OT-Was LA attacked during WWII

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I was born a short time before WWII broke out, and we lived in Los Angeles until the late forties. Since I was so young, my memories of the war years are rather vague, but I recall a night during one of the horrible, frightening air raids, that the sky was lit up and there were hundreds of planes overhead. My mother and I were paralyzed with fear and shaking violently and my grandmother from Illinois who was visiting at the time was terrified. I could not have been more than five years old at the time, but I can still see the planes in my mind's eye. For days after that I recall adults discussing the experience and I believe they talked of finding shrapnel on the sidewalk near one of the defense plants that was near our home. Is there anyone out there that knows any history on this possible event?

-- Sharon L (sharonl@volcano.net), June 03, 1999


The closest incident that I have read about was the shelling of the west coast by a Japanese submarine. I think it happened in Santa Barbara or Ventura. Thats about all I recall except that no one was killed or injured.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), June 03, 1999.

Santa Barbara was shelled by a submarine using it's deck gun...other than that the only attacks against the US mainland were made using balloons carrying incendiary devices...a number of those devices did land in the Pacific Northwest, causing several nasty fires...thing was that the balloon attacks ticked off the locals so much that the government had no problem getting them to keep the attacks a secret until after the war. Turns out that was a smart move, as the Japanese gave up primarily due to the fact that they were getting no indications that the attacks were having any effect.


[who remembers there's a military history book out about that sort of thing, but can't remember the name of it right now...]

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), June 03, 1999.

The others are right. There was shelling in Santa Barbara, but no planes there or in LA. The only other attack was in the Aleutin islands used as a feint attack in the battle of midway. This has nothing to do, however, with Y2K.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), June 03, 1999.

In the early hours of February 25, 1942, over 2,000 high explosive shells were fired at something flying over the Santa Monica and Long Beach area of Los Angeles. For the complete story including copy from the Los Angeles Times and photographs, please refer to Jeff Rense's article on the Battle of L.A. The url sans the hot link is as follows:


My mother was living in the Long Beach area at the time and vividly remembers the anti-aircraft shelling.

For what it's worth.

-- Drew (Kolosky@Prodigy.net), June 04, 1999.

My relations on Broadbeach/Malibu could not have fires in their fireplace or lights on after dark during the war years.

A ship was attacked off of Pebble Beach in central cal, viewable by shore. I'll look up the details tomorrow if you guys really want [I'm tired]

A japanese sub was found submerged not far from Wm. R. Hearst's castle in the last coupla years.

I have no recollection of air threats other than fire balloons in Oregon, but will quiz the old timers down south.

-- flora (***@__._), June 04, 1999.


The Japanese ballon bombs have always been of interest to me - since one actually made it all the way to Iowa but fortunately, no one was injured. They also reached Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana,Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan, Mexico and Canada.

On May 5, 1945, in Lakeview, Oregon, Elsie Mitchell and her 5 children were killed after discovering and moving one of the Japanese ballon bombs while on a picnic.

For more information, see USAF web museum at

http://www.af.mil /news/airman/0298/bombsb.htm


http://www. wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/wwii/jbb.htm

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), June 04, 1999.


Eleven inch costal batteries were tested from time to time. Concussion enough that windows in Long Beach & San Pedro homes blew out.

Jap sub fired at Ellwood beach storage tanks just north of Goleta.

-- Carlos (riffraff1@cybertime.net), June 04, 1999.

Just got off the horn with my old timers that remember it well. Seems it was a false alarm, sounded far & wide. Very scary at the time.

-- flora (***@__._), June 04, 1999.

They also said that they used blackout curtains & that there was an inspection squad that came around. OT, I guess.

-- flora (***@.__._), June 04, 1999.

Very interesting, and will On Topic soon enough :(

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 04, 1999.

Thanks to all of you that responded to my question. I believe that Drew's post is the event I remember experiencing. I would have been three years old at that time. The event was in the middle of the night. There were searchlights flashing through the night sky. And there were planes in the sky, at least where we lived. I can remember as we were looking out the window, my father exclaimed that there were hundreds of the little devils up there! We saw very little of him during the war years. He was an electrical engineer who worked in the shipyards in Long Beach and sometimes he would be gone for days. He must have been home that night to see his mother who was visiting. We lived in Lynwood, which I believe is reasonably close to Long Beach.

-- Sharon L (sharonl@volcano.net), June 04, 1999.

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