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.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Hot Town Poster What role did this striking poster play in the explosive events of 1960s America?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Civil War Sabotage? The steamship Sultana exploded one night in 1865, killing more than 1,800 people. Was the disaster a result of Civil War sabotage?
- Related Investigation 1775 Almanac What do these crumbling pages reveal about divided loyalties during the American Revolution?
- Related Investigation Josh White Guitar What role did this guitar play in the transformation of the music industry in the 1960's?
- Also in Season 6 Monroe Letter Does this letter link America's President to the high seas piracy of U.S. merchant ships in the early 1800s?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Lubin Photos What do these photo albums reveal about the birth of the silver screen?
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.