Operation Avocet

This was the British undertaking by the Special Operations Executive to reinforce ‘Osprey’ in the Stavanger area of German-occupied Norway, organise sabotage cells along lines of communication, reconnoitre Sola airfield and possible supply-dropping places, and provide protection for vital industrial facilities (31 December 1944/May 1945).

The four-man party, comprising T. Lien, A. Floisand, J. Thu and I. Tønseth, was parachuted into the area on 31 December and established radio contact with the UK on 9 January. The party was instructed to work with the Milorg military resistance organisation, although only by means of infrequent contact. A meeting with the local district leadership was held, but the start of a training programme was delayed for lack of weapons. There was only one drop in January, none in February, and Stavanger had no weapons at all until a small quantity was moved there at the end of March. At the liberation of Norway in May 1945 some 500 men were mobilised, but only half of these had received weapons training, and the protection of key local sites also proved difficult.