Japan’s Secret Intercontinental Weapon

In an Oregon forest on May 14, 1945, a warm and sunny spring day, a picnicking church group made up of innocent school children and their adult supervisors had their lives changed forever. Many of the group’s members would soon be killed in a massive explosion that took the lives of five of those children and one of their pregnant adult supervisors. It was an event that was covered up at the time and until this day remains a little-known fact by most Americans. What was it that caused the death of these people that necessitated a full scale military cover up?

The year 1944 was an especially troubling one for japan in WWII. The Americans were advancing at a rapid rate across the Pacific and they had gotten close enough to the Japanese mainland that their repeated aerial bombings were inflicting some serious damage on the cities throughout the country. All of this was happening while the people in America, who were not directly involved in the fighting, sat in their comfortable homes no more threatened by war than what they saw in the theatres and heard on the radio.

Much like President Truman wanted to do something to Japan as a response to the brutal surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor (The Doolittle Raids on Japan were the result), so too did the angry Japanese commanders want to hit back at the USA for the damage the American bombers were now wreaking on their Japanese homeland. 

An official government photo of a Japanese balloon in flight.
An official government photo of a Japanese balloon in flight.

The Japanese military’s options at the time were very limited. Their aircraft carriers were all at the bottom of the ocean and the few submarine attacks on the American west coast resulted in little damage and were no longer practical or feasible under their present war footing. They wanted a weapon that would cause damage and put doubt in the minds of Americans that they were safe from harm even though they were far across the ocean.

The solution came as a result of a Japanese meteorologist’s discovery that, at 30,000 feet, there was a Jetstream that naturally flowed over the Pacific Ocean to America. It was decided by the Japanese high command that they would launch a barrage of balloons into these currents that were packed with explosives and incendiary devices. They had hoped these so called ‘fire balloons’ would do such things as start forest fires that burned out of control and instill fear in the American public that they were now vulnerable.

The Japanese launched some 9000 fire balloons over a few months’ period. These potentially lethal airborne devices took some 30 – 60 hours to make the journey across the Pacific. The US Military recorded finding the balloons in many western states, as well as Alaska and Canada. Two even made it as far east as Michigan.

The Japanese balloon bombs fell well short of their intended purpose, as is evidenced by the fact that so many people have never even heard about them. Those five innocent children and their adult supervisor were the only victims of these bombs and it also gave them the dubious distinction of being the only casualties on American soil as a direct result between the hostilities between the USA and Japan.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith
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