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My first visit.....
My first trip to see dads grave was in 1985 when a memorial stone was unveiled by Princess Astrid.

Always intending to go back the opportunity arose.....In the the latter part of 2002 as I saw in the magazine Soldier an advert inviting those interested to attend in Norway an event that would in February of 2003 mark the 60th anniversary of the destruction of the heavy water manufacturing at Norsk hydro plant at Vermork Power Station in Rjukan, in the Telemark area of southern Norway.
Norsk hydro plant at Vermork Power Station
This caught my eye because the dates seemed to be incorrect. Operation Freshman the raid that my father took part in with the same target in view was mounted in November of 1942. I knew that his action was just one of several set up to destroy this plant.

Heavy Water Production

The production of heavy water was part of the German attempt to obtain for themselves the ultimate weapon, the atomic bomb.

This could have meant defeat for the allies, and was the conclusion of allied scientists who were also working intensely along different lines to produce an allied A bomb. At this time WW II was at its height and at a critical stage with all available stocks of heavy water being produced at Rjukan in German occupied Norway, it was imperative it was slowed or stopped at the first opportunity.

   
Operation Freshman was an operation mounted during the night of 19/20 November 1942, using gliders and Royal Engineer commandos. The purpose of the raid was to destroy a heavy water plant at Rjukan in Norway. The operations against this heavy water plant formed the basis of the Hollywood film "The Heroes of Telemark". The plan for the raid was to use gliders to land commandos with the knowledge and equipment to destroy the heavy water factory.
Operation Freshman

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