Danish WW2 Pilots

ACW1 Annelise Jørgensen

(1920 - 2010)

Annelise Jørgensen was one of the Danish women serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. She trained as a Wireless Operator Ground and served in, among other places, RAF Station Tofino in British Columbia.

Anne Lise Jørgensen was born on 22 May 1920 in Nejlinge in Helsinge Parish, the daughter of farmer Christian Herman Jørgensen and Elna Frida Jørgensen (née Clausen).[1] She was educated at the local school, Helsinge Skole.

Jørgensen left Denmark for Britain shortly before the outbreak of war, because the wished to learn English.[2] As many other young women at the time, she found work as a domestic servant. In September 1939, she served as a cook general in the household of Raymond Somerville Scott, CIE (1882-1972), a retired Indian Army Brigadier in the Old House in Epping.[1]

She was cut off from her homeland by the German invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940. She attempted to volunteer for the armed forces, but the British were reluctant to enlist foreigners at this point, she told after the war.[4] She travelled to Canada in the summer of 1940, where she worked as a domestic in Montreal and other parts of Quebec for some months. She also had a number of other jobs and did hand weaving.[5]

Wireless Operator Ground

Jørgensen volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force in mid-1942. The date is not known. In September 1942, she was reported to have graduated third best in her class in a RCAF training course in Montreal, Quebec. The nature of the course is not stated.[6] Three months later, she was among the most recent group of airwomen to arrive at 1 Wireless School in Montreal to train as Wireless Operator Ground.[7] She graduated from the 7th entry on 25 June 1943. She women had commenced training on 11 January 1943.[8]

In September 1943, she was the guest of the president of the National America Denmark Association (NADA) Jean Hersholdt and his wife:

Danish Annelise Jørgensen, Royal Canadian Air Force girl, who wears the Danish shoulder insignia on her uniform recently visited Hollywood, where she was the guest of N.A.D.A. President Jean Hersholt and Mrs. Hersholt. A native of Sjælland, Miss Jørgensen was conducted on a studio tour by Hersholt’s actress daughter-in-law, Oa [Osa, red] Massen, who is active in Red Cross Work.[9]

RCAF Station Tofino

Her first posting was in Vancouver and, later, she was posted to RAF Station Tofino in British Columbia.

This station was officially opened on 1 October 1942 to increase protection of the western coast. It was built in a very remote area on the western shore of Vancouver Island. From a slow start development had intensified following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.[10] The first squadron—132 Fighter Squadron, RCAF, was based at Tofino from 15 October and 4 Squadron, RCAF, arrived in early November.[11] The base was a long way from being completed. It was not until mid-1943, that the barracks, mess hall, and a recreation hall were completed, and construction of the first hangar began. Less than two years after the first aircraft arrived at Tofino it was closed as a permanent air base, and reduced to a signals unit.[12]

Jørgensen’s description of Tofino could indicate that she arrived after the squadrons had left. She described it as a very remote place more than six hours from the nearest town at which an aircraft arrived to the place once in a while. During summer the travelled cross America in her uniform.[13] There are no more details on the nature of her service at the station.


[1] DNA: Parish register, Helsinge Sogn.

[2] Inherits Viking Blood: Danish R.C.A.F. (W.D.) Member Travelled Widely, The Gazette, 26 Jul 1943, p. 4.

[3] Findmypast.co.uk: 1939 England and Wales Register.

[4] Danmarksposten, Oct.-Dec. 1945.

[5] Inherits Viking Blood: Danish R.C.A.F. (W.D.) Member Travelled Widely, The Gazette, 26 Jul 1943, p. 4.

[6] Inherits Viking Blood: Danish R.C.A.F. (W.D.) Member Travelled Widely, The Gazette, 26 Jul 1943, p. 4.

[7] Enlists in the R.C.A.F., The Montreal Star, 4 Dec 1942, p. 13.

[8] LAC: Royal Canadian Air Force operations record books : C-12359.

[9] Danish Girl In Canadian Air Force, Nordlyset, 2 September 1943, p. 5.

[10] Mason, Adrienne. Long Beach Wild.

[11] LAC: Royal Canadian Air Force operations record books : C-12359.

[12] Mason, Adrienne. Long Beach Wild.

[13] Danmarksposten, Oct.-Dec. 1945.