Danish WW2 Pilots

WO Jens Ipsen

(1913 - 2012)

Jens Ipsen volunteers for the Royal Air Force early in the war. He is one of the Danish pilots posted to No. 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron during the Second World War.

Jens Ipsen is born on 7 November 1913 in Sønder Hygum, Jutland. He is educated at Aarhus School of Business before the war graduating with honours in 1937. The same year he visits the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris. In Paris he volunteers for the French Foreign Legion. At some point he deserts to volunteer for British service. [1]

Volunteers for the Royal Air Force

He is trained as pilot in England. On 27 July 1941 he is enrolled at No 64 Flying Course with fellow Danish pilots Aksel Andreas Svendsen and Jørgen Thalbitzer. He is later posted to No. 56 Operational Training Unit. [2]

On 6 November 1941 at Jens Ipsen takes off from RAF Sutton Bridge in a Hurricane I (V7004) on a low-flying practice. At Low Fen, Upwell, he hits a tree and is badly injured in the following crash. The aircraft breaks up and Jens Ipsen breaks a leg and spends a month in a RAF hospital at Ely. He then holds the rank of Sergeant. [3]

Nos. 118 and 234 Squadrons

On 27 May 1942 he is posted to No. 118 Squadron only to be transferred to No. 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron on 7 June 1942. [5]

According to the Operational Record Book his first patrol at this squadron is on 15 June 1942 taking off on patrol with the Danish pilot Jørgen Thalbitzer as Red Section. In the following months he takes off on nearly 60 missions, many of which with Jørgen Thalbitzer until he is shot down and taken prisoner. During the period the squadron is mainly occupied with shipping patrols over the Channel. [6]

From Defence of Malta to Allied landing on Sicily

On 4 January 1943 he is posted to No. 1 Personnel Despatch Centre, West Kirby, for overseas duty. About a month later, on 9 February 1943, he arrives at No. 126 Squadron at Luca airfield on Malta.

He commences operations at this squadron on 23 February 1943. In the following months he carries out a number of different operations from the island.

In July 1943 he takes part in the aerial operations supporting the Allied landings on Sicily (Operation Husky).

He is posted from the squadron at some point during September 1943 as the squadron moves from Malta to Sicily. [7]

After the War

Returning to Denmark, Jens Ipsen is enrolled in the Naval Air Service. He is appointed Flyverløjtnant af 1ste Grad af Reserven on 1 August 1946. He participates in flying a number of PBY-5A Catalina from Canada to Denmark. He is transferred to the Royal Danish Air Force when formed in 1950 and in 1952 he is appointed Kaptajnløjtnant (Lieutenant Captain), but on 30 November 1955 he leaves the air force. [8]


  1. Ancker, 2001
  2. ORB of No. 5 F.T.S later No. 5 (P) AFU, Tern Hill, via Tom Thorne
  3. Goodrum, 1997, Steve Brooking
  4. AIR 27/907
  5. AIR 27/1439
  6. AIR 27/926
  7. Ancker, 2001