William Colby

Article by Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara – II Marine Expeditionary Force

VǼRNES, Norway –Seventy-one years ago during World War II, Army Maj. William E. Colby led a group of over 30 men with the Office of Strategic Services on a highly important sabotage mission, called Operation Rype, in which they blew up bridges, ports and railroads in an effort to prevent German troops from traveling back to Germany.

The men, some Norwegian refugees and some of Norwegian ancestry, were specially selected for the mission from the 99th Infantry Battalion. They participated in cold-weather training, hand-to-hand combat, and ordnance training in the United States and Europe before parachuting into the snow-covered mountains in occupied Norway.

“The fact that American troops were able to air-land in high ground, during winter time in Norway, and get assembled, get the equipment, do the reconnaissance, and do the sabotage actions, was an achievement of great value,” said Col. Ebbe Deraas, commanding officer of Norwegian Home Guard District 12. “My land-task force is named after Operation Rype as a way of honoring the achievements and the lessons learned by the American troops.”

WW2 sabotage

Operasjon rype

In the last months of the war during spring 1945. Gjefsjøen Mountain Farm was a central location as part of the sabotage operation "Operasjon Rype". The saboteurs had their headquarter at the farm. Operasjon Rype's mission was to sabotage the railroad through Trøndelag and Snåsa. Today Home Guard's task force "Rype" is named after the operation.

Restoring of Operasjon Rype's headquarter

OSS Gjefsjøen

The building which was headquarter for Operation Rype was in bad shape after standing empty for years. OSS Gjefsjøen are now restoring the building. The association OSS Gjefsjøen will convey the story of Operasjon Rype which in the final phase of World War II operated from its base on Gjefsjøen mountain farm. The building will be restored in the original appearance from when Operasjon Rype was carried out.

Licour based on local herbs and plants from Gjefsjøen

Gjefsjø­akevitt (Aquavit)

Distilled at Inderøy Brenneri (distillery) based on pure water, plants, herbs and botanicals from Gjefsjøen Mountain Farm. Made as a tribute to the heros from Operasjon Rype who had their base at Gjefsjøen in the end og World War II.