Gerald Ottersland was born on January 28, 1920 in Norway, 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: OTTERSLAND, GJERULF, technician, Østre Moland. Born 28 January 1920 in Ø. Moland, s. of Eivind Ottersland, b. 1892 s. pl., and Johanne b. Jeppesen, b. 1900 in Holt. Middle School. Went to sea in the autumn of 1939, and was on various ships until he in 1942 went into military service in New York. Was sent to England and was part of the invasion of France as parachute jumper and saboteur for about 2 months. An attempt was made in the spring of 1945 to fly to Norway, but the plane crashed down in Scotland, and he died 31. March 1945. The us Awards The purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal post mortem.