The town of Boise City, Oklahoma has a population of approximately 1,250 people, just a shade lower than the roughly 1,450 who lived there during World War II.
And in the height of the war, Boise City experienced something few other mainland American towns experience: at roughly 1 A.M. local time on July 5, 1943, whistles and, ultimately, explosions woke up the town. Never mind the fact that Boise City, given that it is located in the middle of the country, is one of the least likely places to be hit by the Germans or the Japanese. This was no Independence Day celebration: Boise City was under attack.
As TIME reported, the townsfolk “acted the way most civilians would act who had never been bombed before. Most of them ran like hell, in no particular direction.” This was a slight exaggeration: while most of Boise City’s citizens panicked, some kept…
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