Pre-1942 'Battle Of LA'
WWII Blackout
From Frank Warren


City's Black-Out Called Success
Los Angeles Times December 11th, 1941
Southland Plunged Into Darkness as Army Reports Presence of Unidentified Aircraft; Searchlights seen and gunfire reported
A gigantic black-out, covering the area from Bakersfield south to San Diego and eastward to Boulder City and Las Vegas, Nev., went into effect shortly after 8 o'clock last night on orders from the Army Fourth Interceptor Command. It continued until 11:03 p.m.
As Los Angeles went dark amongst considerable confusion and uncertainty, The Interceptor Command announced, "this is not a practice black-out."
A yellow signal, indicating the approach of enemy air raiders, was flashed on the state-wide teletype at 7:35p.m.. Police said the signal indicated the presence of unidentified airplanes approaching Los Angeles from the sea but did not necessarily mean they were enemy.
Anti-aircraft and machine gunners scrambled to their weapons at Ft. Mac Arthur, which was promptly placed on alert basis.
Reports that the sound of gun fire could be heard could not be verified from listening posts at the beach or at the harbor.
Definite indication that the Interceptor Command meant business by calling for the black-out was contained in a statement from a spokesman who said:
"There are planes over the south of Los Angeles that are unidentified. The area will be blacked out until we can identify them."
When asked if Army planes had been sent aloft to contact these aircraft the spokesman said:
"You can assume there have been."
Thousands of Angelenos, listening for straining ears for sounds of aircraft, were unable to distinguish sounds of motors, however.
A few minutes after the black-out was ordered, the flashing of what appeared to be Army searchlights was visible in the higher portions of Los Angeles, 25 miles from the water front.
Headquarters of the Fourth Interceptor Command, calling the black-out a success, said they a had a report that unidentified planes were in the vicinity of Los Angeles.
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