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XIII. WORLD WAR II (continued)


During the first months of World War II, as one allied bastion after another fell to the Japanese in the western and southwest Pacific, the United States greatly strengthened its Western Defense Command. By the end of May and before the victory at Midway, the equivalent of 17 antiaircraft regiments were in position in the three west coast states. Six barrage balloon battalions were deployed in the Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego areas. Medium and heavy bombers, long-range patrol craft, and fighters were flown in. Radar stations were built at strategic points and manned. Beach patrols were organized by the Coast Guard. Volunteers assisted the Coast Guard in watching the beaches.

*See National Register Forms, pp. 405-417.

As soon as the extent and significance of the Japanese defeat at Midway became apparent, the army began to reduce the strength of the force assembled for defense of the west coast. First to go were the heavy and medium bombers, to be followed by several of the antiaircraft regiments. [17]

To patrol the beaches north and south of the Klamath, the Coast Guard established a camp on the bluffs two miles south of the Klamath. An observation station* was built of cinderblocks. This station had false roofs. From the air or the road, the buildings looked like a barn and farmhouse. Many of the older men from the Klamath area, such as Ray Chaffey, served as civilian volunteers with the Coast Guard. They stood watches and patrolled the beach, thus relieving members of the Coast Guard for duty overseas. [18]

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004