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Answered 2011-09-13 16:07:59
Answer 1Yes, in one of the most surprise attacks in history, Pearl Harbor. It happened December 7th 1941, "a day that will live in infamy". December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day. The attack was by the Japanese. If you meant the contiguous 48 states then I am not sure. I think U-boats attacked Allied subs only a few miles off the East Coast, but I have never heard anything about land attacks, other than Pearl Harbor. Answer 2I believe you will also find a very few, very unsuccessful Japanese attacks on the west coast by using hot air type balloons to carry demolitions.

I can also recall that declassifed info now confirms that there were some very poorly done attacks by aircraft, again along the west coast. They were not reported on to avoid causing the public fear. Considering how difficult, almost absurd, it would be to even attempt to do so to the mainland, there were a lot of US citizens who were very fearful of, especially the -dreaded yellow waves- of Japanese trying to overrun our shores.

Finally, several of the Alaskan islands were actually occupied by a large force of Japanese for well over a year. The US services lost thousands of soldiers in the battles, and the weather, to reclaim them. On one island, several hundred Japanes even committed suicide before being captured.

So yes, the US has been attacked, has had a foreign force occupy land and has had foreign soldiers die in battle on its land.

Answer 3, Battle of the Aleutian IslandsSee the related website for the story of the invasion and re-taking of these islands. Answer 4, additional infoThere have been many accounts of Japanese attacks on the US mainland. I am unaware of the "hot air" balloons mentioned in answer 2, BUT the Japanese DID use balloons [I can't recall the lifting gas, but I suspect it was Hydrogen] launched from Japan. The Japanese were aware of what we now call "jet streams" in the upper atmosphere, and utilized them to carry the balloons eastward.

It was thought that they launched thousands just to get a few to the US. Each balloon carried many very small contact type bombs intended to drop in a random and scattered pattern across the western US. A very miniscule number of those did make it to the US, although I can only recall reading about one reported incident in which any injury or damage was caused. The reported incident involved a minister and a group of school children on an outing in rural Oregon. It was reported that the children found one of the unexploded bombs, took it to show to the minister, and it subsequentely did detonate, injuring several children, and I think killing the minister. I think I read about this years [20-30] ago in Popular Science magazine.

I also recall reading about a few sporadic attacks on California oil fields and refineries very close to the coast by small deck gun artillery fire from surfaced Japanese submarines. I cannot recall the specifics, but damage was negligible, and I cannot recall the magazine source, although I want to think it was either Popular Science or National Geographic. j3h.

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