WWII Vets ~ Did You Know This? ~~~> ?
Did you know that the Japanese actually DID bomb the United States?
Toward the end of the war Japanese school kids went to school for half a day.
The remainder of their day was spent fabricating "made from Mulberry root" large paper weather balloons.
They made about 10,000 total.
As many as 1,000 may have actually made it into the United States. Only 300+ were ever documented.
Some still may be out there and could still explode.
Each balloon was furnished with 2 incendiary bombs and one explosive bomb.
It was all kept TOP SECRET and out of the media back then because the government did not want any news to get back to Japan that the Fugos were actually reaching the U.S.
They were afraid that if the Japanese knew that the bombs were actually reaching the Continental U.S. that they would start equipping them with nerve gas or possibly biological.
These were floated on the Gulf Stream to the U.S.
New one on me as I am a Post WWII guy.
There was a really interesting show on last night. History Detective.
There were only ever 6 domestic casualties/deaths from the Japanese Balloon Bombs. A Ministers Wife & five children that found a downed "dud" balloon and did not know what it was.
They tried to move it and it exploded killing all.
Here is a link for you.
They were actually pretty doggone ingenious.
"The balloon bombs were released from Japan in the winter months when the jet stream is the strongest. They popped up to altitude (20,000 to 40,000 ft.) and if they were lucky into the stream. They traveled along in an easterly direction crossing the Pacific at around 200 mph in the jet stream. In daytime they would ride at the maximum altitude but as time wore on they would sink. At night they would collect dew and become heavy. Below a set height the altimeter would cause a set of blow plugs (charges that released the ballast) to fire releasing the sand bag ballast. The lost of weight would cause the balloon to pop back up to altitude. This continued till all the sand bags were gone. The last ballast was the armament. Thermite bombs were armed and dropped in the last positions on the ring. Anti-personnel bombs were also used. After all the ballast was gone a picric acid block blew up destroying the gondola. A fuse was lit that was connected to a charge on the balloon itself. The hydrogen and air mixture burned the balloon envelope up as a large orange fireball."