Operation Valentine (iv)

'Valentine' (iv) was a US strategic but limited deception within, and indeed ending, 'Wedlock' and supporting 'Bluebird' to persuade the Japanese that the Kurile islands group, between the Japanese home islands and Kamchatka, was a target for invasion (early 1945).

'Valentine' (iv) and 'Sturgeon' were a pair of complementary deceptions intended in 1944/45 to to supplement 'Bluebird'. 'Husband', the successor to 'Wedlock' in the Aleutian islands group, had been terminated on 31 October 1944 and 'special means' channels were used to tell the Japanese on 6 November that the rapid pace of US advances in the Central Pacific and South-West Pacific Areas had led to delays in the plans for action in the North Pacific Area. The Aleutian islands deception could not merely be shut down without compromis­ing the whole operation, so the 'Bambino' radio deception was maintained to indicate the continued presence of three divisions on Adak, Amchitka and Attu islands, together with the full panoply of the requisite logistical and administrative support.

As part of the strategic cover plan for 'Mike I' assault on Luzon in the Philippine islands group, the signals traffic between Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s Pacific Ocean Areas theatre and the Alaskan Command was increased, peaking on 2 January. In support of 'Bluebird', 'Bambino' was then modified by 'Valentine' (iv), which promulgated the 'story that the fictitious 119th and 141st Divisions were being redeployed from Amchitka and Adak to augment the forces available in the Pacific for an assault on the island of Formosa and the east coast of China. Planned in January and implemented between 13 February and 3 April, the 'rede­ployment' was accomplished by radio simulation of daily departures of vessels, associated escort and patrol activity, and arrivals at Seattle in Washington and San Francisco in California. Toward the later part of this period, radio traffic simulated the redeployment of the fictitious 108th Division on Attu and the despatch of single regimental combat teams to Amchitka and Adak. By the end of the opera­tion, traffic between Alaska and Washington had dropped to the level typical of that before 'Wedlock' during the spring of 1944.

Small-scale 'special means' effort was also provided in support of 'Valentine' (iv). On 24 April, for example, a double agent reported to the Germans, who were now past caring about events or putative events in the Pacific theatre and no longer passed information to the Japanese, that he had witnessed the in­signia of three different divisions in Grand Central Station, and one week later he identified one of these as the 119th Division.

Related to 'Valentine' (iv) was a minor cover operation designated 'Loadstar', which lasted from March 1945 into the late summer of that year.