Described in Special Operations Executive training reports as "Intelligent,
keen, works very hard. ... He is a cool and calculating type, who should give a
very good account of himself in a tight corner... Has no fear." Led covering
party in factory raid, and later planted the bombs that sank the Hydro,
for which he earned the Distinguished Service Order. Died in 1994.
Second Lieutenant who became a member of the factory demolition party. Like the
leader Ronneberg, he made a point while in the factory to show his British
stripes, so the Nazis would think British commandos had done the job and not
local Norwegians. Least-experienced skier who nevertheless survived a 15-day,
250-mile escape on skis into neutral Sweden after the attack. Earned Military
Sergeant and member of the factory demolition party. After the attack, he
joined five other members of "Gunnerside" (the name of the operation to bomb
the factory) on a 250-mile ski trek to neutral Sweden. Like all other members,
he earned recognition from King George VI after Winston Churchill wrote a note
upon reading about the operation: "What rewards are to be given to these heroic
men?" Awarded Military Medal.
Jens Anton Poulsson
Native of Rjukan, the town nearest the Vemork plant. An experienced
mountaineer. Always had a pipe. The head of the Special Operations Executive,
the London-based spy outfit they all worked for, wrote that Poulsson "showed a
spirit of persistence that is beyond all praise." Along with Ronneberg, he
earned the Distinguished Service Order. After the war, remained in the Norwegian
army and rose to rank of colonel.
Leader of the factory saboteurs. His superiors wrote of him: "He was fully
alive to all the difficulties and dangers of his position and demonstrated the
virtues of steadiness and inspiration in a high degree." Awarded the
Distinguished Service Order. Later became a TV and radio producer.
Served as the Special Operations Executive's chief agent in the Telemark region
(in which the Vemork plant lies). Had invaluable contacts inside the plant,
where he worked as an engineer. Born and raised near Vemork, he was a champion
skier and fine outdoorsman. Had seven brothers and sisters who were also part
of the Resistance. Earned Distinguished Conduct Medal. Died in Toronto in
An outstanding skier, he was known to his colleagues as "the chicken," after an
incident in which he poached a pheasant while training in England. When the
gameskeeper complained to the Special Operations Executive and was asked if he
could identify him, he said, "Of course I can, he had a great big beak and
looked just like a bloody chicken!" Awarded Military Medal.
Oldest member of the group at 31. Sergeant and signals operator with the
Norwegian air force. Along with Ronneberg, Idland, Kayser, and Storhaug, he
made the 250-mile ski to the Swedish border. Awarded Military Medal.
Codesigner of the original high-concentration heavy-water plant at Vemork, he
became head of Section IV of the Norwegian High Command. The saboteurs' boss
and chief contact at the Special Operations Executive in England. Murdered
during the war after returning to Norway to become a local commander of the
Home Forces. Awarded Order of the British Empire.