Japanese Balloon Bomb explosion location

By The History Detectives Team
11 August 2008
Category: Viewer Mailbag

We were contacted by Les Reese with this question regarding the Japanese Balloon Bomb story that aired July 14, 2008:

During the broadcast, Tukufu referenced Bly, Oregon as the location where one of the war balloons had landed; in May, 1945, it was found by a group of picnickers and killed them. In viewing the write-up of the program, I noticed the word "Bly" was omitted from the location in Oregon where the balloon landed. I recall reading in the newspaper a few years back where 8 or 10 Japanese women who helped make the balloons came to Mt. Hood, Oregon, to pay their respects to the people killed by the balloon. Apparently they had grieved for many years that they indirectly caused someone's death. QUESTION: Are you aware of the exact location where the balloon landed that Tukufu was discussing?

We checked the Medford Mail Tribune newspaper account of May 7, 1945 which listed the location as "about 15 miles east of Bly."

The Japanese women who made paper for the balloon envelopes, not knowing they were to be used as bombs, visited Bly, Oregon in 1996. As a gesture of peace they brought a thousand paper cranes to the relatives of those killed in the explosion.

Photographs of the women as school children and as adults visiting Bly can be viewed at On Paper Wings web page.


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