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Bly, Oregon: Japanese Bombed Here

A balloon bomb stuck in a tree killed six unlucky people in the waning days of World War II. They are remembered with a pile of rocks and a small plaque. The Shrapnel Tree still stands.

Fremont National Forest

Fire Rd 34, Bly, OR
Over a hundred miles inland from the Pacific coast, in Fremont National Forest. Drive 1.5 miles east of Bly on Hwy 140. Turn left onto Campbell Rd/CR-1259. Drive for a half-mile, then turn right onto FR-34/NFD-348. Drive around eight miles. The Mitchell Recreation Area entrance sign will be on the right -- the Mitchell Monument is a rock pile with a small plaque near the creek.
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Japanese Bombed Here

There was a group of people killed in Oregon in the mountains years after the World War II by some unexploded ordnance from a Japanese bombing. A minister's wife and five children were going to have a picnic in the area and one of the children touched the bomb and died instantly. Thus the only casualties on the North American continent. BTW, the remains of a B-52 Bomber lie in the hills along the coast.

[Bill Darland, 01/17/2000]

This spot is easily confused with the Bombsite Trail in Brookings, where another Japanese balloon bomb landed. The explosion here actually happened during World War II -- May 1945 -- and killed the 13-year-old girl who was pulling the balloon from the tree, four other children, and a woman. Archie Mitchell, the only survivor, later became a missionary and went to Vietnam. He was abducted by the Viet Cong and was never heard from again. July 2013: Photo added.

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In the region:
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