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SuspectSquirrel
04-21-2004, 06:37 AM
I believe Japan used these against the west coast of U.S. and Canada. Does anyone know if the Allies took any action, flight operations, against these other than probably trying to hit their bases on the ground?

SuspectSquirrel
04-21-2004, 06:37 AM
I believe Japan used these against the west coast of U.S. and Canada. Does anyone know if the Allies took any action, flight operations, against these other than probably trying to hit their bases on the ground?

zoomar2
04-21-2004, 11:42 AM
Over 20years ago the Smithsonian Institution published an excellent book about them - it may still be available. Yes, Navy and Air Corps planes were routinely scrambled to track and shoot the balloons down - I believe a variety of types including P-47s, P-38s, Hellcats, and P-63s were used. Over 100 reached the US and landed in almost all western states and as far east as the Great Lakes. 5 people were killed by one, otherwise they did no real damage - the idea was to start forest fires in the Pacific northwest.

I'm not sure the USAAF especially targeted their bases. For intellegence purposes, the US government and media deliberately conspired hide info about them so the Japanese wouldn't know they were reaching the US in hopes that they would lose interest. It worked and the Japanese never put as much effort into the balloon bombs as they otherwise would have. The US only went public when the people were killed when they found a bomb and acidently detonated it. This was in 1945, only a few months before the end of the war, and by that time the Japanese already stopped sending them up.

SuspectSquirrel
04-21-2004, 01:17 PM
Thanks for the reply zoomar2. I've never heard of a direct response to the ballons themselves, I have to look for this book you have mentioned, any other details would be helpfull. My understanding was that we did try to bomb their launch points. I thought they found them out due to the type of sand that was used in the balast bags. Thanks zoomar2.

KIMURA
04-21-2004, 02:15 PM
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Balloon%20bomb

Some types were named FUGO (IIRC)
http://img.thefreedictionary.com/wiki/6/6c/Balloon_bomb.jpg

Kimura

heywooood
04-21-2004, 02:39 PM
The Pam Anderson Attack?

Kimura - it looks like only half a photo.

VW-IceFire
04-21-2004, 03:28 PM
Coincidence that many UFO reports began around this time...probably not. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

There were quite a few of these launched as I recall and while most of them exploded harmlessly there was that one incident...

http://home.cogeco.ca/~cczerneda/sigs/tmv-sig1.jpg
RCAF 412 Falcon Squadron - "Swift to Avenge"

Zyzbot
04-21-2004, 06:51 PM
found this on an Air force history page:


3/21/45

ZI

A P-63 from Walla Walla A/F intercepts Japanese balloon near Redmond, and, after chase that includes 2 refueling stops, shoots it down near Reno.

VW-IceFire
04-21-2004, 07:08 PM
A P-63 eh? Very interesting...I guess they would have armament installed even on the ones they were using for training.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~cczerneda/sigs/tmv-sig1.jpg
RCAF 412 Falcon Squadron - "Swift to Avenge"

Snow_Wolf_
04-21-2004, 07:16 PM
I heard from the History channel that after a B-29 raid on that Factory that was making the balloon bombers the balloon attacks stopped. Anyone got the complete story on it?

http://www.cc.jyu.fi/~jtsiekki/mono2.gif

Zyzbot
04-21-2004, 08:29 PM
Gun camera shots of P-38 downing ballons near ATTU. They claimed 9 ballons in 2 hours.


http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/wwii/jbb-2.jpg

Zyzbot
04-21-2004, 08:33 PM
Canadians shot them down too:

"On the west coast, radar stations and filter centers were fully functional but were not of much use against the balloons. Due to the high altitudes reached by the balloons, the targets, constructed of paper and very small amounts of metal, were poor reflectors of radio wave signals and were not detected by radar. The RCAF also kept Hurricane airplanes on alert at stations throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan but these were equally ineffectual.

" ...Detection was therefore haphazard. On 21 February 1945 a Kittyhawk of 133 (F) Squadron shot down a balloon near Sumas, B.C. On 10 March another aircraft of this squadron got one of two "Papers" spotted at Galiano Island, in the Strait of Georgia. Two days later, a 6(BR) Canso forced down a partially deflated balloon drifting at 500 feet over the Rupert Inlet near Coal Harbour."

SuspectSquirrel
04-22-2004, 06:56 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Snow_Wolf_:
I heard from the History channel that after a B-29 raid on that Factory that was making the balloon bombers the balloon attacks stopped. Anyone got the complete story on it?


According to KIMURA's link:
"The expense was large, and in the meantime the ever more fearsome B-29s had destroyed two of the three hydrogen plants needed by the project. With no evidence of any effect, General Kusaba was ordered to cease operations in April 1945."

I had always thought that they determined that the sand was very isolated to a specific area and that enabled them to determine the launch sites. I believed that they went for the launch sites but the hydrogen plants make more sense. I find the whole idea, of these ballons, very facinating. A smart idea which I'm sure scared the heck out of the U.S. Govt. Thanks for the help people. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ptegomerpyle
04-24-2004, 07:19 PM
i belive they sent them up from subs, using the jet stream to sweep them across, the idea was to cause devastating forest fires.

http://img3.photobucket.com/albums/v32/PrivatePyle/monkeysig.gif (http://www.virtualnicotine.com)

zoomar2
04-26-2004, 11:21 AM
No. They were launched from land sites in Japan, where they caught the jet stream. Based on estimated wind velocities, they had timers to adjust altitude and release the small incindery bomb they carried when (hopefully) over north america. Bases essentially had vertical assembly sheds for the balloons, hydrogen production and storage equipmentoin/storage and miscellaneous stuff.


It would be nice to have these as objects to shoot down.

ptegomerpyle
04-26-2004, 12:17 PM
I'm pretty certain I read a few days ago that they also launched some from subs.

http://img3.photobucket.com/albums/v32/PrivatePyle/monkeysig.gif (http://www.virtualnicotine.com)