he gave up all other names than Frants in 1997.

[2] Kraks Blå Bog, 1957.

[3] Sjøqvist, Viggo (1996). Nils Svenningsen.

[4] Danish Consul in S.F. Fired, Refuses to Go, The San Francisco Examiner, 17 May 1941, p. 7.

[5] Kraks Blå Bog, 1957.

[6] Ancestry: The Harvard Class Album, 1943.

[7] The San Francisco Examiner, 26 Sep 1940, p. 27.

[8] Ancestry: The Harvard Class Album, 1943.

[9] 125 upperclassmen receive $48,400 in scholarships, The Harvard Crimson, 21 November 1941 (https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1941/11/21/125-upperclassmen-receive-48400-in-scholarships/, accessed on 3 April 2022).

[10] Bullitt Will Fight Mike Brody in "Heavyweight" Class as 40 Enter University Championships, The Harvard Crimson, 11 March 1942 (https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1942/3/11/bullitt-will-fight-mike-brody-in/, accessed on 3 April 2022).

[11] Eliot Men Win Crown In Inter-House Boxing, The Harvard Crimson, 20 February 1942 (https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1942/2/20/eliot-men-win-crown-in-inter-house/, accessed on 3 April 2022).

[12] The Younger Generation in the War, Nordlyset, 14 Oct 1943.

[13] Norwegian National Archive, Forsvaret, Flyvåpnenes treningsleir 1940-1945,, V/L0037: Ekspedisjonskontoret. 7. Organisasjon/8. Personellsaker, 1940-1945.

[14] DHH: Fonds 76/10 - Canadian Forces Records Centre Card collection.

[15] Ancestry: U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960.

[16] DHH: Fonds 76/10 - Canadian Forces Records Centre Card collection.

[17] The San Francisco Conference, United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/about-us/history-of-the-un/san-francisco-conference (accessed on 3 April 2022).

[18] The Forming of The Danish Club in San Francisco, Danish Club in San Francisco, http://danishclub.org/wordpress/danish-club-background/ (accessed on 3 April 2022).

[19] Else Sporon-Fiedler Bethrotal Announced, Oakland Tribune, 28 Nov 1946, p. 29.

[20] Årbog for Københavns Universitet 1948-1953, p. 329.

[21] Distinguished Danish Couple Honored During Visit in Ross, Daily Independent Journal, 25 Feb 1964, p. 16.

[22] International Bank Notes, The World Bank, March-April 1970.