Upsetting
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
 
One of the best kept secrets of the war involved the Japanese balloon bomb offensive, prompted by the Doolittle raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, as a means of direct reprisal against the U.S. mainland.

Some 9,000 balloons made of paper or rubberized silk and carrying anti-personnel and incendiary bombs were launched from Japan during a five-month period, to be carried by high altitude winds more than 6,000 miles eastward across the Pacific to North America. Perhaps a thousand of these reached this continent, but there were only about 285 reported incidents.

Most were reported in the northwest U.S., but some balloons traveled as far east as Michigan.
 
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