A work in progress – the fuller biographies will emerge in due course: please sign up to the Newsletter (bottom of the page) and we’ll let you know when we’ve done more justice in writing up our extraordinary signatories.
‘“Kr. 5000, – in reward is promised to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of 7 men in a white painted lifeboat.”
This is how it was read in Sunnmørsposten on Wednesday 30 March, in the war year 1943. It was the German occupiers who were behind the search. The week before, the wanted men, or rather: the young men, had been on board a small rowing boat for four days, on the run from German soldiers. They had covered a stretch of 250 km when they finally docked at the quay in Søvika, north of Ålesund. They all had more or less serious injuries after the attack they had been subjected to. One was already dead. While German forces searched the area, they had to hide for many, long days before the rescue came.”
(Ivar Gunnar’s account + Google translate)
‘Finn Clausen (Noreiger) shared with the nautical legend and irrepressibly bold and courageous Leif Larsen (52 ‘successful’ crossings, including the “Arthur” & Tirpitz attempts, so many in the small boats of the first years of the Shetland Bus Service, which so took the admiration of the Royal Navy, and earning the ‘Shetlands Gang’ many award decorations, but with severe losses, before their later fast new three US Navy-supplied Submarine Chasers from Miami.
‘The unrivalled drama and epic survival in and after being strafed many times, the sinking of their 75 ft ‘Bepgholm’, their hastily repaired (seven massive holes made tight with canvas and bully beef can skinning) open lifeboat and then rowing, with four wounded and one dying, with three on the oars back to Norway, must be one of WW2’s finest feats of team endurance.
‘For four long days and nights, they rowed at sea, even spurning rescue help on reaching the Norwegian fishing fleet because of the suspected Quisling tones of the Captain of the ship they boarded. Leif’s decision to return for more days’ endurance must have been difficult to take, and for his cold and worn out companions to bear. Later a landing and adventurous evasion and escape followed, assisted by Royal Navy pick up from occupied Norway, after at times being within earshot of German guard posts for days at a time, which they chose ‘for safety’’. [ARP]