The Dancing and Actual Attack Begin (Page Two)
The Dance Gets Underway
We Were being Given Updates About The Incoming Airplanes
searchlights were ablaze
Actual searchlights in Gibraltar 1942
The airplanes are getting closer
The Alarm Is Sounded
Did You Know? - Unidentified objects were reported over Los Angeles during the night of February 24 and the early morning hours of February 25, 1942. Air raid sirens were sounded throughout Los Angeles County at 2:25 a.m. and a total blackout was ordered. Thousands of air raid wardens were summoned to their positions.
At 3:16 a.m. on February 25, the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing 12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells into the air at the object(s); over 1,400 shells would eventually be fired. Pilots of the 4th Interceptor Command were alerted but their aircraft remained grounded. The artillery fire continued sporadically until 4:14 a.m. The objects were said to have taken about 20 minutes to have moved from over Santa Monica to above Long Beach. The "all clear" was sounded and the blackout order lifted at 7:21 a.m.
In addition to several buildings damaged by friendly fire, three civilians were killed by the anti-aircraft fire, and another three died of heart attacks attributed to the stress of the hour-long bombardment.
The incident was front-page news along the U.S. Pacific coast, and earned some mass media coverage throughout the nation. One Los Angeles Herald Express writer who observed some of the incident insisted that several anti-aircraft shells had struck one of the objects, and he was stunned that the object had not been downed. Reporter Bill Henry of the Los Angeles Times wrote , "I was far enough away to see an object without being able to identify it ... I would be willing to bet what shekels I have that there were a number of direct hits scored on the object."
Editor Peter Jenkins of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported, "I could clearly see the V formation of about 25 silvery planes overhead moving slowly across the sky toward Long Beach." Long Beach Police Chief J.H. McClelland said "I watched what was described as the second wave of planes from atop the seven-story Long Beach City Hall. I did not see any planes but the younger men with me said they could. An experienced Navy observer with powerful Carl Zeiss binoculars said he counted nine planes in the cone of the searchlight. He said they were silver in color. The group passed along from one battery of searchlights to another, and under fire from the anti-aircraft guns, flew from the direction of Redondo Beach and Inglewood on the land side of Fort MacArthur, and continued toward Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. Anti-aircraft fire was so heavy we could not hear the motors of the planes."
The fireworks added realism
Panic in the park
Did You Know? - Attacks on North America during World War II by the Axis Powers were rare , mainly due to the continent's geographical separation from the central theaters of conflict in Europe and Asia. This article includes attacks on continental territory (extending 200 miles [370 km] into the ocean) which is today under the sovereignty of the United States, Canada and Mexico, but excludes military action involving the Danish territory of Greenland (see History of Greenland during World War II) and Pearl Harbor.
The Attack Is Over... Back To Dancing
Angie and Bill
General McArthur was present at the dance
Voices of angels
We Headed For Home At 8:00 PM
We can't wait for next year. It was a super event!