The MTB's
Shetland "Hands Across the Sea" Norway



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Help from America
In the autumn of 1943 the Shetland bus operation received a major boost in the form of the arrival of three small American 'sub-chasers' (submarine chasers). They were named the HESSA, HITRA and VIGRA and were under the command of Petter Saelen, Ingvald Eidsheim and Leif Larsen. Each boat had a crew of 26 men, of whom three were officers. They were fast and efficient.

During the last two years of the war the submarine chasers carried out a 114 missions to Norway. Apart from one incident when a Canadian plane opened fire by mistake against the Hessa these trips were uneventful and there were no casualties. Agents, arms and equipment were landed and refugees were taken on board and brought back to Shetland. Ingvald Eidsheim on the Hitra held the speed record: 25 hours to the Norwegian coast and back!

The end of the war is recalled by Tommy Isbister

The 'MV Hitra' below was one of the actual boats used
and has been restored by the Norwegian Navy

An impressive bow designed
for speed in heavy seas

The 'MV Hitra' visiting Scalloway in the 1990's
against the backdrop of the castle

Beautifully restored and
fully operational

The unusual vertical 'X-shaped' engines, whose
shape helped save space below decks

Pictures on this page courtesy of Force 10


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Design and Authoring by Force 10
Made in Shetland