I'm a WWII veteran. Just thought I'd let you know that I was an eyewitness to the event back in February of 1942. I was 14 at the time, living in the Adams and Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. My family and I observed the entire episode through the large bay window of our home facing west.The air raid sirens awoke us at 2 AM. There was a period of silence following that, then the thumping of antiaircraft fire. The northwest sky was lit up with bursting shells and searchlights. The action was moving south along the coastline. I remember distinctly the convergence of searchlights reflecting off the bottom of some kind of slow moving objects, apparently flying in formation. They seemed to be completely oblivious and impervious to the shells exploding around them. I was quite the aviation buff back then, as I am now, but I must admit that I had a devil of a time trying to identify the objects, what with the awe, excitement and speculation of the moment, the bursting shells, tracers, etc. I was surprised in the days that followed to discover that with all that aggressive firepower there was no evidence that we had brought anything down.
I lived on Virginia Road, a half block south of West Adams Boulevard and one-quarter mile south of what is now the Interstate 10 Santa Monica Freeway; about 5.5 miles southwest of what is now the Los Angeles Civic Center; and approximately 10.5 miles due east of the Pacific coastline of Santa Monica.
We were looking in a westward direction from our large living room bay window which gave us an unobstructed panorama of view facing the northwest, west and southwest. We then went to our south-facing kitchen and porch windows to observe the action where it culminated in the south. Ergo, the action followed the coastline.
It could have been two, or three, or up to six miles away, I can't recall exactly since it occurred so long ago. But I strongly remember the searchlights converging on the bottoms of the reddish objects flying in formation
Scott Littleton writes:
I was an eye-witness to the events of that unforgettable February morning in February of 1942. I was eight-years-old at the time, and my parents lived at 2500 Strand in Hermosa Beach, right on the beach. We thus had a grandstand seat. While my father went about his air-raid warden duties, my late mother and I watched the glowing object, which was caught in the glare of searchlights from both Palos Verdes and Malibu/Pacific/Palisades and surrounded by the puffs of ineffectual anti-aircraft fire, as it slowly flew across the ocean from northwest to southeast. It headed inland over Redondo Beach, a couple of miles to the south of our vantage point, and eventually disappeared over the eastern end of the Palos Verdes hills, what's today called Rancho Palos Verdes. The whole incident last, at least from our perspective, lasted about half an hour, though we didn't time it. Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spend the next morning picking up of pieces of shrapnel on the beach; indeed, it's a wonder more people weren't injured by the stuff, as we were far from the only folks standing outside watching the action.
In any case, I don't recall seeing any truly discernable configuration, just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped blob light-a single, blob, BTW. We only saw one object, not several as some witnesses later reported. At the time, we were convinced that it was a "Jap" reconnaissance plane, and that L.A. might be due for a major air-raid in the near future. Remember, this was less than three months after Pearl Harbor. But that of course never happened. Later on, we all expected "them," that is, the Military, to tell us what was really up there after the war. But that never happened, either.
Army Gunners Fire At UFOs Over Los Angeles. Volume 3, Number 8. February 22, 1998 Editor Joseph Trainor.
On Wednesday, February 25, 1942, at precisely 2 a.m., diners at the trendy Trocadero Club in Hollywood were startled when the lights winked out and air raid sirens began to sound throughout greater Los Angeles.
"Searchlights scanned the skies and anti-aircraft guns protecting the vital aircraft and ship-building factories went into action. In the next few hours they would fire over 1,400 shells at an unidentified, slow- moving object in the sky over Los Angeles that looked like a blimp, or a balloon."
Author Ralph Blum, who was a nine-year-old boy at the time, wrote that he thought "the Japanese were bombing Beverly Hills."
"There were sirens, searchlights, even antiaircraft guns blamming away into the skies over Los Angeles. My father had been a balloon observation man (in the AEF) in World War One, and he knew big guns when he heard them. He ordered my mother to take my baby sisters to the underground projection room--our house was heavily supplied with Hollywood paraphernalia--while he and I went out onto the upstairs balcony."
"What a scene! It was after three in the morning. Searchlights probed the western sky. Tracers streamed upward. The racket was terrific." Shooting at the aerial intruders were gunners of the 65th Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) Regiment in Inglewood and the 205th Anti-Aircraft Regiment based in Santa Monica. The "white cigar-shaped object" took several direct hits but continued on its eastward flight.
Up to 25 silvery UFOs were also seen by observers on the ground.
Editor Peter Jenkins of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported, "I could clearly see the V formation of about 25 silvery planes overhead moving slowly across the sky toward Long Beach." Long Beach Police Chief J.H. McClelland said, "I watched what was described as the second wave of planes from atop the seven-story Long Beach City Hall. I did not see any planes but the younger men with me said they could. An experienced Navy observer with powerful Carl Zeiss binoculars said he counted nine planes in the cone of the searchlight. He said they were silver in color. The (UFO) group passed along from one battery of searchlights to another, and under fire from the anti-aircraft guns, flew from the direction of Redondo Beach and Inglewood on the land side of Fort MacArthur, and continued toward Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. Anti-aircraft fire was so heavy we could not hear the motors of the planes."
Reporter Bill Henry of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "I was far enough away to see an object without being able to identify it...I would be willing to bet what shekels I have that there were a number of direct hits scored on the object."
At 2:21 a.m., Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt issued the cease-fire order, and the twenty-minute "battle of Los Angeles" was over. (See BEYOND EARTH: MAN'S CONTACT WITH UFOs by Ralph Blum, Bantam Books, New York, April 1974, page 68. See also the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the Long Beach Press-Telegram for February 25, 1942. All newspaper quotes taken from "The Battle of Los Angeles, 1942" by Terrenz Sword, which appeared in Unsolved UFO Sightings, Spring 1996 issue, pages 57 through 62.)