Vicki Wiese holds a metal ring that was part of a Japanese balloon bomb from World War II that is now part of the collection of the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum in North Bend. She is surrounded by a wall of photographs from the museum’s collection of the regions history. The museum will be having events this year as part of Oregon’s 150th anniversary celebration. They will also be helping The World with some materials and photographs of the region’s history throughout the summer. During World War II, the Japanese military sent numerous balloon bombs, carried by the wind across the Pacific Ocean to the western United States. It was hoped that they would start massive fires taking resources away from the war effort. Only one was known to have exploded and do any damage. That was in Klamath County near Bly when one exploded near a church group out for a picnic in the forest. Wiese did say she was told a story of one that crashed through the roof of the Safeway store on Sherman Avenue in North Bend, but it did not explode. It was quietly cleaned up and the store reopened the next day.

Leave a Reply