Did you know that Los Angeles was attacked by an invisible enemy in World War II?

Spotlights seemingly targeting something during the “Battle of Los Angeles”
(Photo: Los Angeles Times)
Living on the West Coast was a tense and scary experience in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese submarines have been prowling off-coast and attacking ships over the winter, and Japanese air raids along the Pacific Coast felt like a real possibility.
 
On February 24, 1942, a day after a Japanese submarine shelled an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, Naval Intelligence warned of a possible attack on California in the next ten hours. An alert was issued in the evening and cancelled three hours later. Then, at 2:25 a.m., air raid sirens blared up in Los Angeles, prompting a blackout. Less than an hour later, the city’s anti-aircraft guns opened up, spewing shells and machine gun rounds into the sky. Panicked citizens started calling in to report formations of airplanes and dirigibles, bomb attacks and Japanese paratroopers on the streets. It was only in the morning hours that the authorities realized something was wrong: there were no wrecks. No Japanese planes shot down, no dead paratroopers, and no bomb hits whatsoever. The Navy quickly concluded that the entire “battle” was just a false alarm, even while the Army initially insisted that there had been at least 15 unidentified airplanes above the city. Though there was apparently no attack, there was still damage from the shrapnel of American anti-aircraft shells that fell back on the ground. At least five men have died, two from heart attack and three from traffic accidents.
 
The most likely explanation is that the incident was caused by a balloon launched to either gauge wind conditions, or to test local radar systems. Once guns started firing at that single object, the flak bursts were mistaken for additional aircraft, amplified to full hysteria by the nervousness of air-defense crews and the civilian population.
 

Smart people attend the D-Day ceremonies this year!

Save 15% with the ABMC promotion

In the Normandy American Cemetery
(Photo: Kort Waddell)
Smart people attend the 79th anniversary D-Day ceremonies. If you prefer to enjoy the same experience like on the 80th anniversary in 2024 but with smaller crowds and with more space on the bus, this is the ideal choice for you. Even this year you will have the chance to meet veterans and reenactors bringing history to life on the beaches of Normandy. On top of that, you can benefit from our current ABMC promotion to get a 15% discount from the list price of this year’s 12-day D-Day Anniversary Tour. Compared with the list price of our 11-Day 80th Anniversary D-Day Tour in 2024, you can save more than $3,000 if you book the 2023 tour now.

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) plays a pivotal role in keeping alive the memory of American service members who paid the ultimate price for their country. In one week, on March 4, 2023, we are going to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of this important federal agency. On the occasion of the upcoming centennial anniversary, we are offering all our tours (excluding our four 80th anniversary D-Day tours in 2024) with a 15% discount if you pay in full until March 4, 2023. Note that this offer applies only in case of new bookings, and it cannot be combined with other special promotions. If you have any questions related to this promotion or our tours, feel free to contact our travel consultants.
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Beaches of Normandy Tours review
"It was truly amazing, I would definitely recommend BoN"D-Day Anniversary Tour, 2023
Beaches of Normandy Tours review
"It was everything I could have hoped for and more"Band of Brothers Tour, 2023
Beaches of Normandy Tours review
"I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in history that changed the world"D-Day Anniversary Tour, 2023
Total:
4.9 - 235 reviews