Commemorative wreaths were laid at the North Weald Airfield memorial and Debt of Honour on 15 July 2019 to mark seventy five years of association with the Royal Norwegian Airforce which flew from the airfield during World War II.
Major General Tonje Skinnarland Chief of the Royal Norwegian Airforce and senior Norwegian government officials joined Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Cllr Richard Bassett in laying wreaths at the memorial to mark this special anniversary.
Two Norwegian squadrons Nos. 331 and 332 moved to North Weald in 1942 as a result of the Norwegian Government’s exile to the UK.
North Weald Wing
They became known as the North Weald Wing of the Norwegian Airforce and squadron 331 became the highest scoring fighter squadron in the South of England.
Symbol of resistance
Continuation of the war through the fighter squadrons based at North Weald was very symbolic to the Norwegian nation – both at the time and in the subsequent post-war period. North Weald became their national symbol of resistance.
General Skinnarland was accompanied by officers and staff of the Royal Norwegian Airforce and Colonel John Andreas Olsen – Defence Attache to the Norwegian Embassy in London as representative of the Norwegian Government.
Councillor Bassett said: “We are very happy to continue the cultural and personal ties forged during the war with our Norwegian friends and allies. Norwegian veterans have returned periodically – sometimes with the support of the Royal Norwegian Airforce – and people from North Weald visiting Norway.
“Our council bought the airfield in the 1980s and the Norwegian association is part of its rich history.”