The Japanese Tried To Bomb Dorr in 1945. Wait. What? [Video]
In an effort to get revenge for the Doolittle Raids, the Japanese sent up hot air balloons loaded with incindiery devices, hoping that a few would make it to the United States.
Most of them landed in the Pacific Northwest, but one of them made it all the way to Dorr in Allegan County.
On his outstanding 'Our Michigan Life' series, WZZM-13's Brent Ashcroft recounts the time three pre-teen boys stumbled upon one of the balloons on farmland near Dorr, 72 years ago this week on February 23, 1945.
“I don’t remember which one of us looked up and saw it first,” Buzz Bailey, 81, (why aren't there more kids today named Buzz?) told WZZM. “We were sure excited because none of us had seen anything like that before."
Bailey, along with brothers Ken and Bob Fein, talked their family friend, Joe Wolf, into taking them to look for the balloon.
They found the balloon on farmland near 21st Avenue, and the incindiery device that was attached had burned itself out, causing no damage.
After the Kent County Sheriff was notified, they turned the investigation over to the FBI, who convisgated the balloon. It wasn't until 15 years later that they found out the balloon was intended as a bomb.
Another one of the so called FU-GO bombs was found in Farmington Hills near Detroit.
The Japanese sent up over 9300 of the balloons, and over 300 of them landed in the US. None of them caused any real damage.