Skip to main content

Operation Leader:  October 4, 1943

In Operation Leader, TBF "Avenger" and SBD "Dauntless" aircraft, escorted by F4F "Wildcats" from USS Ranger (CV-4) attacked convoys in the harbor of Bodo, Norway on October 4, 1943.  The aircraft sank five German and Norwegian steamers, badly damaged four others whilst killing about 200 enemy troops.   This mission was the only U.S. Navy carrier operation in northern European waters during World War II.   Support was provided by Royal Navy battleships HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson, USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) and a U.S. Navy destroyer division.   The attack stung the Germans who were arrogant about the Norway occupation and proved that ships and air squadrons of the United States and Royal Navies could work together. 

Image: NH 84254:   USS Ranger (CV-4), aircraft attack enemy shipping, Bodo Harbor, Norway, showing ship Saar under attack, October 4, 1943.  NHHC Photograph Collection.