was an American naval mining
operation conducted in World War II
by the Army Air Force
, in which vital water routes and ports of Japan
by air in order to disrupt enemy shipping.
The mission was initiated at the insistence of Admiral Chester Nimitz
who wanted his naval operations augmented by an extensive mining of Japan itself conducted by the air force. While General Henry H. Arnold
felt this was strictly a naval priority, he assigned General Curtis LeMay
to carry it out.
LeMay assigned one group
of about 160 aircraft of the 313th Bombardment Wing
to the task, with orders to plant 2,000 mines in April 1945
.The mining runs were made by individual B-29 Superfortresses
at night at moderately low altitudes.Caldwell, Hamlin A., Jr., "Air Force Maritime Missions", United States Naval Institute Proceedings
, October 1978, p. 33. Radar
provided mine release information.
Beginning on March 27, 1945, 1,000 parachute