- Otto Hjalmar Antoft was a son of Otto Hugo and Asta Antoft of
Kentville, King;s Co., Nova Scotia, Canada. He was born on 21
february 1919 in Denmark. When he was 11 years old, the family emigrated
to Canada, first to Winnipeg and then Lakeville. Antoft attended
Kentville schools and graduated with honours from Kings County Acadamy
in june 1937, winning the Stevenson Scholarship to attend King's
College. He graduated from university in 1941 with an honours BA in
Public Administration. While a student he was involved with a number of
student organizations, including the Canadian Student Assembly. During
summer breaks he worked as a bellhop at the Digby Pines Resort, in
Digby, Nova Scotia. After his graduation years, Antoft had intended to
complete a Master's degree with a study of the Danish colonial
administration of Greenland.
- On 5 march 1942 Antoft joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at a
recruitment centre in Halifax. He is ordered to report to the No. 5
Manning Depot, Lachine, Quebec on 20 april 1942. Antoft is posted here
until early june at which point he is posted to No. 31 Operational
Training Unit, Debert, Nova Scotia.
- On 1 august 1942 Antoft is posted to No. 3 Initial Training School,
Victoriaville, Quebec. The course end on 26 september 1942 and Antoft is
posted to No. 10 Air Observer School, Chatham, New Brunswick. He ends
training here at 19 march 1943. The next day he was posted to No. 34
Operational Training Unit, Penfield Ridge, New Brunswick.
- On 13 june 1943 Antoft was transferred to No. 1 "Y"
Depot, Halifax, for overseas duty, and on 22 june 1943 he became part of
the RAF Training Pool. He embarked for England on 23 june and arrived on
1 july 1943. On 2 july Antoft was taken on strenght at No. 3 Personnel
Reception Centre, Bournemouth.
- Antoft is posted to No. 13 Operational Training Unit on 17 august
1943. He ended this training on 21 october and was tranferred to RAF
Stoney Cross. On 4 november 1943 he was posted to No. 299 Squadron. This
squadron was equipped with Lockheed Venturas, but conversion to Short
Stirlings commenced in january 1944.
- On 8 february 1944 Antoft is posted at No. 190 Squadron as Flying
Officer. This squadron was formed at Leicester East as an Airborne
forces squadron equipped with Short Stirlings. Training flying began in
march 1944 and supply-dropping missions over France in april. The
squadron was involved in the dropping of paratroops behind enemy lines
in Normandy on D-Day. .
- On the first day of Market Garden 190th squadron carried the
pathfinders of the 21st Independent Parachute Company to Arnhem. Antoft
was navigator/bomber on Stirling LJ-943. On 18 september the plane took
off at 12.10hrs from Fairford airfield. The plane was towing a Horsa
glider with a jeep, a 6-pounder anti-tank gun and 3 men of the 1st
Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery. The Stirling was drawn into the slipstream
of a Dakota and the towrope snapped. The Horsa landed safely near
- On 21 september at 13.43hrs the Stirling LJ -943 took off from
Fairford on a resupply mission to Arnhem. The operation was carried out
sucesfully, despite heavy and light flak. The aircraft was hit several
- At some point the plane caught fire and the crew failed to
extinguish the fire. Two men managed to bail out before the plane
crashed near the "De Slop" farm, south of the river Rhine at
Zetten. One of the two men who managed to bail out saw Antoft putting on
his parachute in order to follow him out of the aircraft, but for some
reason he never did.
- Some sources say the plane crashed between Ede and Benekom. Antoft
was buried at a churchyard near a church at Zetten. He was later
reburied at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek.
- Antoft posthumously received a number of Canadian war medals as
well as one from the Danish goverment in recognition of his service as a
Dane in Allied service.