The Viking Battalion

Editors: Erik Brun, Olaf Minge and Dr Kyle Ward


Synopsis: The stories of the 99th "Viking" Battalion (Separate), which fought in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe.

Hidden in the crevasses of World War II history is the story of the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate). A small unit that rarely gets any attention, it is part of a fascinating story. Alongside battalions of Austrian, Greek, Filipino and Japanese Americans, the Army decided to create an all Norwegian American battalion, originally trained at Camp Hale, Colorado, along with the 10th Mountain Division, with the original mission of liberating Norway. Their exploits during training brought them enough notoriety that members of the 99th were recruited to start the First Special Service Force and a branch of the OSS. Although they were not initially sent to Norway, they would fight in Normandy, across France and Belgium, helped entrap the Germans at Aachen, protected the city of Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge (where they stopped an attack by Skorzeny and a SS Panzer Division), helped liberate Buchenwald, guarded the Nazi treasures found in Merkers mine and finally served as the Honor Guard for King Haakon VII on his triumphant return to Norway.

This book tells the story of the 99th Infantry Battalion through an anthology of rarely, if ever, previously seen memoirs, journals, letters and newspaper articles written by or about the Viking soldiers.

Please see the 99th Acknowledgement page for a list of people that contributed to this work.

Battlefield Legacies

Author: Antoni Pisani


Synopsis: Sign-up and support Antoni Pisani's Battlefield Legacies blog. He posts new and powerful entries based on years of research into the 99th. 

Over five decades, Arve & Antoni Pisani have interviewed WWII vets and journeyed across Europe's battlefields, helping families unearth their kin's lost WWII narratives.

Operation Rype

Author: Frode Lindgjerdet


Synopsis:  To prevent German occupying forces in Norway from reinforcing their defenses during the final months of World War II, the Office of Strategic Services launched Operation Rype, with the mission of sabotaging the Nordland Railway in Mid-Norway. Rype was led by Major William E. Colby, later director of the CIA.

After several delays, the Norwegian Special Operations Group (NORSO) dropped over the Snåsa mountains on the night of March 24. Out of eight B-24s, only three dropped on target. One dropped in Sweden, the remaining four returned to Britain. Two of the B-24s crashed, killing all but one of their crews. Reinforcement and resupply of the unit failed due to extreme Arctic conditions.

Relying heavily on help from the Norwegian resistance, NORSO managed to sever the railway at two points. On both occasions, they withdrew with Germans hot on their tail. On May 2, a German patrol blundered into their camp, resulting in the killing of all of the Germans and one wounded Norwegian resistance fighter. 

This new history of the operation is based on German, Norwegian, American and Swedish sources. It examines how the outcome of the operation was affected by the limitations of equipment in sub-Arctic conditions, and British-American rivalry and cooperation throughout the operation.

The Canal Drive

The 99th Battalion

Author: Gerd Nyquist



Gerd Nyquist: Bataljon 99 (1981) (Norwegian) / 99th Battalion (2014) (English)

Nyquist, Gerd. (2014). The 99th Battalion. Aperture Press, LLC. ISBN 9780991096220.

Viking Battalion DVD

Creator: Steinar Hybertsen

Available: Price: $25.00 (including shipping/handling for USA or Canada).  We accept Paypal.  Please make a payment of $25.00 per DVD  from link:

To order a PAL version of this DVD (playable in Europe), please order directly from our partners in Norway by clicking  HMKF.  Norwegian Military Vehicle Historical  Association (HMKF) is our partner in Norway and handle all sales  of the DVD in Europe.

Synopsis: In 1942, the 99th Infantry Battalion of the U.S. Army was activated in Camp Ripley, Minnesota consisting of Norwegian nationals and U.S. Citizens of Norwegian decent. They trained in Camp Hale, Colorado for an invasion of Nazi occupied Norway.  But they saw battle on the European continent. This is their story, told by the veterans themselves. The film contains never before seen film and photo material, and is produced by renowned Norwegian-American film producer Steinar Hybertsen. 

Color, 110 minutes, NTSC format, Produced in 2013.

Helmets in the Backyard

Author: Karsten Conaert


Synopsis:  A powerful and compelling set of stories and photos from Belgium during the Canal Drive of September, 1944. Focus on the role of the 99th Infantry Battalion (Sep).  Written in Dutch and not yet translated into English.

Additional Publications

Howard R. Bergen: 99th Infantry Battalion US Army (1945).

Sgt. John Kelly: Company 'D' United States Army (1945).

Sharon Wells Wagner: Red Wells, An American Soldier in World War 2 (2006).

Bruce H. Heimark: The OSS Norwegian Special Operations Group in World War II (1994).

Knut Flovik Thoresen: Soldat på vestfronten, historien om Alf Dramstad (2010) (Norwegian).

Gerd Nyquist, 99th Battalion: The Long Way Home[5][6]

Company "D" - United States Army, Sgt John Kelly, Kirstes Boktrykkeri, Oslo 1945

99th Infantry Battalion US Army,  Howard R. Bergen, Emil Moestue, Oslo 1945

Historical Newsletters


Online References

Wikipedia article:

The home page of Harold Plank—Company "C"
This is the home page of one of the 99th Infantry Battalions own soldiers, the late Harold Plank, Who served in Company "C". Plank was a Naval Gunfire spotter and landed with the 2nd Ranger Battalion on D-Day, and was later transferred to the 99th Battalion. His booklet can be downloaded from his website for free.

Red Wells, An American Soldier in World War II

Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum, Decorah, Iowa
This museum also has a nice exhibit about the 99th Battalion (Separate), with uniforms, militaria, artifacts, etc donated to them by the Battalion.

U.S. Army
The official website of the United States Army

Norway During World War 2
Excellent website about Norway during World War 2, in both English and Norwegian.  The website includes a page on the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) and also has an excellent forum.

Sons of Norway
Sons of Norway is the largest Norwegian American organization in the World.
The official website for Norway in the United States.

Norwegian Embassy
This is the official webpage of the US Embassy in Norway

The Royal Family—Norway
This is the official website of the Royal Family in Norway.  The website is in both Norwegian and English.

The Town of Dilsen-Stokkem, Belgium
These were some of the towns that the 99th Infantry Battalion liberated during the Canal Drive in 1944.  Today they are close partners with the 99th in preserving it’s history.

“Little Detroit” - Norway
Little Detroit is a very active group of World War 2 military vehicle enthusiasts outside of Oslo.  Their motor pool is considerable, and is being kept at an old Army base which they now rent.  This is a “mechanic’s heaven”!  They are good friends of the 99ers and are helping us to keep  our history alive. 

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge
The Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (VBOB) is a membership organization instituted to:
· Perpetuate the memory of the sacrifices involved during the Battle of the Bulge.
· Preserve historical data and sites relating to the Battle of the Bulge.
· Foster international peace and goodwill.
· Promote friendship among the survivors of the Battle of the Bulge and their descendants.