Monday, February 07, 2005

Bombing Minton, Saskatchewan

Did you know that Minton, Saskatchewan was bombed during World War II? I thought this was a glaring lie told to attract tourists but it turns out that it's true.

After Pearl Harbour, the Americans started bombing places like Tokyo and other cities. The Japanese responded by creating unmanned bomb-carrying balloons. These balloons were made of special paper and potato paste. Makes you wonder what kind of potatoes they used.

The purpose of the balloons was to start forest fires and divert resources and people power away from the war effort. Between November 1944 and August 1945, 10 000 of these tater tot balloons were made and the Special Balloon Regiment was created. 9300 were launched towards the target of the Pacific Northwest of North America. Only 300 reached the coast and apparently, most of them landed outside Canada in places like Alaska, Washinton, Oregon and California.

The balloons weren't very effective but there were casualties. An Oregon minister's wife and five children were killed by one of the bombs.

In Canada, less than 100 balloons landed and most were in BC. One balloon though, released bombs over Minton, Saskatchewan. The only casualty was a fence that was rushed to hospital but was DOA.

The press was told to keep things quiet so the Japanese wouldn't know how effective or ineffective the balloons had been. That must be why I never learned about this in History. And apparently many bombs may still exist undiscovered in North America.

This true story is a far cry from the rumour that Saskatchewan should be bombed. (cf. Rick Mercer, "This Hour Has 22 Minutes").

And in conclusion, "WAR! - Huuuh - What is it good for? Absolutely nothing."
~Edwin Starr

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