Skinnarland worked at the Norsk Hydro plant at the Vemork hydroelectric plant, and decided to escape to the UK to help the war effort. He reached Aberdeen with the hijacked coastal steamer Galtesund in 1942, and was soon enrolled as a member of the Norwegian Independent Company 1 (Norwegian: Kompani Linge) under the SOE. He participated as a wireless operator in the Norwegian heavy water sabotage at the Vemork hydroelectric plant, site of the heavy water production at Rjukan Falls in Telemark. He was the first agent to be sent to Rjukan, dropped on the Hardangervidda on 28 March 1942. He had lived near the factory almost all of his life. His brother and several of his friends also worked at the factory.
Einar Skinnarland was highly decorated for his wartime achievements.
- Einar Skinnarland (Østafjells, Telemark. 12/16/2002)
- Stephen Stratford. "Operation Freshman". British Military & Criminal History in the period 1900 to 1999. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
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