The aftermath of any war is bad, and this incident is no exception. However, not a lot of Americans ever knew that Japanese bombs made their way to our shores, much less that some innocent Americans did lose their lives!
This is a very sad story on so many levels!
May 5, 1945:
Six killed in Oregon by Japanese bomb
In Lakeview, Oregon, Mrs. Elsie Mitchell and five neighborhood children are killed while attempting to drag a Japanese balloon out the woods. Unbeknownst to Mitchell and the children, the balloon was armed, and it exploded soon after they began tampering with it. They were the first and only known American civilians to be killed in the continental United States during World War II. The U.S. government eventually gave $5,000 in compensation to Mitchell's husband, and $3,000 each to the families of Edward Engen, Sherman Shoemaker, Jay Gifford, and Richard and Ethel Patzke, the five slain children.
The explosive balloon found at Lakeview was a product of one of only a handful of Japanese attacks against the continental United States, which were conducted early in the war by Japanese submarines and later by high-altitude balloons carrying explosives or incendiaries. In comparison, three years earlier, on April 18, 1942, the first squadron of U.S. bombers dropped bombs on the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagoyo, surprising the Japanese military command, who believed their home islands to be out of reach of Allied air attacks. When the war ended on August 14, 1945, some 160,000 tons of conventional explosives and two atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan by the United States. Approximately 500,000 Japanese civilians were killed as a result of these bombing attacks.
It is a sad thing that civilians were killed by this balloon, especially since so many were children. However, in any war many civilians are killed by both sides! A large number of those killed are children also. Not something we like to think about, but maybe we should!
No way to say it nicely...WAR SUCKS! Just my opinion!
Coffee on the patio this morning. We can watch all the birds at the bird bath!