Army Maj. William Colby, with the Office of the Strategic Services, parachuted into Norway in March 1945 to lead the Norwegian Special Operations Group. Their job was to prevent 150,000 German troops from returning home to fight the Allies.

“At about this time, the Battle of the Bulge had been liquidated, but there was fear on our side that another last gasp by the great beast was in the making,” William Colby, who later became director of the CIA, wrote in a memoir of the mission that is now available on the CIA’s website.

More than 70 years later, Arthur Colby was able to retrace his grandfather’s steps after training in Norway with the Marines.

Arthur Colby in Norway
Arthur Colby, then a Marine second lieutenant, views a memorial to those killed in 1945 when an Allied plane crashed in Norway while bringing more operatives for the Norwegian Special Operations Group.Photo Credit: Courtesy of Arthur Colby.

Arthur Colby was a Marine intelligence officer taking part in Exercise Cold Response 16 this February and March when he came upon maps and photos of his grandfather’s team in a Norwegian building.