The Great Los Angeles Air Raid put a different face on W.W.II. This is a continuation of that story. Chapter 7: On Feb. 23, 1942 a Japanese submarine lofted several shells from its deck gun onto the city of Santa Barbara, initiating new fears of an all out attack along the West Coast. Two days later several citizens reported seeing a large object near the towns of Santa Monica and Culver City. Air raid sirens blew. Searchlights combed the skies. Over 1400 rounds were fired at the orange, glowing object to no apparent effect until it drifted south and out of range.
While no enemy bombs were dropped, the Battle of Los Angeles did claim six lives. Three people were killed by friendly fire while another trio suffered fatal heart attacks during the hour-long siege. A number of buildings also suffered damage from U.S. anti-aircraft guns.
Los Angeles Air Raid:
Shortly after the alarm, speculation ran rampant as to the cause of the Los Angeles Air Raid. One theory by the military was that the Japanese had a secret airfield in Mexico. Others suggested that the Japanese had developed a submersible aircraft carrier. This was later proven to be true. In fact, the enemy had eleven such vessels operating off our West Coast immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Another idea was that the glowing object was in fact a UFO. Side Bar: Steven Spielberg’s movie, 1941, was loosely based on the Los Angeles Air Raid of Feb. 25, 1942.
To catch up on the other six chapters of our chronicling of W.W.II along the West Coast, go to www.johnmccarty.org and click on “Blogs”. Next we take a closer look at enemy subs inside the Golden Gate. Stay tuned!