Leif Meland was born on February 28, 1914 in Norway and emigrated to the US and was from New York.
He was an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) member and part of Team Norso II (part of the OSS Norwegian Operation Group). His team was being transported by a B-24 (#42-50331 of the 856th Bomber Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group) to a parachute site in Norway as part of Operation Rype.
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:Leif Edvin Meland was born on 28 February 1914 in Lista, Vest-Agder County, Norway. His parents were Emil Kristiansen and Lina Syvertsen. He worked as a stoker and signed off in New York in 1940. While in New York, Leif went into military service. He trained as a paratrooper and jumped behind enemy lines in France and Germany.