James A. Harris to Family, Letter, September 10, 1945.
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7. Air Mail Strait, (which is between Honshu & Hokkaido) & went right down into Ominato harbor, on the northern tip of Honshu. (that's the island Tokyo is on.) We swept a lane right up to the anchorage at Ominato naval base, and there we stood by while they unloaded troops & supplies. It was the first big landing on Northern Japan. After all the ships were safely anchored we went back out into the Strait and really started sweeping. That brings things just about up to date - we are about halfway through the Strait & we are really getting the mines. We have more mines to our credit than any other ship in the division. It's a sort of race between the ships in our division to see who gets the most. We had 51 when we left Okinawa & now we have 147. They are as thick as hair on a dogs back up here. I can't explain how we sweep mines without using my hands, but I'll tell you all I can. We have cables running out from the stern of the ship at about 45-degree angles - something like this - [drawing] At the end of each cable is a large tear-drop shaped float about 8 feet long, and in between the ship and the floats are two contraptions called "otters" I can't