Hirdens Flykorps 1941-45

Grunau 8
Carries the civil registration LN-GAH, Hirdens Flykorps (HFK), Alfaset, Norway, 1942. Glider is finished in Cream (RLM 05) on flying surfaces. Framework and wing leading edge are wood finished in Brown (RLM 61). The HFK roundel is formed of a Red circle with Yellow cross, circle edging and swords. Detailing is Black. The rectangular background to the roundel is Blue. Civil registrations are on both wing surfaces and appear in Black.

The Hirdens Flykorps
The thirties saw a number of gliders and sailplanes being built and flown in Norway. Germany was the main source of inspiration, and most gliders were of German design. Instructors were sent from NS Flieger Korps to Norway, and a few Norwegians invited to Germany, all expenses paid by NSFK.

At the outbreak of war in Europe, civilian flying in Norway was suspended, resulting in the gliders being stowed away when the Germans invaded Norway in April 1940. The ban on civilian flying was prolonged, and it was not until the winter of 1940/41 that some activity started under the leadership of Tryggve Gran. (Tryggve Gran was with Scott in the Antarctic, flew across the North Sea in 1914 and served with the RFC/RAF during WW1). In late 1941 the Quisling regime organized Hirdens Flyavdeling, which in 1942 became the Hirdens Flykorps. Easter 1942 saw the first training camp with 21 pupils, and there were a number of demonstrations of gliders during the year. A few instructors received advanced training in Germany, but internal problems kept the activity down. Most instructors and a few pupils had received training with the Norwegian Air Arms before the war.

Some Norwegians voluntered for service with the Luftwaffe, but this was not organized by Hirdens Flykorps. Gliders were available because 20+ had been requisitioned from their owners, but not all of them were finished. Aircraft kept their normal LN-*** registrations on both sides of the wing with "Solkorset" in yellow on a red circel painted on the rudder. "Solkorset" was the symbol used by all Quisling's followers. In late 1943 it was replaced by the Norwegian colours of red/white/blue/white/red, as had been on all military aircraft before the war and used during the war by the RNoAF in Canada.

Plans for using motorized aircraft never materialized, and the liquidation of one of their most active instructors in 1944 did little to promote membership. An advanced DFS Meise/Olympia was bought from Germany in late 1944 and was flown by Alf Berggren in March 45 for a Norwegian soaring record (18hrs,52min).

After the liberation, requistioned material was returned to their owners. Most of the few hundred members of HFK spent a few months in jail, with a few of the leaders receiving longer sentences. Some Norwegians may have received flying training with the Luftwaffe, but it is not known if they ever became operational.

Pictures and text taken from Issue 3 of Insignia Magazine. A Blue Rider decal sheet for this air arm is now available in 1/72 scale (BR413).

All pictures and text © Blue Rider Publishing 2013