Operation Underworld was the United States government's code name for a the recruitment of organized crime figures to counter Nazi saboteurs along the U.S. eastern seaboard, initiated in 1942.
In the first three months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. lost 120 merchant ships to German U-boats.
The operation started when the Office of Strategic Services sought the help of Meyer Lansky, who controlled several dock workers groups.
Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York and military vicar of the U.S. armed forces, served as the intermediary between President Roosevelt and mob bosses Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano.
Luciano was in Clinton Correctional Facility during the operation, and was released in 1946—after serving only a fifth of his 50-year term—and deported to Sicily.
 See also Operation Gladio
^ Mickey Z. 2003, December 12. "An American Foreign Policy Fable."
^ Sally Denton and Roger Morris. 2001. The Money and the Power. ISBN 0-375-40130-X
^ a b Murphy, Paul I. and Arlington, R. Rene. .1983. La Popessa. New York: Warner Books Inc. ISBN 0-446-51258-3.