The 75th Anniversary of When Montana Got Bombed in WW2
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. But, it just wasn't enough. So the Army Air Corps brought in the BIG 250lb bombs. A total of 13 bombs were dropped on the Yellowstone that day. Totaling almost 3,250lbs of explosives.