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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bly in Lake County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Mitchell Monument

 
 
Mitchell Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, June 24, 2012
1. Mitchell Monument Marker
Inscription.
In Memory Of:

Elsie Mitchell Age 26
Dick Patzke Age 14
Jay Gifford Age 13
Edward Engen Age 13
Joan Patzke Age 13
Sherman Shoemaker Age 11

Who Died Here
May 5, 1945

By
Japanese Bomb Explosion

Only Place On The
American Continent
Where Death Resulted
From Enemy Action
During WW II

 
Erected 1950 by Weyerhaeuser Company Eastern Oregon Region.
 
Location. 42° 25.91′ N, 120° 51.607′ W. Marker is in Bly, Oregon, in Lake County. Marker can be reached from National Forest Development Road 348, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bly OR 97622, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mitchell Monument Shrapnel Tree (a few steps from this marker); Balloon Bomb (approx. 9.8 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The Mitchell Monument is located about 65 miles North-East of Klamath Falls. The recreation area is typically open from mid-May through the end of October. The site offers fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities in addition to being an historic
Mitchell Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, June 24, 2012
2. Mitchell Monument Marker
landmark.

As you are leaving Klamath Falls, take Highway 140 East (also known as the Klamath Falls-Lakeview Highway) for approximately 50 miles, to the Bly Ranger District Office. From the office, proceed 1 1/2 miles east on Highway 140, turn left on County Road 1259. Take County Road 1259 for 1/2 mile, then turn right on Forest Road 34. Follow Forest Road 34 for approximately 8 miles. The day use area entrance sign is located on the right.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  Discover Klamath history on Mitchell Monument. FU-Gos: Japanese Balloon Bombs Of World War II
On May 5, 1945, Reverend Archie Mitchell took his pregnant wife and five Sunday school children, from the Christian and Missionary Alliance church where he was a minister, on a picnic and fishing trip. The group found a logging road they followed until a blockage hindered their progress. They stopped next to Leonard Creek, eight miles east of Bly, Oregon, near Gearhart Mountain. While unloading the vehicle, the Reverend heard one of the children say “Look what I found!” His wife, Elise, and the children ran to see what had been found. Moments later, there was an explosion. Mrs. Mitchell and all five children were killed instantly. (Submitted on January 12, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.)
Mitchell Monument image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, June 24, 2012
3. Mitchell Monument
Mitchell Monument dedicated in 1950

Placed on the National Register
of Historic Places
2003

Site of fatal Japanese balloon bomb
explosion during World War II.
The blast on May 5, 1945
killed six residents of Bly, Oregon.
 
 
Categories. DisastersWar, World II
 
Shrapnel Tree image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, June 24, 2012
4. Shrapnel Tree
MITCHELL MONUMENT
SHRAPNEL TREE
Pinus ponderosa

When a Japanese balloon bomb exploded at this site, Elsie Mitchell and her Sunday school class of five children, out on an early spring fishing outing, were killed. They were the only World War II casualties to occur on the North American continent as a result of enemy action. Standing as a silent witness to the tragedy, this Ponderosa pine still shows signs of shrapnel damage from the explosion and from efforts to remove the shrapnel fragments.

OREGON HERITAGE TREE

Plaque funded by a grant from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry and USDA Forest Service
Mitchell Monument Heritage Tree image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, June 24, 2012
5. Mitchell Monument Heritage Tree
Mitchell Monument entrance image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, June 24, 2012
6. Mitchell Monument entrance
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 11, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 87 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 11, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.   6. submitted on January 12, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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