Japanese Balloon Bomb
The granddaughter of a World War II veteran from Austin, Texas has a wartime memento with a note claiming it is a piece of Japanese balloon that floated across the Pacific Ocean in 1945.
The alleged balloon scrap could be evidence of a unique weapon in modern warfare: the Japanese Balloon Bomb.
More than 9,000 of these incendiary weapons were launched from Japan during the war via the jet stream with the intention of causing mass disruption and forest fires in the American West. These Balloon Bombs caused the only fatalities on the U.S. mainland due to enemy action during World War II.
The existence and purpose of the Balloon Bombs were kept secret from the American public for security reasons until a tragic accident forced a change in policy.
History Detectives investigates whether this scrap of fabric is a missing piece of an ingenious secret weapon.
- Related Investigation Bob Dylan Guitar Is this the guitar Bob Dylan played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Sideshow Babies Was the owner of this cup once a four-pound sideshow exhibit?
- Related Investigation Short Snorter Was this British ten-shilling note witness to the forging of the alliance between America and Britain?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Natchez House How did a free man of color come to own this house twelve years before emancipation?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Early Monopoly Could this be the earliest version of the world's best-selling board game?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Fillmore Pardon Did President Fillmore pardon a Native American convicted of murder?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.