Angus has remembered two sons of the county who paid the ultimate price in one of World War Two’s most daring raids.
In November 1942, Operation Freshman was launched in a bid to destroy the heavy water production facilities at Norsk Hydro facility near Vemork in Norway.
The hydroelectric power station was at the heart of Germany’s atomic research in its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb.
But the ill-fated special forces assault cost the lives of 41 of the 48 servicemen involved.
Two bombers towing gliders with 15 Royal Engineers on board each had set off across the North Sea from RAF Skitten in north-east Scotland.
Young Angus lives lost
The crews included Flight Sergeant Jim Falconer from Edzell.
The eldest of five brothers from the Angus village, he was just 20 when his Halifax bomber crashed in south-west Norway just before midnight on November 19 1942.
And Sapper Robert “Bobby” Norman also lost his life that same night.
The Brechiner was 22 and in one of the Horsa gliders which went down in Lysefjord during the secret mission.
Both Angus men were eventually laid to rest in marked graves in Norway.
Now, almost eight decades on, family members have taken part in services to honour their sacrifice.
They were held at Brechin and Edzell war memorials, led by the Rev. Malcolm Rooney and the Rev. Wayne Pearce respectively.
Angus Council Veterans’ Champion Major Ronnie Proctor said it was important to remember the local pair.
“There are still many who will never have heard about Operation Freshman,” said Ronnie.
“It was a secret mission and much of what happened only emerged years later.
“But families of these two Angus men remain and as we approach the 80th anniversary we thought it was important to mark the sacrifice they made.”
The narrative of the part the two men played was given at the cenotaph ceremonies.
Major Ron MacGregor of the Royal Engineers Association spoke of Sapper Norman’s involvement.
And at Edzell, Gordon Millar of the Royal Air Force Association detailed the story of Jim Falconer.
Forfar researcher’s dedication to Op Freshman story
Major Proctor hailed the work of Forfar-born military enthusiast Bruce Tocher in keeping the memory of the local men alive.
His painstaking research uncovered their role the costly mission, as well as other Tayside men including Perthshire Lieutenant David Methven.
The Fortingall soldier was only 20 but had already received the George Cross by the time he met his death in one of the gilders.
Bruce has plans to publish a book on Operation Freshman.
And he hopes it may even include Jim Falconer’s flying log which was lost from a private museum.