Danish WW2 Pilots

Henning Lembcke

(1915 - 1977)

Henning Lembcke lived in South America at the outbreak of war. He arrived in England in 1943 and volunteered for the Royal Air Force.

Henning Lembcke was born on 9 May 1915 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was the son of merchant Gustav Lembcke and Marie Louise Lembcke (née Gram-Hanssen).[1] Lembcke’s parents had lived in Hamburg, Germany, when his sister Vibeke was born in 1913,[2] but lived in Østerbro in Copenhagen at the time of his birth. He attended Feilbergs Forberedelseskole, a private school in Copenhagen, from February 1922, but according to the records, the family moved to Viborg in January 1923.[3] Lembcke’s mother died in 1938.[4]

A family of officers

Lembcke was out of an officer family. His paternal grandfather was the Danish general Immanuel Lembcke, his father had served in the navy before becoming a merchant, and his two uncles—Cay and Preben—were officers in the cavalry and the navy respectively. His great-grandfather was the author Edvard Lembcke, mostly known for his translation into Danish of the works of Shakespeare.

Cay Lembcke was one of the founders of the Danish Scout Movement (Det Danske Spejderkorps) in 1910. He was also the founder of the Danish National-Socialist Workers Party (Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Arbejderparti, DNSAP). In July 1933, Fritz Clausen followed him as party leader. He left politics in 1934.[5]

Preben Lembcke was the Naval Attaché of the Legation in London during the war.[6] His son Ove Charles Lembcke—Henning Lembcke’s cousin—was a very active member of the resistance movement in the town of Fredericia until his arrest in December 1943.[7]

Lembcke’s sister Vibeke married first lieutenant Ole-Christian Permin, who was a very active member of the resistance movement as well.[8]

From South America to Royal Air Force

Lembcke worked as an engineer in Venezuela before the war. In late 1943 he travelled from South America to England. He arrived in Liverpool on 6 November 1943.[9]

Lembcke volunteers for the the Royal Air Force. His service number—2235431—corresponds with an enlistment in Euston in late 1943. He seems to have been posted to RAF Hornchurch in the first half of 1944. He was married to Yvonne Ethel Hubbard in Romford, Essex, on 8 September 1944.[10] The couple returned to Venezuela from Glasgow in February 1945.[11]

Lembcke was awarded the King Christian X Memorial Medal 1940-45 for his service during the war.[12]


[1] DNA: Parish registration, Skt. Matthæus Sogn.

[2] DNA: Parish Registration, Danish community in Hamburg.

[3] Skoleprotokol, Feilbergs Forberedelsesskole.

[4] Kraks Blå Bog 1974.

[5] Lauridsen, J. T. (2002). Dansk nazisme 1930-45, og derefter, p. 517.

[6] Pontoppidan, S. E., & Teisen, J. (1984). Danske søofficerer 1933-1982.

[7] Frihedsmuseets modstandsdatabase, http://modstand.natmus.dk/Person.aspx?103591 (accessed on 13 November 2021).

[8] Ole-Christian Permin, Wikipedia, https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ole-Christian_Permin (accessed on 13 November 2021).

[9] Ancestry.co.uk: UK Incoming Passenger Lists 1878-1960.

[10] Ancestry: England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005.

[11] Ancestry: UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960.

[12] DNA: Udenrigsministeriets Gruppeordnede sager, 1946-1972, 48.Y.90.