Gravesite: Square 08, Row 04, Grave 010Isolated Burial
A standard flat brass inscribed US Military grave plaque mounted to a marble gravestone with an etched aircraft above the marker and an epitaph in Norwegian below.
Staff Sergeant Edward E. Kjelness ((Edvart Edvartson Kjelnes) was born on July 5, 1909 in Vestnes, Norway. He arrived in the US in 1928 became a US Citizen and enlisted in the US Army in 1941 before the war began. Being a Norwegian speaker he was recruited into the OSS.
Kjelness was a member of OSS (Office of Strategic Services) Operational Group Norway, Team Norso. On March 31, 1945 he along with five other team members were being deployed to Norway to support Operation Rype by an Operation Carpetbagger B-24 aircraft. The plane was unable to make the drop and crashed upon returning to home base in the Orkney Islands in Scotland; all but the Co-Pilot were killed in the crash.
See site Kirkwall- Orkney (this website) for more on Operation Rype and the crash that killed Keljness.
Each of the Norwegian-American OSS Team members were buried in their native Norway after the war. See this website for the Isolated Burials (ISOBs) for each of the OSS team.
Special thanks to the OSS Gjefsjoen Group for assistance with this memorial. OSS Gjefsjoen is a group that fosters the memory of Operation Rype and works out of the former HQ of Operation Rype at the Gjefsjøen fjellgård.
The text on the US Military grave plaque reads:
EDWARD E KJELNESS
S/SGT HQ & HQ DET OSS
WORLD WAR II BSM AND PH
JULY 5, 1909 MARCH 31, 1945
BSM- BRONZE STAR MEDAL
Text on the marble portion of the plaque is in Norwegian and reads:
FALT FOR FEDRELANDET
FRIHET OG RETTFERD
PA VEG TIL NORGE
31 MARS 1945
The translation is:
Fell for the Fatherland;
for freedom and liberty
31 March 1945