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Operation Freshman .....
Operation Freshman
Halifax bomber towing a Horsa Glider.
In March 1942 a Norwegian parachutist was dropped back into Norway to start preparing the ground for an attempt later that year.

In October four more Norwegians joined him to help maintain radio contact with UK and collect intelligence on the production of heavy water, the group was code named Grouse.

They were unfortunate in being dropped over 120km away from the target area and so had to make the long march in bad conditions with much equipment. Radios did not work due to the accumulators being damaged so they were not in contact with Britain until new ones had been obtained, eventually they reached their base and went about the task of making ready for the British airborne forces on the 19th of November at approximate 1730hrs.
 
The 34 members of operation freshman were dispatched on that cold winter night on 19th November 1942 from Skitten airfield near Wick in Scotland. Two Halifax bombers towing two Horsa Gliders.
Each glider carried 16 commando-trained volunteers from the Royal Engineers, all highly skilled technicians with much knowledge of explosives, electronics and fuses.

Setting off on a long tow in unheated gliders of over 600 miles 400 of them over the sea in winter weather conditions was heroic in it's self, on reaching the Norwegian coast at around midnight with the weather conditions closing in causing both parties to crash.......... some survived the initial impact and after putting up a brave fight were captured and within a few days despite some of the group being injured and having received medical treatment were executed and buried in unmarked graves on the seashore at Sletteboe by the German Occupying Forces.

Sletteboe Memorial (Leif Jørum)
Sletteboe Memorial (Leif Jørum)
 
Local Norwegians made notes of the events and position of the graves and in 1945 the bodies were recovered and reburied in Eignes Gravland in Stavanger. My dad was one of those. He had undergone extensive training in demolition, taught to ski and prepare for the mission, he was shown the layout of the plant but not told the nature of the plant or why it was so vital to destroy it, and that it was probably be one of the most important missions of the whole of the war.
My journey...............
Saturday 2nd August 06.30 am


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