Did Montana Get Bombed in WWII?
Miles City, Montana, Home of the famous "Bucking Horse Sale," and gateway to Yellowstone River country. But, did you know that Miles City is the site of ONLY domestic bombing during World War II?
On March 21, 1944, a huge Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was called in from Rapid City, SD to break an ice jam on the Yellowstone River. 500 people had been displaced by flooding, and boats had been used to rescue some marooned families. The road north toward Jordan could not be reached, and water levels were rising. Miles City Mayor, Leighton Keye, convinced Governor Sam Ford to call the Army for help.
With a wingspan of 104 feet. The B-17 Flying Fortress came to the rescue with a crew of 10, including the bombardier. And they came in fast, with a top speed of about 300 mph.
Several local pilots attempted to drop homemade bombs on the ice, using small planes. Simply throwing the equivalent of sticks of dynamite out the window of small crop dusting planes. But, it just wasn't enough. So the Army Air Corps brought in the BIG 250lb bombs. The same bombs used when Allies bombed Berlin a few months later. A total of 13 bombs were dropped on the Yellowstone River that day. Totaling almost 3,250lbs of explosives. That is A LOT of BOOM!
What would you do to be able to witness what happened that day? Kind of crazy to think that Montana is the location of the only domestic bombing during World War Two.
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