Danish WW2 Pilots

Pfc. Leif Michael De Kriuiff

(1921 - 2015)

Leif M. De Kruiff was born in Copenhagen in 1921. The family emigrated to the United States in 1933. He enlisted in the USAAF in October 1942, still a Danish national. He was one of more than 30,000 Danish-Americans mobilised in the U.S. armed forces.

Leif Michael De Kruiff was born Ugo Leif Michael Lungo Jensen in Copenhagen on 1 March 1921, to Emilie Ingeborg Jensen.[1]

In January 1925, De Kruiff’s mother and younger sister, Karen Elisabeth, travelled to New York to work.[2] Meanwhile De Kruiff lived with his maternal grandparents in Gentofte outside Copenhagen.[4] De Kruiff’s mother met and married the Danish bank clerk Gustav Sophus Kjær in Bronx, New York, on 28 November 1926.[5] In June 1927, the couple returned to Denmark on-board the SS Oscar II.

In November 1932, the mother divorced and married the Dutch pastry cook, and her brother-in-law, Bertus De Kruiff.[5] Two months later, he moved to the United States,[6] and De Kruiff and his mother followed in March 1933.[7]

He graduated from the Bayside High School (Class of June 1941)[8] and was employed as a bookkeeper by Johnson & Falkner, Inc.[9]

De Kruiff enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force on 27 October 1942 (32543813).[10] There is no further information on his service other than that he was admitted twice to the hospital (May and December 1944).[11]

After the war, he returned to New York and worked for the U.S. Customs Service. He died in 2015.[12]


[1] DNA: Parish register, Frederiks Sogn.

[2] Ancestry: New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957.

[3] DNA: 1925 Census of Denmark.

[4] Ancestry: New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937.

[5] DNA: Parish register, Gentofte Sogn.

[6] Ancestry: Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962.

[7] Ancestry: Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962.

[8] Ancestry: U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999.

[9] Ancestry: U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947.

[10] Ancestry: U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.

[11] Ancestry: U.S. WWII Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954.

[12] Leif M. DeKruiff | 1921 - 2015 | Obituary, https://www.thompsonfuneralhomelebanon.com/obituary/4738683 (accessed on 17 January 2021).