Japanese Balloon Bombs

Attacked on Our Own Soil


These videos, from the Naval Archives in Washington, DC., are made available through the kind cooperation of Bolling Smith, of the Coast Defense Study Group, to whom I say thank you very much. 

It is commonly thought the United States has never been attacked on our own soil in war time.  After viewing these videos it appears that is not quite correct.  This video, shown in two parts describes the technology used by the Japanese to attach bombs to balloons and float them across the Pacific Ocean to our west coast.  Between 1942 and 1945 the Japanese launched 9,000 balloon bombs and they fell all the way from Alaska to the Mexican border. 

Most of the balloons carried 4 incendiary bombs, 1 anti-personnel and a flash bomb to destroy the balloon.  The only reported casualties were six deaths in Lakeview, Oregon when picknicking children picked up a balloon and it detonated.

Click Here for more information in a 1945 "Report from Home" issue.

This player has multiple videos.
Click main screen to play first video.  Click title listing below to play any desired title.

Loading the player...


  See related page: Japanese Bomb Oregon Sept. 9, 1942