In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of “Operation Leader”, Ambassador Braithwaite visited the Aviation and War History Museums in Bodø.
Operation Leader was a successful and strategically significant maritime operation, in which the United States Navy together with the British Royal Navy, supported by Norwegian intelligence, launched an attack on enemy shipping in the region. The mission, which took place on October 4, 1943, was executed by aircraft flying from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. The mission aided the Allied war effort by significantly disrupting Nazi convoys in the North Sea near Bodø. Operation Leader demonstrated the importance of sea power projection, as well as the need to control sea lines of communication.
The continued relevance of this operation
In a public ceremony at the War History Museum in Bodø, Ambassador Braithwaite laid a wreath to commemorate the two U.S. Navy pilots who lost their lives during Operation Leader.
In his remarks, Ambassador Braithwaite recognized the shared sacrifices the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway made 75 years ago and highlighted the continued relevance of this critical operation.
“Naval power was as relevant then as it is now. Perhaps even more so. A large part of Trident Juncture, which is an exercise that NATO is orchestrating right now, has demonstrated that. The USS Harriet Truman carrier strike group and the Iwo Jima amphibious assault group are participating in this with aviation assets similar to what the USS Ranger strike group utilized.
To control sea lanes of communication guarantees first and foremost the thing that all of us, both of our nations, hold sacred, and that is security and freedom. The U.S. Navy and the Royal Norwegian Navy have to maintain a strong and capable naval presence.”