'Enemy Planes' Over SF
Just After Pearl Harbor
From Frank Warren

Note- The following headlines preceded "The Battle of Los Angeles" and although the newspapers were quick to "name" the objects "Jap bombers" there was never any confirmation of what the "unidentified aircraft" were or where they came from, even though there were navy ships and planes sent to track them.


Los Angeles, Dec. 8, 1941 (INS) - The Los Angeles police teletype carried the following warning from the city air raid warden: "Air raid attacks of enemy planes, surface vessels and submarines are imminent tonight. All precautions have been taken to avoid surprise."

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 1941 (INS) - The attempted attack on the San Francisco Bay Area tonight by enemy planes was a large scale operation, Brig. Gen. William Ord Ryan, head of the Fourth Interceptor command, said late tonight

An apparent attempt by Japanese war planes to bomb the San Francisco Bay Area was reported last night (Monday) by Brigadier General William Ord Ryan of the Fourth Interceptor Command, who said a large number of unidentified aircraft were turned back at the Golden Gate. He said the invading planes vanished to the southwest over the sea, after search lights at the Presidio of San Francisco were turned on and other measures taken to thwart an attack. Ryan did not disclose the nature of these measures.

The general's statement came after three hours of uncertainty in which San Francisco was partially blacked out in two raid alarms.

It was the city's first attempt to black out for air raid protection.

Sirens wailed continuously, air raid wardens rushed from door to door darkening lights in their areas, and in the downtown area there were numerous crashes as automobiles piled against each other.

Police said a woman was shot and wounded by a California State Guardsmen near the Bay Bridge.

The reported repulse of planes was not explained in great detail by General Ryan, who said no night fighting planes were sent aloft.



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