Woodson, Texas: Town Bombed by the Japanese

A Japanese balloon bomb floated all the way to Texas during World War II, and left a long-vanished crater in a school yard.

Woodson School

Wood St., Woodson, TX
From Fort Worth, Texas, take U.S. 180 west to Breckenridge. Go north 22 miles on U.S. 183. Follow U.S. 183 north through town until you get to the top of the hill. On your right is Hill Street; go east to Wood Street (less than 1/4 mile). There you will find the Woodson School facilities.
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Town Bombed by the Japanese

I visited Woodson to find out more about the Japanese bombing. I went to the school and asked about where the bomb had landed. A women in the school office said the bomb did not land at the school and had me talk to a lady in town who was the expert on the bombing and had been interviewed for a documentary. The lady said the bomb did not land in the school yard. It did not even land in town, but at a ranch about five miles out of town....

[Wayne Brown, 07/18/2014]

The bomb was dropped during World War II by a very long range Japanese balloon. A similar bomb exploded in Omaha.

Town Bombed by the Japanese

Between 1944 and April 1945, the Axis Powers of Japan released over 9,000 hydrogen-filled balloons with antipersonnel and incendiary ordnance attached, and released them in the jetstream.

I attended school in Woodson, Texas from 1958 to graduation in 1965. On March 23, 1945 (reported to have been in the hours before dawn) one of the balloons drifted over Woodson, Texas and the bomb fell in the school yard. There were no reports of any damage, but I'm sure there were some jangled nerves.

Another balloon bomb fell in the vicinity of Desdemona (I think that's near Rising Star, Texas.) But it fell in a pasture. Woodson is the only town in Texas to have suffered aerial bombardment from the Axis Power of Japan during WW2.

There are no markers or directions to view the location of this incident.

[Charles M. Mitchell, 02/29/2004]

No marker? There should be!

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