Edward Kussman was born on June 25, 1919 and was form Cumberland, Iowa. He served as a Waist Gunner onB-24H (42-50331) Liberator of the 856th Bomber Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group performing the “Carpetbagger” mission to parachute six OSS (Office of Strategic Operations) operatives from Team Norso II (of the Norwegian Operational Group) as part of Operation Rype into Norway on March 31, 1945.
Operation Rype was a mission to impede the redeployment of enemy forces from Norway to Germany. The OSS was a precursor to the CIA. While enroute to the parachute drop, the plane was forced to turn around due to bad weather. Upon return to Scotland, the plane lost 2 engines and the pilot directed the crew and passengers to bail out. Only the Co-Pilot was able to do so and survived. The rest perished when the plan crashed just south of Kirkwall, Orkney near St. Ola. A memorial remembers the crew and operatives on ““Liberator” Drive in Kirkwall.
FROM FIND A GRAVE: Council Bluffs Iowa Nonpareil April 15, 1945 Mrs. Elva Kussman, 3430 Avenue D, has received word from the war department that her son, Sgt. Edward W. Kussman was killed in action March 31 in the European Theater. A waist gunner on a B-24 he entered the service in September 1942 and arrived overseas two months ago. Sgt. Kussman, a 1937 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, worked in an architectural office prior to his enlistment. Besides his mother he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. W. J. Matthews of Evanston, Illinois and Mrs. C. Le Reimer of Council Bluffs. ---------- He was from Pottawattamie County, Iowa and entered service in Nebraska. He was a waist gunner B-24 42-50331. He crashed in Walliwall, near Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland and was awarded the Air Medal.