Monthly Archives: August 2020

People are still remembering Little Norway in Illinois

Updated 17 January 2021 with this contribution from David Wold

Like to share with you the recognition from elected officials that Kaare
Nevdal received on his 100th Birthday. I think is a nice tradition and hopefully a tradition that would be carried on by future elected officials.

Honor and service , this case by Allied Forces, should be recognized now and
forever. “we where all in it together”.

David

P.S. Kaare shared with me last week that he did fly in total 67 flights as
escort of the Convoys or delicate flights from Scotland to Sweden during the
war in 12 different types of planes.

Photos courtesy David Wold

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Source:

http://www.torskeklub.com/history/witnesstowar.pdf

Story by Jon McGinty
Layout by Scott Schwalbach

Kaare (pronounced CORY) Nevdal, Rockford, Ill., was just 19 when the Germans invaded his homeland of Norway on April 9, Life in his small, west coast village near Bergen soon became intolerable under the occupation.

By the following spring, he decided to escape to England. I couldn t stand not to be free, recalls Nevdal. We had to carry identity papers everywhere, and someone was always watching us. If I stayed much longer in Norway, I knew I would end up in jail.

After one escape attempt was thwarted by a North Sea storm, Nevdal succeeded in reaching the Shetland Islands by fishing boat on March 15, He went to London to enlist in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and the Norwegian government-in-exile sent him to Toronto, Canada, for training.

While in Canada, Nevdal visited his aunt in Rockford, who sent a picture of the two of them to Nevdal s family in Norway, claiming it was her and her son, in order to fool German censors. This was the first indication his family had that Nevdal was still alive. He also met his future wife, Muriel, in Toronto.

After completing his training as a radio operator/gunner in 1942, Nevdal was sent to Iceland where he joined the 330th squadron of Coastal Command. He flew on long, tedious anti-submarine patrols and convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic, first in N3PB Nomads, then in PBY Catalina float planes.

In March of 1943, Nevdal was transferred to Scotland in the Shetland Islands. From there he flew patrols along the Norwegian coastline in huge, four-engine Sunderland flying boats. The Germans called them flying porcupines because they had so many guns (18) on board.

One purpose of these flights was to keep German submarines from surfacing, thus slowing them down and making it difficult for them to attack Allied shipping on their way to Russia. But in May of 1944, Nevdal s plane caught one on the surface. We dropped depth charges on the sub from about 50 feet above the water, recalls Nevdal, but it took two attacks. All the time they were shooting at us and we were shooting at them. The nose gunner was killed during the battle. The attack was successful, and on May 16, 1944, the U- 240, a type VIIc German submarine, sank to the bottom with all 50 crewmen.

Later that year Nevdal was again re-assigned, this time to a special unit which flew civilian aircraft in and out of neutral Sweden. His unit carried VIPs, spies, and important documents between Stockholm and St. Andrews, Scotland. We had BOAC uniforms and British passports, says Nevdal. Sometimes we even transported escapees from Norway.

Since Sweden was neutral but blockaded by belligerents, some consumer goods were available in Stockholm that were unattainable in war-rationed Scotland. Nevdal s cousin s wife asked him to bring her a girdle on one of his flights. Kaare Nevdal was in Norway when the Germans invaded his homeland in (Jon McGinty photo) I had to smuggle it out by wearing it under my uniform, says Nevdal. It was very uncomfortable. I gained lots of sympathy for ladies who wore them.
Nevdal recalled a Norwegian poem he copied when he reached England the first time. Its meaning could speak to the motivation for many veterans of World War II.

Kjemp for alt som du har kjart Do om see det jelder Da er livet ie saa svart Doden ikke heller

Fight for all that you hold dear Die if it s that important Then life will not be so hard Neither will be death

Nevdal s Aunt in Rockford, Ill., sent this photo of the two of them to Nevdal s family in Norway to let them know he was still alive. Northwest Quarterly Spring

Kaare Nevdal

People are still remembering Little Norway in Norway

Bjørn Ottersen (via David Wold)

Bjørn Ottersen fourth from the right (via David Wold)

Bjørn Ottersen on the right (via David Wold)

David’s message
Last one is a picture of Bjørn Ottersen’s brother in Little Norway-Muskoka with Al Becon who I understand sailed on a Norwegian freight during WWII but more important, in this connection, was the force that got the museum installed at the Airport. He passed away a few years ago but would be remembered this Rememberance day by the local legion. 
David Wold  

Little Norway – Post No. 17

This is post no. 17 about Little Norway.

Before I met Clarence Simonsen virtually on the Internet in 2015, I knew nothing about Little Norway. Clarence had researched Little Norway and his research was published on Preserving the Past II.

Later, David Wold whose parents were in Little Norway during the war had contacted me and hw had shared photos and information.

ragnar wold little norway

mom and dad in norwegian uniform (1)

Everything he had sent had been posted on the blog.

David had a wooden propeller of a PT-26B.

This is the latest of David’s installment…

I am very pleased and touched by the fact that the propeller now finally is “among its own” at Royal Norwegian Air Force recreation and conference center at Vesle Skaugum, Gol, Norway, after having had several “waiting and stops” over the last 76 years.  It would be part of so many memories and reminders of those who signed up and gave all when the Kingdom of Norway asked for help in obtaining freedom and liberty.

“Lest we Forget”

David

Now for some images and photos all courtesy David Wold…

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obit for bjorn og roy

Transcription

Fought Bravely For Freedom

Tribute At Airmen’s Funeral

 

Military funeral honors were given to Sgt. Pilot Roy Conrad Norris Heise, 25, and L.A.C. Bjorn Ottersen, 24, RNAF, who were accidentally killed in a flying accident near Gravenhurst.

Lieut. V. B. Neumann, padre at Little Norway, conducted the Lutheran in Crematory Chapel. “Sgt. Heise always fought for what he thought was right,” Padre Neumann stated during his memorial sermon, spoken in the Norwegian tongue. He then went on to outline how Heise, a Swedish boy, had gone to fight with the Finns at the outbreak of war. Later, he came to Canada and joined the Canadian Army, transferring to the RNAF when Norway was invaded. “He was always disgusted that he had to stay in Canada and instruct,” the padre said, “when he longed to go overseas and fight.”

Speaking of Ottersen, Padre Neumann noted that, while only a lad, he had done what he could in the Norwegian underground. The boy managed to escape to Sweden, where he attended the university at Upsala and obtained an arts degree, in order that he might be a pilot in the RNAF when he came to Canada.

“He arrived here  in March from Sweden, and was just ,within five hours of finishing his elementary flying course.”

Here followed a very impressive part of the service. Col. Ole Reistad, air officer commanding the RNAF Training Centre in Canada, carried wreaths to the feet of the Norwegian and Swedish flag-draped coffins. Addressing a few last words to the dead boys, he said a simple, “Heartiest last thanks, Heise,” and “Many thanks, Ottersen,” and placed his wreaths on the caskets.

Then comrades from all the different branches of the service gave their wreaths and tributes with a few last words of parting. Violin solos were played throughout the service by a member of the RNAF.

Mrs. Barbara Heise was the chief mourner.

bjørn ottersen og roy heise begravelse

 

nedfall stedet

Bjørn Ottersen

Bjørn Ottersen

Roy Heise

Roy Heise