You just never know

The other day I was doing a bit of blog surfing. You know, where you see a comment on a blog , and that leads to another blog, and so on.

For some reason, a particular heading caught my eye, and as I read the content I was zapped back to the spring of 1945 . (Not literally zapped back, you understand.)

My memories are sparse about the event, but I do recall that my  brother and I had spotted a large balloon drifting over one of the fields on our farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. I can remember we went to look at the balloon where it had landed, and told our parents about this strange finding.

My next recollection is of members of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) arriving at our farm, and that’s where my memories end.

During the latter part of WWII the Japanese released thousands of balloons carrying incendiary bombs into the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean, with the intent of  them reaching western North America. The bombs would have destroyed property, caused deaths and started forest fires.

There were no reports of serious damage at any of the sites in Saskatchewan or elsewhere in Canada. In the United States, however, five youths and an adult were killed when a group of picnickers detonated a live Japanese bomb that had come down in a forested area of Oregon. Ironically, a balloon bomb also destroyed the power source to an atomic research plant in Washington State; this power outage briefly interrupted production of the two atomic bombs which were being prepared for delivery to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

(The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan)

And now I wonder. Could it have been one of those Japanese balloons that my brother and I found, which were kept secret from the Canadian and American public, not only to prevent panic, but also to prevent the Japanese government gaining knowledge of the success or otherwise of their attempts to cause damage and demoralisation? It’s so frustrating that there is no one alive for me to ask about this.

Here is one article about this little known happening during WWII. If you use a search term such as Japanese fire bombs WWII, you’ll find even more documentation.

https://legionmagazine.com/en/2009/08/the-west-coast-balloon-attack-air-force-part-34/

 

 

 

 

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “You just never know

  1. Wow, I think it’s entirely possible, don’t you? Hub told me about all the uboats and foreign ships that made it SO close to our borders and how close we cam to actual fighting here in the US. They didn’t really teach that in school, if I remember.

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  2. Hello Yvonne 😀 This video may enhance your post ❤
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    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my foreign correspondent! The engineering of the mechanisms was quite complex, wasn’t it!

      I haven’t yet watched all of the video, but it may point out that they were reluctant to shoot them down over land, because that could have caused the bombs to detonate in populated areas. I also read that the paper balloons were put together by women who sometimes ate the paste that was used, because they were so short of food. I wonder what happened if the overseers caught them?

      (My goodness, we’re being serious for a change.) Cheers, Ralphie and cats. oxo ❤

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  3. Wow I can image that was an eerie thing to read and you having had this experience with your brother! Have you shared this with your brother I wonder what his reaction and thoughts are!

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    • If only we’d had digital cameras back in 1945, Michelle! 🙂

      My brother is no longer alive, but I sure do wish I had stumbled across this when we could have talked about it. He probably would have said it was my imagination, he was a big tease.

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  4. Lucky you Yvonne. Many secrets were kept during the war, you think they’d talk about them now. I find it hard to believe that the Japanese never set foot in northern Australia. Even now you wouldn’t know who was there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re dead right, Laurie. It really opened my eyes when I went on a cargo ship from Cairns to the Thursday Islands. I had no idea of the history from the Second World War in that area.

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  5. Speaking of governments keeping secrets….I’m currently watching a series called “Manhattan”….has nothing to do with that island in New York state.
    It’s about the scientists of the Manhattan Project being kept basically prisoners in the US desert southwest while they worked to create the first atomic bombs. It is a very interesting and well done program.

    And Yvonne, I understand exactly what you mean about one blog leading to another. And then you look at the clock and wonder where the time went.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fascinating! Who knew the Canadian prairies were a target for anything.

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