Remember The Alamo! Remember The Maine! Remember Pearl Harbor! REMEMBER SANTA BARBARA!!

Today in History, February 23, 1942:

A little over two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Imperial Navy submarine I-17 surfaces 1500 yards off the California coast, near Santa Barbara. Five crewmen scrambled out onto the deck and manned the boat’s deck gun.

Workers and residents on shore were confused and surprised when they figured out the booms and explosions they were hearing at an oil field in Ellwood were tied to the flashes they were seeing out at sea.

After 20 minutes the Captain ordered a hault to the assault, having missed the oil tanks and damaged a catwalk.

The relatively minor attack was the first time the Continental US had been bombarded since the War of 1812.

It dis have an effect on a populace already on edge. On the 25th, “enemy aircraft” would be sighted near LA, resulting in lengthy anti-aircraft fire which would be dubbed the “Battle of Los Angeles”.

It would also help speed the incarceration of Japanese-Americans, since many believed the assault had been assisted from shore by Japanese operatives.

It also would not be the last time the mainland was bombarded by the Japanese..more submarine attacks, an aircraft launched from a submarine and “balloon bombs” would be in the offing…all relatively unsuccessful.

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