Operation Drake (ii)

This was the US build-up of its Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber force in China for the inauguration of the strategic bombing campaign against the Japanese home islands (1944).

The launch of this campaign showed that despite the massive efforts of the Chinese in building new bases as far forward as possible, Chinese-controlled China was too far from Japan for the bombers to be able to inflict decisive blows from this theatre. Part of the plan was based on the concept of basing some of the bombers in the Bengal area of eastern India, where they were closer to supply and maintenance facilities, and staging them through airfields in the region round Kweilin in China for their raids.

‘Drake’ (ii) was later replaced by the more realistic ‘Matterhorn’.