Bombing of the Yellowstone RIver during WWII
Posted by Dan Bushnell (+9) 8 years ago
Folks,

I need an electronic version of the story about the bombing of the Yellowstone River in March of 1944 due to the ice jams.

I am wanting to reprint this nugget of Montana information and share it with the Montana National Guard Soldiers and Airmen across our great state.

Can someone help me?

2LT Dan Bushnell
MTNG Public Affairs Office
406-324-3007
bush.bushnell@us.army.mil
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Posted by City Grant Administrator (+83) 8 years ago
Ah yes. The only time the USA mainland was bombed during WWII was right here in Miles City by our own Air Force (Army Air Corps). It's a great story that I'm sure today's air squadrons will enjoy reading about. Amorette Allison is the official keeper of such lore, but I happen to have her copy of the story here at the City's Community Services and Planning Office. Unfortunately, I only have it in hard copy form Perhaps Amorette has something in a word document. If not, I can scan what I have into a pdf file. Let's talk.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1289) 8 years ago
Kacey told me it was Sarah Palin's folks that did it just to piss her off.
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Posted by Bill Zook (+490) 8 years ago
Check with Fred South who has all pictures and clippings, including comment by the pilot of the bomber. He usually reads this site.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+8480) 8 years ago
Are you talking about the article that was in Montana Best Times a few years ago? I wrote that. I also have copies of Fred South's info.
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Posted by Fred South (+119) 8 years ago
Dan, I have a lot of info on the bombing, including pictures, having tracked down the pilot and the crew member who armed the bombs. Have talked to them on a number of occasions.
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Posted by Dan Bushnell (+9) 7 years ago
Fred,

Thanks. You can either email me what you have or, if you'd be so kind, mail copies of what you have to:

MTNG Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 4789
Fort Harrison, MT 59636

406+324-3007
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Posted by Dave Golterman (+235) 7 years ago
Is there any chance this story could be shared online. I'm very intrigued by what I've read and I want the full story.

Thanks.
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Posted by Fred South (+119) 7 years ago
Give me your address and I will send you a whole lot of info. Some from what I have gathered and some from the pilot and the fellow who armed the bombs.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6016) 7 years ago
I got bombed on the river once.

I need to go fishing.

Badly.
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Posted by Dan Bushnell (+9) 6 years ago
Please send to

2LT Dan Bushnell
MTNG Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 4789
Fort Harrison, MT 59636-4789


THANKS!
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Posted by Wayne White (+189) 6 years ago
Does anyone remember the passenger plane that belly landed east of the airport. We had a military plane that crashed at the mouth of the tounge river, my dad took me over to see it. Then there was another plane that flew into a hii west of the airport, multiple people were killed in that one.
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Posted by Fred South (+119) 6 years ago
I have info on all of these crashes. Send me your email and I will forward pictures and other info.
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Posted by bobneil (+120) 6 years ago
One ice jam that occurred at Miles City on March
20, 1944, was bombed by planes in an effort to break up the jam (Appendix B):
March 20, 1944. Note says "Backwater from ice; gage height, 21.7 feet, present site and datum, from flood
mark." As reported in the Miles City Star on Tuesday, June 17, 1997, "Severe ice jams in 1944 pushed the
Yellowstone past 19 feet before the river crested. Hundreds of residences had to be evacuated before planes
were called in to bomb the ice jams and even the flow. ... After the dike was built, [the Miles City Dike, built
in 1936] it suffered its first extensive damage during the March 1944 flood in Miles city. The cause of the
flood was by ice jams at the mouth of the Tongue River during the spring runoff and ice breakup, which
caused the water to back up and rise, according to Corps history. Due to runoff and ice-breakup period in
March the flow in the Yellowstone River subjected the levee to erosion and undercutting. Local interests are
reported to have fixed the damage and restore the levee to its original cross-section, orientation and profile.
Four locations were listed by the Corps for areas of damage during the 1944 flood. The first place was
upstream from Main Street bridge during that era. The second place was downstream from the Chicago,
Milwaukee. St. Paul and Pacific Railroad area. At this site, the Tongue River overflowed the levee, washing
out the dike for about 60 feet. The third place was at the intersection of the levee and Vinton Street, where the
Yellowstone River undercut the levee through erosion of the river bank and the levee slope-foundation for
approximately 125 feet. The final location of damage was between Lewis Street and Tatro Street, where the
levee was breached for about 220 feet, according to the Corps report, which added that repairs were
completed that same year by local interests as a cost unknown." --
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Posted by Bill Zook (+490) 6 years ago
For what it's worth, I recall ice chunks lying on the side of the road on 7th street at what is now Jack's Body Shop; presumably from water backing up in the slough. That's why it was called the "island" further to the north.
Another slough that carried flood water was for the Tongue and ran around the Town and Country Club. You cross it entering the grounds. As I recall you could access it from the end of south Custer as well.
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Posted by Daniel Bushnell (+4) 3 years ago
Hello all,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your help on my research of this historically significant event. I aplogize for my tardiness in not getting back to you all regarding the publishing of the article.

However, it was published in our magazine; since then however, I had to attend much training and make a trip over to a small country called Afghanistan. Hence, the reason for not getting back to you with a hard copy of the article.

The article can be found at:
Big Sky Guardian - Summer 2010

Again thank you for all your efforts in making this successful and enjoyable.

1LT Dan Bushnell
MTNG Public Affairs Office.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+49) 3 years ago
It is my understanding that the Slough was the original Tongue River bed, and the old 7th Street bridge was there for that reason. However that was before my time. I remember the March 1944 flood, because we lived on Knight Street across from the Ericksons, and our house was flooded......The bombing by the plane from Rapid City was pretty exciting, and the water went down in a matter of hours.
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Posted by Wayne White (+189) 3 years ago
Does anyone know the Miles City resident that went on the bombing run.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+8480) 3 years ago
I have heard it was Roy Milligan.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+49) 3 years ago
I could be wrong, but I thought it was Lyman Choate...
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Posted by Jeanne M Bole (+184) 3 years ago
Speaking of World War II I seem to remember Miles City having a blackout I would really like to know what year that happened or was
I dreaming?
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