18 Months After the So-Called Great Los Angeles Air Raid -- Restricted Aeronautical Map of the Los Angeles Area
Detailed aeronautical map of Southern California, extending from Catalina and the Channel Islands and Los Angeles to the Arizona Border, and extending north to Lake Mead and the Bakersfield area.
The map was published in August 1943, in the wake of Pearl Harbor and the so-called Battle of Los Angeles or Great Los Angeles Air Raid in February 1942
The chart is a font of information about civil and military aviation in postwar Southern California. It was intended for civil aviators flying by visual navigation and so includes data that would be useful for this purpose. Topographical information consists of relief and a judicious selection of visual checkpoints used for navigation under visual flight rules. The checkpoints include populated places, roads, and distinct landmarks. The aeronautical information includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports (aerodromes, both for landplanes and seaplanes), controlled airspace, restricted areas, and obstructions. Sectional Aeronautical Charts were updated somewhat frequently at this time and are now produced by the FAA.
The military information is probably the most interesting aspect of the chart, as it shows the state of postwar Southern California as it adopted an even greater role in national defense. Numerous airbases are noted. The region is positively blanketed with restricted flight zones.
On the Lambert Conformal Conic Projection.
Great Los Angeles Air Raid
The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of February 1943, also known as the Battle of Los Angeles, was a false alarm that occurred during World War II. On the night of February 24th, 1943, air raid sirens blared across Los Angeles County, signaling an incoming air attack by the Japanese Imperial Air Force. Anti-aircraft guns were fired and searchlights were activated, illuminating the sky. However, no enemy planes were ever found.
The incident caused widespread panic and confusion, and resulted in the deaths of six civilians due to heart attacks and car accidents caused by the blackout. It also resulted in the injury of three soldiers and the damage of several homes due to stray anti-aircraft fire.
The cause of the incident has been a subject of debate and speculation for decades. Some theories suggest that it was caused by a weather balloon or a radar malfunction, while others believe it was a deliberate attempt to distract attention from a planned Japanese attack on the west coast. However, the U.S. Army Air Force has officially stated that the incident was caused by a false alarm, and that no enemy planes were ever present.