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Feb. 24-25, 1942: Two days before the so-called Battle of Los Angeles, a Japanese submarine shelled the Elwood oil fields, 12 miles north of Santa Barbara, according to The Times, which added that the attack came halfway through President Roosevelt’s weekly “fireside chat.”
The only damage was rigging and pump equipment a quarter of a mile from the beach, The Times said, but Southern California residents were warned to be extremely vigilant in case of another attack the next night.
"Particularly heavy reinforcements were reported assigned to guard the huge oil tank farm area of El Segundo, a few miles southwest of Los Angeles, from which all alien Japanese have been ousted for the duration of the war," The Times said on Feb. 25.
Another Good Story Ruined: Saucers Over L.A.! – Part 1
Another Good Story Ruined: The Battle of Los Angeles
According to a June 24, 1945, story, the War Department said that there were only three confirmed instances of a Japanese attack on the mainland during the war: The shelling by a submarine near Santa Barbara; shelling at Ft. Stevens, Ore.; and an incendiary bomb dropped near Mt. Emily, Ore., "by an unidentified float plane in an apparent attempt to start a forest fire.”
Meanwhile, life returned to normal in Santa Barbara, according to The Times…
… except for people of Japanese ancestry.