William Colby is one of many great American heroes from the Second World War. He was the leader of Operation RYPE, a series of Sabotage Missions conducted by the Norwegian Operations Group. The soldiers in this group were mostly Norwegian-Americans living in the United States. Arthur Colby, grandson of William Colby, visited the Snaasa Mountains in Norway, one of the sites of Operation RYPE, earlier this year as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines.
"Working with the Norwegians and being able to witness some of my old family history was a tremendous opportunity. Its a really extraordinary country, and I think the beauty is very striking as soon as you see it", Arthur Colby said after the ceremony at Arlington Cemetery. He also met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg during his visit to Norway.
Both Arthur and his father Carl Colby spoke during the ceremony, along with Colonel Ebbe Deraas from the Norwegian Army. Deraas expressed his gratitude and respect for the efforts William Colby did for Norway. Arthur Colby and Deraas met in Norway earlier this year, and are still close friends.
"I think the ceremony today shows the strong relationships between Norway and the United States. It’s a fabulous thing to have not just the abstract relationship between two countries, but also a father, son and grandson together with the Colonel today, that is a bond that can’t be broken", Carl Colby said Saturday.
Norway and the United States have had an extensive military cooperation since the Second World War. From January, 330 U.S. Marines will be stationed in Norway as a rotational force.
"We have seen U.S military personnel exercising in Norway for many years. The feedback from the soldiers is that they think it’s great to work in Norway, and that the conditions for military exercises is very good. It’s important for us to keep the memory of William Colby alive, my unit in the Homeguard is named after Operation RYPE for instance", Ebbe Deraas said Saturday.
Deraas received a collection of official awards, documents, orders, photos, and maps related to William Colby and Operation RYPE from the Colby-family during his visit to the United State. This was a gift from the Colby family to the Norwegian Army.
In Operation RYPE, Colby and his men blew up Railway lines heavily guarded by German soldiers. Their and other soldier’s actions in Norway towards the end of the Second World War, made it hard for Germany to move troops to the battlegrounds in Middle Europe. Colby was appointed Director of CIA in September 1973, a position he had until 1976. Colby died in 1996. The Norwegian Embassy is grateful for William Colby and his teams`efforts for Norway during the Second World War.