The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Nome (165.4W 64.50N) was a gold-mining town on the Seward Peninsula of western Alaska. It had some port facilities and an airstrip in late 1941.
In a rare gaffe, Allied code breakers incorrectly concluded
that the Japanese intended to take
Nome in late June of 1942. When PBY Catalinas spotted a large Japanese force in the Bering Sea, Buckner
responded with the first massive airlift operation by
which began on 20 June and flew 2272 men and 20 antiaircraft guns into the town
over a period of 24 hours. As it turned out, the invasion never developed. The fleet sighting was genuine, but was of Kakuta's 2 Mobile Force lingering in the area after the Midway debacle in hopes of ambushing its American counterpart. However, the
airlift became a model for later operations.
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