On July 24, 1943, “Georgia Rebel” was the first American bomber to crash land in Sweden. Prior to that, most of the aircrews to divert to Sweden were from Germany or Britain. Sweden had declared its neutrality and through neutrality regulations was responsible for the “internment” of the aircraft and the aircrews.
After the Georgia Rebel arrived, and particularly beginning in the spring of 1944 when the USAAF began bombing targets deep into Germany, more and more crews in distress were forced to seek refuge in this neutral country.
The crew of the Georgia Rebel was interned in Falun at a guest house. As more and more American airmen arrived, Sweden began to convert boarding houses and health spas into internment camps. The first to officially open was on October 1, 1943, at Falun.
Sweden was not prepared for this “invasion” of Americans. No proper internment facilities were ready. (Pär Henningsson, Uppsala, Sweden)
Over the next year several other internee camps opened, as shown on the map. In addition there were auxiliary internee camps at various Swedish airfields where qualified US airmen would repair and maintain the damaged B-17′s and other interned aircraft.
The Swedes were host to the surviving airmen of 327 aircraft from different countries. 140 were American. 68 of the planes were B-17′s, 61 were B-24′s. In their book, Making for Sweden, the authors have chronicled each and every aircraft and the fates of their crews.
In the map you can see the locations of the internee camps. Stockholm is also labeled as a reference point. Of note is how close occupied Denmark is on the lower left.
The main internment camps were at Falun, Rättvik, Loka Brunn, Gränna, and Mullsjö.
Auxiliary internee camps were at airfields located at Västerås (Hasslo Airfield), Malmo (Bulltofa Airfield), Såtenäs, and Mullsjö.
Another airfield of interest was Bromma, located in Stockholm. From this airport, allied planes would fly to and from England. These would not be easy trips because they involved flying over Nazi fortified Denmark.