Operation Heron I

This was a British operation by the Special Operations Executive to follow ‘Archer’ as the second of three undertakings (with ‘Heron II’) to organise and train resistance groups in the Vefsn district to the south of Mosjøen in German-occupied Norway, receive arms, build dumps, and establish radio contact (5 March 1942 onward).

A five-man Norwegian party (A. Knudsen, O. Baarnes, H. Bugge, H. K. Hansen and A. Larsen as the radio operator) was delivered by sea, a considerable quantity of weapons was imported into the area, and the training of local groups began. Early in September 1942, however, one of the ‘Archer’ group was arrested and led the Germans to a farm on Lake Majavatn where an SOE team was in hiding. In the exchange of fire which followed, two Germans were killed. This contributed to the German decision to declare a state of emergency in the area and execute 34 Norwegians, resulting in the termination of ‘Archer’ and ‘Heron’.