Ball-bearing Run

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Ball-bearing Run was the nickname of the war-time Stockholmsruten flight between Stockholm and Leuchers, Scotland between 1939 and 1945. After 1942 the flight was run by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, but for political reasons [1] operated as an ordinary BOAC Flight, the unarmed aircraft having civilian registration and the Norwegian military crew wearing BOAC uniforms and carrying British passports.[2]

The Stockholmsruten was set up by the Norwegian Government, exiled in UK with the aim of transporting Norwegians having escaped from Nazi-occupied Norway. Several types of aircraft were used, but the backbone of Stockholmsruten was the Lockheed Lodestar

Since the aircraft also carried ball bearings, of greatest importance to the British war industry, this is how the flight got its nickname in UK.

The service also carried other passengers, one of the most notable being Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, who was flown out in a de Havilland Mosquito in 1943.

Between 1939 and 1945, 6,000 passengers, and 500,000 tons of freight, were transported by BOAC between Stockholm and Great Britain.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Note: as Norwegian nationals, any aircrew captured by Germany would not have been entitled to the protection of the Geneva Conventions which only applies to nationals of countries that are at war, Nazi Germany refusing to recognise any of the Allied Governments-in-Exile in London.
  2. ^ Speedbird, the complete history of BOAC by Robert Higham
  3. ^ "southern africa - albert hall - jack savage - 1945 - 1929 - Flight Archive". Retrieved 7 January 2017.