Flying Officer Jorgen Billy Thalbitzer (22 May 1920 – 29 March 1943) was a Danish pilot who joined the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War, became a prisoner of war (POW) and died following escape from prison.
Royal Air Force Service
Thalbitzer learnt to fly and qualified for a private pilots licence at the age of eighteen.
Following the German invasion of Denmark in April 1940, Thalbitzer escaped to England; he left Denmark on 26 December 1940 and travelled via Istanbul, Cyprus, Suez and Cape Town. He was accompanied by Sigfred Johannes Christophersen, who was later to become a British agent in Denmark before being killed in 1943.
He was commissioned into the Royal Air Force on 28 October 1941 as a Pilot Officer and trained to fly Hurricanes.
He first served with 32 Squadron, before being re-trained to fly Spitfires and joining 234 Squadron at Tangmere.
During 1941 and 1942 a group of Danish businessmen living in England col