Operation Pocket Money

Operation Pocket Money
Part of the Vietnam War
A-7E Corsair II from Attack Squadron 22 in flight in the 1970s.jpg
A-7E of VA-22
Date9 May 1972
Location
Result

United States victory

  • Successful blockade of North Vietnam
Belligerents
 United States North Vietnam

Operation Pocket Money was the title of a U.S. Navy Task Force 77 aerial mining campaign conducted against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 9 May 1972 (Vietnamese time), during the Vietnam War. Its purpose was to halt or slow the transportation of supplies and materials for the Nguyen Hue Offensive (known in the West as the Easter Offensive), an invasion of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), by forces of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), that had been launched on 30 March. Pocket Money was the first use of naval mines against North Vietnam.

Background

Nearly 85 percent of North Vietnam's import tonnage came through the port of Haiphong. Naval mining had been frequently considered, but always rejected because of the risk of provoking intervention by the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China. United States withdrawal of military forces began in June 1969. The U.S. was unwilling to suffer the humiliation of accelerating withdrawal as Quảng Trị Province began to collapse before the North Vietnamese Easter offensive. On 4 May Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Thomas Hinman Moorer ordered Chief of Naval Operations Elmo Zumwalt to plan a naval mining mission under the code name of Pocket Money.[1]