In 1943, Norwegians formed their third squadron flying under RAF Command: No. 333 Squadron. One flight would fly the trusty Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat whereas the other operated the ultra-modern, wooden wonder: the de Havilland Mosquito. One of the chosen few to fly the Mosquito was 21-year-old Finn Eriksrud. Eriksrud had travelled all the way across the globe to end up in Scotland to fly the beloved ‘Mossie’ after a hazardous escape from Norway. Now Eriksrund would fly low level over his native country on extremely dangerous reconnaissance and patrol missions.
The flight started operations in May 1943. By December the same year, all of the original Mosquito pilots were dead, either from flying accidents or being shot down over the coast of Norway. That same month became Eriksrud’s final month with the squadron as he ditched his Mosquito off the coast of Norway and was taken prisoner. He had not gone down with a fight, however, and on one occasion shot down a Junkers 88 bomber. Eriksrud’s navigator managed to snatch a photograph seconds before it crashed. Christmas Eve was spent in Norway and Eriksrud did not return victorious. He came back a prisoner of war… in his home country.
Tor Idar Larsen was born in Gjøvik, Norway, in 1980. Larsen previously contributed towards Fonthill Media with Viking Spitfire: The Story of Finn Thorsager and co-authored Into the Swarm, a collection of stories on RAF fighter pilots during the Second World War. He also released aviation related books in his own native language and has published several aviation articles. Larsen is also the webmaster and photographer for www.spitfirepilots.com and enjoys attending British air shows every summer.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Illustrations: 51 b/w photographs