"There was a considerable amount of anti-aircraft
firing. The all-clear signal came at 7:25 a.m."
- Army Scofts at Civilian Reports
- Army intelligence, although uncommunicative, scoffed
at reports of civilian observers that as many as 200 planes were over the
- There were no reports of dropping bombs, but several
instances of damaged property from anti-aircraft shells. A garage door
was ripped off in a Los Angeles residential district and fragments shattered
windows and tore into a bed where a few moments before Miss Blanch Sedgewick
and her niece, Josie Duffy had been sleeping.
- A santa Monica bomb squad was dispatched to remove an
unexploded anti-aircraft shell in a driveway there.
- Wailing air raid sirens at 2:25 a.m. awakened most of
the metropolitan's three million citizens. A few minutes later they were
treated to a gigantic Fourth-of-July-like display as huge searchlights
flashed along a 10-mile front to the south, converging on a single spot
high in the sky.
- Anti-Aircraft Guns Open Fire
- Moments later the anti-aircraft guns opened up, throwing
a sheet of steel skyward.
- Tracer bullets and exploding shells lit the heavens.
- Three Japanese, two men and a woman, were seized at the
beach city of Venice on suspicion of signaling with flashlights near the
pier. They were removed to FBI headquarters, where Richard B. Hood, local
chief, said, "at the request of Army authorities we have nothing to
- A Long Beach police sergeant, E. Larsen 59, was killed
in a traffic accident while in route to an air raid post.
- Henry B. Ayers, 63-year-old state guardsman, died at
the wheel of an ammunition truck during the black-out. Physicians said
a heart attack was apparently responsible.
- Rumors of Planes Downed Spiked
- Police ran down several reports that planes had been
shot down, but said all were false alarms.
- Aircraft factories continued operation behind blackened
windows, while ack-ack guns rattled from batteries stationed near-by.
- A Japanese vegetable man, John Y. Harada, 25, was one
of three persons arrested on charges of violating a county black ordinance.
Sheriff's Capt. Ernest Sichler said Harada, driving to the market with
a load of cauliflower, refused to extinguish his truck lights.
- Others held on similar charges were Walter E. Van Der
Linden, Norwalk dairy man, accused of failing to darken his milking barns,
and Giovouni Ghigo, 57, nabbed while driving to market with a truckload
- Traffic Snarl Follows All Clear Signal
- Soon traffic was snarled. Thousand of southern Californians
were an hour or more late to their jobs.
- There were isolated incidences of failure to comply with
black-out regulations. Neon signs were glowing inside stores. Traffic signals
continued to flash in some areas.
- Radio stations went off the air with the first alert,
and were not permitted to resume broadcasting until 8:23 a.m.
- There was speculation, that the unidentified object,
might have been a blimp-although veteran lighter-then-air-experts in Akron,
O., the nations center of such construction, said Japan was believed to
have lost interest in such craft following experiments in World War I.
These sources said inability to obtain fire proof helium caused discarding
of such plans.
- Observers lent some credence to the blimp theory by pointing
out that the object required nearly thirty minutes to travel 20 or 25 miles-far
slower then an airplane.
- Unidentified Planes Pass Over Harbor
- AN official source which declined to be quoted directly
told The Associated Press in Los Angeles that United States Army Planes
quickly went into action. Later however, another official said no United
States craft had taken off because of possible danger from the army's own
- A newspaper man at San Pedro said airplanes passed over
the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor area. The craft were not identified.
- There were no reports of any attempt to bomb southern
California from the air although many war-vital factories, shipyards and
other defense industries were on the route the object followed.
- Although some watchers said they saw airplanes in the
air, semi-official sources said they probably were the United States Army's
- All the action, clearly spotlighted for ground observers
by 20 or so searchlights, was just a few miles west of Los Angeles proper.
- Object Disappears Over Signal Hill
- Observers said the object appeared to be 8000 ft ot higher.
- Firing, first heard at 3 a.m., ceased suddenly at 3:30
a.m., after the object disappeared south of Signal Hill, at the east edge
of Long Beach. Anti-aircraft guns fired steadily for two minute periods,
were silent for about 45 seconds, and continued that routine for nearly
a half an hour.
- All of southern California from the San Juaquin valley
to the Mexican border was blacked out. Los Angeles doused its lights first,
at 2:25 a.m.. San Diego, just 17 miles from the border did not receive
its lights out order until 3:05 a.m.
- When daylight and the all-clear signal came, Long Beach
took on the appearance of a huge easter egg-hunt. Kiddies and even grown-ups
scrambled through the streets and vacant lots, picking up and proudly comparing
chunks of shrapnel fragments as if they were the most prized possession