Norwegians in Iceland WW2

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Norwegians in Iceland in World War II
Norwegians established their own regiment of Free Norwegians
in Iceland  that operated under British Command. In Iceland they flew under the sign of RAF in air squadron 330 and later from Scotland. These were both airmen and regular citizens that managed to escape from Norway.
They operated from Iceland to protect convoys and were also sent to the island of Jan Mayen for maintainance  jobs and meterolgy checks.  The Norwegians also had a school for arctic warfare where they taught  soldiers to  ski and other things that they might need to survive arctic conditons.
In Canada there were training camps for Norwegians that wanted to serve their country and they were called Little-Norways.
The Norwegians had ordered 24 new floating-planes from the U.S.A. early 1940 that were built in Northrop and were called
N-3PB,  but because of the Germans occupation the planes were given to the  Free Norwegians regiment  which operated them from Reykjavík, Akureyri and Reyðarfjörður  for coastal patrols and protecing  the convoys.
One such plane was saved from the river Þjórsá in 1980 and rebuilt by the Northrop company that originally made it , and the plane can now be seen at a Norwegian Armed Forces aircraft collection in Oslo. On its journey across the ocean (it was not in a airworthy condition) it arrived for a show here in Iceland. Not long ago another plane  of this type was discovered in the the sea just  not far from the  base in Fossvogur (next to the old RAF base in Reykjavik were the city airport is siutuated now) and it is planned to save her for restoraration and display at the Flight Museum of Iceland. These planes were the fastest float-planes at the time, gaining speeds up to 257 m.p.h., armed with 4 mounted .50 cal BMG (.50 Browning Machine Gun) on the wings and 2   .30 cal (M1919 Browning) that were moveable, one above the window and another under the belly  of the plane. The plane was capable of holding 2000 lbs. of explosives. Later the Norwegians got Catalina and Sunderland flying boats.

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Christmas card issued to support those in need in Norway.



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Fundraisers were held all around Iceland for Norwegians 17th of May 1940. There were also fundraisers in Reykjavík and all around the country for Norwegian refugees. The Norden Association and Nordmanslaget sold badges. They raised around 6 thousand krónar. In the years 1943 to 1945, both money and packages that included warm clothing and food were sent, the deliveries went through Sweden and Finland. A lot of sympathy was with Norwegians that were here in Iceland as after all they were a neighboring country in need and Icelanders did not look at them as an army. In total 36 Norwegians died in Iceland in World War 2 and a monument was buil for them in 1947.

Cemeteries in Fossvogur

 

Northrop N-3PB Floatplane

Norsk militært nærvær på Island under annen verdenskrig. Homepage of the Norwegian Embassy in Iceland

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Flight Experience in the USA.

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Description of Northrop in English.

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Norwegian flight crew fitting in depth charges.

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Norwegian flight crew member resting.

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Flight crew member after a surveillance flight off  the coast of Iceland.

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Here Norwegian ski soldiers show Lord Gort their equipment when Gort visited Iceland. The skis there could possibly be from the woodworkshop Fjölni which was in Reykjavík.

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Lord Gort and a general check the protections of the country. With him is Harry S. Curtis Garrison Chief.

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17th of May 1944, Independence Day of Norwegians is celebrated.
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Checking the weapons, In the front you can see a Bren .303 Light Machine Gun and further you can see a .303 Lee-Enfield rifle on the backpack. The man in the middle of the photo is loading in a magazine. In Iceland the Norwegians taught the British and Americans about alpine warfare. They had camps at Eyjafjallajökull (camp Richardson)  northern of Bægisárjökull and Vindheimajökull. They generally went by the name of The Norwegian Ski Brigade.

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Norwegian soldiers settling in their tents.

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Norwegian soldier in a camouflage outfit.

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Norwegian soldier shaving in the mountains.
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Cold in Reyðarfjörð, Norwegian Soldier on watch.

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And another guard over Christmas, but location is unknown.

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Norwegian soldier runs between nissen huts.

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Norwegian Ski instructor Olaf Storysson, directing British Soldiers in skiing 12.1.1940.

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Outside the Norwegian Ambassador Cottage 17th of May, Norwegian and half-norwegian children.

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Children in Norwegian national costumes and the Ambassador couple at the stairs of the Norwegian Embassy.

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The parade starts from the embassy on the 17th of may 1944.

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The parade in front of the cathedral.

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The ambassador couple along with a flagbearer and children outside the Parliment house on their way to a ceremony.

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Bergljót Sigfúsdóttir, Norwegian general, Henny Ekanger and Sigfús Jónsson.

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Ole Bakke and Bergljót Sigfúsdóttir.


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Knut Aspelund?,??, Ole Bakke, Bergljót Sigfúsdóttir and Sören Ricter visiting an Icelandic home.

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Mountain trip in Iceland, I don’t know the name of the soldiers.

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R 1658 Nash 1929, Sören Ricter sits but I don’t have the name of his partner.

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Sören Ricter on a horse ride.

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Norwegian soldiers fishing in Kleifarvatn.

The 330 Sqdn. have a motto saying “Trygg havet”. This motto were used during WW 2 and is still use. It means something like “Make the sea a safe place to be”. During WW 2 they did so by hunting U boats.

Squadron commander Cmdr. Hans Andreas Bugge and his crew who failed to return from an antisubmarine sweep on 25 August 1942 með Hans fórust líka Fridtjof Glör Whist og Stale Haukland Pedersen.

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Letter signed by Hans Bugge.

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Sample of a permit letter from the Norwegian 330 Sqdn. Flight Crew.

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Book that was published in 1942 by Norwegian government in exile  in England because of the 70th birthday of Hakon the 7th King of Norway.

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Colonel-lieutenant Carl Stenersen  head of Winter Warfare School in Reykjavík 1942-1943.

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Thanks for services.

Royal Norwegian Government Information Office

On August 5th, 1940, 12 Norwegians whom fate had thrown together in a Salvation Army hostel in Iceland decided to form their own private “Army” in order to continue the fight against Nazism.  They called themselves “Norwegian Company, Iceland,” and began collecting equipment suitable for ski-troops.

Six weeks later, still unrecognized officially by either the British or Norwegian authorities, the force, which had by now increased to 18, hoisted the Norwegian flag in Iceland for the first time in the name of the Norwegian Army.

So began the first phase of the free Norwegians’ participation in the war in the Arctic.  It has taken them all over the Northern Hemisphere – Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, and back to Arctic Norway.

This fascinating chapter in World War 2 was published by His Majesty’s Stationary Office on behalf of the Royal Norwegian Government Information Office in 1945.