Balloon history

A warning

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For more information about the balloons

  When I first started research on this novel, there were very few internet resources on the topic. Today, the number has grown substantially. Here are just a few to get those interested started:
  • The US Air Force Museum, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, has a helpful summary of the balloons' history. They also have an actual balloon in their collection.
  • The Michigan State University Library hosts a lengthy online bibliography of balloon resources.
  • Marshall Stelzriede, a WWII vet, has an extensive website detailing his wartime experiences. He devotes one page in his site to Japanese balloon bombs; of particular interest are the articles about the balloons that he's transcribed and placed online. (Links to the articles are at the bottom of the page.)
  • Though the author of this site discussing the balloons' impact on Canada was only 16 years old when he developed it, it is impressively comprehensive, and is included in Canada's Digital Collections, a Canadian-government sponsored program.
  • Ultimately, the single best resource for learning more about this strange chapter in history is not on the internet, but rather, in the pages of a slim, but exhaustively researched and illustrated nonfiction book by Robert C. Mikesh, titled Japan's World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North America. On this subject, it has no equal.


Banner photo: detail from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce hurricane photo.