Lynam, Kuna VFW Post 7019
As the United States entered WWII in the Pacific, a major concern was the protection of the west coast and the various cities in which important war industries were located. Also there was a very large civilian population that was relatively unprotected from air or sea borne attack. There were radar installations, antiaircraft batteries and military bases that could launch air and naval counterattacks, but firm plans had yet to materialize that would protect us if we were to actually be attacked or even worse, invaded. You can imagine the panic that the following caused, a real shooting war over Los Angeles!
During the nights of February 24-25, 1942, unidentified objects in the sky caused a succession of alerts in southern California. A warning issued by naval intelligence said that an attack was imminent within a few hours. There were many sightings of flares and blinking lights in the vicinity of several defense plants. Radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles and anti-aircraft batteries were alerted. The radar tracked the target to within a few miles of the coast, and the regional controller ordered a total blackout. A balloon carrying a red flare was seen over Santa Monica and four batteries of antiaircraft artillery opened fire and the sky over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano.
Much confusion ensued. Anti-aircraft shell bursts caught in the searchlights were mistaken for enemy planes and the next three hours produced some of the most imaginative reporting of the war. Swarms of aircraft (or balloons) of all sizes and descriptions flying at extreme altitudes and unheard of speeds were reported. It was even reported that bombs had been dropped. Our anti-aircraft batteries fired over 1,440 rounds of ammunition without one single hit.
The dawn ended the shooting and the fantasy. The only damage to the city was a few traffic accidents, one heart attack, and shell fragments from the artillery.
There were several theories involving possible enemy aircraft launched from offshore beyond our radar blanket or aircraft launched from locations in Canada or Mexico. Another theory was that the aircraft were launched from a secret enemy base within California. At one time it was even suggested that it was a practice raid designed to alert our nation to the possibilities of invasion. However when all was said and done, it remains a fact that the “Battle of Los Angeles” was one of the most witnessed UFOs on the books.
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