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 Isleton Tong Was this building a safe haven for persecuted immigrants, or a hub for organized crime?
- Related Investigation Witch's House Could this house have once belonged to a woman executed during the Salem Witch trials?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Dempsey Fight Bell Is this the bell that sat ringside at the world's first boxing superstar's legendary match?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Mussolini's Dagger Did a World War II GI return home with Mussolini's dagger?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 WB Cartoons What can this curious artwork tell us about some of our most beloved cartoon characters?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Survivor Camera Did this antique camera save a Polish Jew during the Holocaust?
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.