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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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161
07/08th July 1944 161 squadron Lysander IIIA V9490 Cpt. Hysing-Dahl

Operation: Secret Intelligence Service

Date: 07/08th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 161 squadron (motto: 'Liberate')

Type: Lysander IIIA

Serial: V9490

Code: MA-H

Base: RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Captain Per Hysing-Dahl DFC. N5205 RNAF Age 23. Safe

Agent: BCRA Baudry AKA Safe (see note)

Agent: BCRA J.M.L. Besnard Killed

Agent: BCRA Marcel Leseur Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 22:38 hrs from Tempsford to fly three French agents to a landing site in the Loire.

The standard procedure was that someone at the landing site, which was usually a small field, just before landing should fire flares so the pilot got an idea of where he should go down. But that did not happen, so Hysing-Dahl returned to England.

On the way home, the plane was hit by American anti-aircraft fire. Splinters cut the oil line, so the engine cut out over the English Channel. As the agents did not have parachutes, Hysing-Dahl had to try and ditch the Lysander. He managed this but in the process, the aircraft somersaulted, he and two other passengers managed to get out.

The air bottle that was supposed to inflate the dingy Hysing-Dahl had in his personal parachute package failed. Before Hysing-Dahl had manually blown up the dingy, one of the French agents had drowned. He helped the other remaining agent get on board the dingy.(which was actually designed for one person).

Early in the morning the next day, they were discovered and rescued by Motor Torpedo Boat P567 from the US Navy.

In 2017, the smart new Flesland airport, serving Bergen and its district, opened and a statue was erected in his honour.

(Note) BCRA - Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action. This was the World War II-era forerunner of the SDECE, the French intelligence service. The BCRA was created by the Free French chief-of-staff in 1940, and it was first commanded by Major André Dewavrin.

Burial details:

None - survived the war. Born 31st July 1920 in Bergen, Norway. When the war ended, Hysing-Dahl continued for a time as a captain in civil aviation. He also saw the need for an airline that could operate taxi flights around Western Norway. Thus he started 1964 A/S Westwing and was CEO there until 1972. Elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Hordaland in 1969, and was re-elected on three occasions. During the term 08th October 1981 - 30th September 1985 he was President of the Storting.

On the local level he was a member of Fana municipality council from 1959 to 1967. He chaired the county party chapter from 1971 to 1972.

He received a large number of Norwegian and foreign decorations for his war efforts, including Norway's highest military honour The War Cross with Sword, the St. Olavs Medal with Oak Branch, the British Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar and the French Croix de Guerre. He was appointed Commander of the Order of St. Olav in 1989 and was Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

War Cross with Swords, DFC & Bar, St. Olav's Medal, Croix de Guerre, Legion d'Honneur

He died on the 07th April 1989, age 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot and agents with thanks to sources as quoted below:

KTY 02-11-2021

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Acknowledgements
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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