Operation Rype, B-24 Liberator (42-50331) Crash Site Memorial
On the edge of the housing development in a flat grassy area.
A stone wall about 4 feet high and 10 feet long with three inscribed marble panels attached to its front; it is located in a housing development on “Liberator Drive”.
The memorial remembers the crew and OSS operatives who perished when the B-24H Liberator (42-50331) of the 856th Bomber Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group supporting “ Carpetbagger” missions crashed on March 31, 1945 due to mechanical failure while attempting to parachute six members of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) Norwegian Operation Group/Norso II cell into Norway. Carpetbagger missions were flight operations to deliver operatives into enemy territory. The plane returned was forced to return due to bad weather and while returning lost 2 of 4 engines.
The pilot ordered all to parachute out, but only the Co-Pilot was able to do so and the remaining 7 crewmembers and 6 operatives perished when the plane crashed southeast of Kirkwall in St. Ola.
Operation Rype was an OSS Mission lead by Major William Colby (later a Director of the CIA) the Leader of the OSS Norwegian Operation Group which included teams Norso I & II with the mission of impeding the redeployment of 350,000 enemy forces from Norway to Germany in 1945.
The OSS Team was recruited from the 99th Infantry Battalion (Sep) (Norway) who formed the core of the OSS Norwegian Operation group; the OSS was a precursor to the present day CIA. Operation Rype was very successful despite the loss of two aircraft
The crew of B-24H (42-50331) included:
Polansky, Henry L ~ 2nd Lt, Pilot, TX
Pulrang, Peter C ~ 1st Lt. & Co-Pilot survived the crash. He died in 2008
Smickle, Frederick W, Jr ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, PA
Allessio, Charles J ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, MA
Lewis, William E, Jr ~ S/Sgt, Radio Operator, CA
Stevens, William K ~ Sgt, Engineer, NH
Kussman, Edward W ~ Sgt, Waist Gunner, NE
Graf, Eugene J, Jr ~ Sgt, Tail Gunner, IN
The Norwegian-American Operatives of the OSS Norwegian Group –Norso II included:
Berge, Trygve ~ T/Sgt, CA
Kjelness, Edward E ~ S/Sgt, WA
Meland, Leif E K ~ T/5, NY
Ottersland, Gerald ~ T/5, NY
Röyrvik, Johannes S ~ T/5, WI
Sondeno, Eddie O ~ T/5, MT
See the Isolated Burials (ISOBs) in Norway on this website for more on each of these OSS Team members.
The text is written on three sections in English:
Section 1, etched in marble:
801 BG 492 BG
2/LT Polansky, Henry L
1/LT Pulrang, Peter C
2/LT Smickle, Frederick W, Jr
2/LT Allessio, Charles J
SGT Stevens, William K
S/SGT Lewis, William E, Jr
SGT Kussman, Edward
SGT Graf, Eugene J, Jr
Note: USAAF Crewmen served in the 856th Bomber Squadron (BS) of the 492nd Bomber Group (BG)
Section 2, Etched on a brass plate:
WW2 OPERATION RYPE
IN EARLY 1945 OVER 350,000 WELL TRAINED
AND EQUIPPED GERMANS
WERE STATIONED IN NORWAY.
THE MAIN MISSION FOR OSS NORSO GROUP
AND THE TOP SECRET OPERATION RYPE
WAS TO PREVENT THESE SOLDIERS RETURNING
TO THE BATTLEFIELDS OF CENTRAL EUROPE.
THIS MISSION WAS ACCOMPLISHED DESPITE THE
LOSS OF 1 AIRCRAFT AND 12 MEN IN NORWAY
AND THE 1 AIRCRAFT AND 13 MEN IN WALLIWAL, ORKNEY.
PEACE AND DEMOCRACY ARE NOT A MATTER OF COURSE,
THEY COME AT A HIGH PRICE.
Section 3, etched in marble:
T/SGT Berge, Trygve
S/SGT Kjelness, Edward E
T/5 Meland, Leif E K
T/5 Ottersland, Gerald
T/5 Röyrvik, Johannes S
T/5 Sondeno, Eddie O
492nd Bomber Group
858th Bomber Squadron, 492nd Bomb Group, Heavy
8th Air Force
99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) (Norwegian)
Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
OSS-Norwegian Operational Group (Norso I/ Norso II)
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