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.

“I knew the history, obviously, of my grandfather being there, and then I saw that and I was like: ‘Oh my God; they recognize this. This is important to them as well,”” said Arthur Colby, who was promoted to captain after leaving active-duty in March, in a recent interview.

William Colby’s main task in Norway was to prevent German troops from returning to the Third Reich via the Norland railway. “Like Carthage, this had to be destroyed,” he wrote in his memoir.
Read the whole story from the Military Times.
Featured image courtesy of Carl Colby.