Danish pilot Jørgen Thalbitzer (1920-1943) poses on the wing of his fighter “Spitfire Vb” (serial number BL855) at the British Air Force base in Coltishall. The aircraft is named “Niels Ebbesen” in honor of the national hero of Denmark, who lived in the XIV century.
Since childhood, Jörgen Talbitzer dreamed of flying and becoming a pilot and at the age of 18 passed the exam for a private pilot license (similar to the modern PPL) in early 1939.
In December 1940, Jørgen Thalbitzer left Denmark and through Turkey, Cyprus, Suez and Cape Town moved to London. In April 1940, he managed to enroll as a volunteer in the British Air Force, in which, on October 28, 1940, after the necessary training, he passed the qualifying exams and obtained the qualification of a combat pilot.
Jørgen Thalbitzer served in the 234th Squadron of the RAF. He was one of three Danish pilots in the service in the British Air Force.
Jørgen Thalbitzer July 23, 1942 was shot down over the territory of occupied France, made an emergency landing. Some time hiding, but was detained by German soldiers and became a prisoner of war. In captivity took the name of John Thomson. Contained in the camps of Stalag Luft III (Gefangennummer 629) and Oflag XXIB near the town of Shubin in Poland.
In March 1943, in the company of 30 prisoners of war, Jørgen Thalbitzer escaped from a Nazi concentration camp. Through Stettin and Rostock I reached Flenburg, where I could penetrate the Danish ship and get to Copenhagen.
Jørgen Thalbitzer was drowned on the night of March 28-29, 1943, while crossing from Sweden to Denmark, allegedly from a collision of a ship that was ferrying it with another ship. The body of Jørgen Thalbitzer was found in the sea a few months later and identified by name on the ring that was on the arm.
Location: Coltishall, UK
Date of the photo: April 10, 1942