Town recalls bombing, 70 years after – The Register
May 7, 2015 - Picnic Time
BLY — A pleasing day for a cruise in Southern Oregon.
About 35 people collected usually adult a mountain from Leonard Creek for a cruise lunch. They were there to remember a designed cruise that didn’t occur 70 years earlier.
It was May 5, 1945, when a Rev. Archie and Elsie Mitchell and 5 children from his Sunday propagandize category stopped nearby Leonard Creek about 10 miles northeast of Bly on a fishing-picnic outing.
The story of what happened subsequent infrequently varies.
While Archie was parking a car, Elsie and a 5 children found a bizarre object. They yelled to Archie about their discovery, though before he could scream a warning, a intent — a Japanese balloon explosve — detonated.
The 5 children — Jay Gifford, 13, Edward Engen, 13, Dick Patzke, 14, Joan Patzke, 13, and Sherman Shoemaker, 11 — died immediately. Elsie, 26 years aged and 5 months pregnant, was critically bleeding and died shortly afterward.
“I always rip adult when we speak about Elsie,” pronounced John Kaiser, a Fremont-Winema National Forest archaeologist, while recounting a 70-years-ago events during a low-key gathering. “She suffered some-more than anyone.”
The deaths were a usually fatalities caused by rivalry movement on a continental United States during World War II, and a little-known occurrence stays an problematic chronological footnote.
Dave Brillenz, a Fremont-Winema’s Lakeview-Bly district ranger, pronounced he hopes to boost believe about a occurrence with a assistance of a Bly Community Action Team.
“We wish it to be a relic to peace,” Brillenz pronounced of a high mill relic built during a blast site that was dedicated in 1950.
He pronounced a assembly will be hold Tuesday in Bly to plead projects to urge and ascent a site, rigourously named a Mitchell Recreation Area, during a National Public Lands Day work plan in Sep and in entrance years.
Possible projects embody stealing a existent storm blockade and replacing it with a mill wall, creation a site ADA accessible, installing interpretive panels, building campsites, adding record benches and building a route to Leonard Creek.
After years of planning, Brillenz pronounced a long-wanted pointer along Highway 140 indicating a turnoff to a Mitchell Monument is scheduled to be commissioned by state Department of Transportation crews within a month.
“Most of America doesn’t know this exists,” pronounced Kaiser, who grew adult in Corvallis though wasn’t wakeful of a occurrence until he changed to Lakeview with a Forest Service.
Annie Fagan Patzke, 84, who was a same age as Dick Patzke and best friends with his sister, Joan, pronounced her grandchildren have created reports for propagandize about what is famous as a Bly Bombing.
Joan Patzke had asked Annie Patzke to be partial of a outing. Annie’s family had temporarily changed from Bly to Tionesta, afterwards a tyrannise city south of Tulelake.
She pronounced her parents, Elmo and Verna Fagan, had designed to concede her to join a group, though motionless opposite doing so since they indispensable to stop in Klamath Falls that morning.
“When we got to Bly they were already gone,” Patzke said. She and others schooled of a deaths because, “There was some articulate finished that was not ostensible to be done.”
Military officials had censored any information about balloon bombs and, after a Bly incident, refused to divulge information about a deaths and a means of a deaths.
The censorship was imposed to forestall a Japanese, who had hoped a balloon bombs would means timberland fires and other repairs and obstruct courtesy from a fight effort, from meaningful they had reached a United States.
The bombs were trustworthy to vast balloons that flew from Japan to a Pacific Northwest by a eastward floating jet stream.
Annie Patzke pronounced her family and many other Bly area people visited a site a following morning. The bodies had been private though a vast volume of waste was sparse about a site.
She after married Pat Patzke, Joan and Dick’s brother. At a time of a incident, he was portion in a Army in Europe.
“He didn’t hear about it for a while,” Annie Patzke pronounced of her husband-to-be. “He got a magnetism label from somebody saying, ‘I’m contemptible for a genocide in your family.’”