The Fusen Bakudan. Japanese Fire Balloons.

by Daniel Russ on November 17, 2017

The Mitchell Monument


The Fusen Bakuden, or Fire Balloon was a brilliantly conceived weapon developed by Japanese war makers. The idea was to create a weapon that would float in the jet stream from the Imperial Japanese Empire and it would drop an incendiary on US Western Forests. The 30 meter wide balloon would drop sand filled ballast bags as it slowly dropped altitude. These balloons made it to Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. About 9000 of these were launched and many found their way to the US and many were found. A few were even shot down by fighter aircraft.


A pastor, a woman and five students were on a Church picnic trip. They stopped in By Oregon to look for a spot, and one of the children announced she found something. The children saw the balloon and the explosive charge and apparently kicked it and detonated it. Two boys were killed immediately and their sister died from burns she suffered as here father tried to extinguish the flames with his bare hands. His wife later died from wounds as well.






This bizarre incident marks the only fatalities caused by the balloon bombs. It is the only case of deaths within US borders. Still it is a remarkable fact that hundreds of these devices made it across the Pacific Ocean.


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