The Wartime Memories Project - Norwegian Naval Base, Peterhead, Scotland

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The Norwegian Naval Base in Peterhead, Scotland was run by the Norwegian Secret Inteligence Service and the Royal Naval Inteligence Service they ran fishing cutters to gather intelligence on shipping.

The base was located at the Model Jetty, Port Hendry Harbour, Peterhead. This unit was run by the Norwegian secret inteligence service and the Royal Naval Inteligence Service consisting norge fishing cutters who transported agents along the norwegian coast and observed all shipping movements and reported back to london. I worked with them during the war from 1941 to 1945.

The Froya, one of the cutters had an unkind fate, it sailed from Peterhead in April 1942 The Captain was Lt Commander Magne Braadland, as often they carried a crew of six plus two agents. The agents were to be landed at Troms. However off the coast of Tromdaleg, German bomber attacked them, they defended theselves with machine gun fire. The Froya started too sink, five men were ordered into the dingy with provsions and water. They set sail for the Shetlands, luck was with them and they were picked up by a British Destroyer.

The three remaining men made a raft out of planks and empty oil drums, and with soem provisions and water they strapped themselves to the raft. Twelve days later frost bitten and in a bad way they were rescued by a German seaplane. After four months recouperating they were interrogated. They all stuck to teh same story of going to Iceland from a port in Scotland. Their story was accepted and they were sent to a Prisoner of war camp. There is no doubt that if it had happened six months later they would have been shot. This is what happened to the crew of MTB 345. The SIS was under the control of the Foreign Office, thier only task was to gatehr information, sabotage was not theri concern as it actively hampered the smooth running of intelligence due to counter measures by the enemy.

My reason for writting about it now, is that the story s little known, but it is a part of history, taking the war from Peterhead to Europe and for all teh lads taht lost thier lives carrying it out. It was not until 2002 that any of my relatives or friends knew that I was involved with the secret work at the Model Jetty Port Henry, Peterhead. I was told by the Norwegian SIS that everything about the operation was still classified after the war. For a few years my work took me away from Peterhead and I never knew that it had been declassified in 1980. Trying to remember things 63 years on, it is a long time ago and I have written this as it comes to mind.

Andy Leiper


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