Scotland at War – Operation Freshman


Memorial Plaque at the site of the Horsa Glider crash in Fyljesdalen, near Lysebotn, Norway, where Sapper Hunter and Sergeant Doig were killed during Operation Freshman. [Image:Dr. Bruce A. Tocher]

Tracing our Heroes

In connection with a planned new book and commemorative event in 2022, The Operation Freshman Project is trying to locate relatives of Scottish servicemen who lost their lives during a daring special forces raid in Norway in November 1942. The aim of Operation Freshman was to destroy the Heavy Water facility at the Norsk Hydro plant at Vemork; heavy water was a key component of Nazi Germany´s programme to develop a nuclear bomb, and the destruction of the facility was seen at the time as one of the most important missions of the war.

Of the 48 servicemen who took part in the raid, ten were from Scotland. Currently, the Project is looking for assistance in in tracing relatives of two men from the west of Scotland area.

Original burial site of Sergeant Doig and Sapper Hunter near the glider crash site, Fyljesdalen, near Lysebotn, Norway. [Image:Dr. Bruce A. Tocher]

Sapper John Glen Vannen Hunter

Service No. 2110332; Age 22, Royal Engineers, 9 (Airborne) Field Company, from Lennoxtown, Glasgow, Scotland. Son of John Glen Vannen Hunter (1888-1938) & Margaret Hunter (nee Hanvidge; 1879-1922), of Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire; married 3rd September 1909; Stepson of Janet Hunter (nee Scott), of Lennoxtown; married 20th May 1924. Sapper Hunter was employed, before joining up, in the M. and C. Switchgear Works, Kirkintilloch. His father, the late John Hunter, carried on a hairdresser´s business in Lennoxtown for many years. 

Sapper John Hunter’s headstone in the Commonwealth Grave section at Eiganes Cemetery, Stavanger, Norway [Image: Dr Bruce A Tocher]


Sergeant Peter Doig 

(Co-Pilot, Glider A); Service No. 3250420; 1st Glider Pilot Regiment; Age 25, from Glasgow, Scotland. Son of Alexander & Jean Lindsay C. Doig of Glasgow. Doig was born in Glasgow, where he also resided. After leaving school, he had worked for several years as a laboratory technician in the Medical Department at Glasgow University. 

Sergeant Peter Doig’s headstone in the Commonwealth Grave section at Eiganes Cemetery, Stavanger, Norway (Image: Dr Bruce A Tocher]

Memorial to the men who took part in Operation Freshman, Commonwealth Grave section, Eiganes Cemetery, Stavanger, Norway. [Image: Dr. Bruce A. Tocher]

If you wish further information or would like to contact Dr Tocher regarding his project, please contact him at batocher@outlook.com

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