Balloon Bombs

A Navy training film from 1945 about Japanese balloon bombs.  Called fusen bakadan, or fu-go, the Japanese launched approximately 9300 balloon bombs from launch sites in Honshu between November 1944-April 1945.  About 300 of the balloons were observed in states throughout the Western United States.  A small amount of damage was done and seven people killed.  The seven people were all killed on May 5, 1945.  Pastor Archie Mitchell and his pregnant wife Elsie took 5 kids from their Sunday school class into the Gearhart Mountains of southern Oregon.  After they arrived, Elsie and the kids were looking for a picnic site when they spotted a strange balloon.  It was a Japanese balloon bomb, and it exploded as they approached, taking the lives of Elsie, her unborn child, and the five kids.  The authorities in the US had kept a lid on press reports of the balloon bombs to prevent the Japanese from gauging the effectiveness of their bombs.  After this tragedy the blackout was lifted so that people could be warned to stay away from strange balloons. (more…)

Published in: on April 9, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Balloon Bombs  
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