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The Wyoming State Archives hosts a virtual presentation and Q&A session on, "“Bombing Wyoming: Operation Fu-Go and the First Intercontinental Missile Attacks on the United States, 1944-1945," by historian Dave Marcum.

Marcum’s presentation is August 11, at 7 p.m. in the Wyoming State Museum classroom, located at 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. This will be a live, in-person event with an option for participating virtually.

For those not able to attend in-person, registration to attend the event online is through Eventbrite at This free public event is part of the Archives’ monthly second Thursdays evening speaker series.


On November 3, 1944, Japan released the first of over 9,000 fusen bakudan, or balloon bombs, into the Pacific jet stream towards North America. Each balloon carried four incendiary devices and one thirty-pound high-explosive bomb. The operation, called Fu-Go, was developed as a way of retaliating for the Doolittle Raid of 1942. Though unguided, the Japanese hoped the missiles would be able to generate forest fires, destroy precious military resources, distract the United States, and terrorize the American people.

It is estimated that approximately 1,000 balloons made it to North America. At least 13 of the balloons, possibly more, made it to Wyoming. One made it as far as the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan.

Marcum is retired from careers in the United States Air Force and 30 years as a political science instructor at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. Marcum’s extensive research has led to two recent articles published in the Annals of Wyoming on Wyoming’s aviation history (and more to come!) and the happy task of sharing his findings with local audiences. He dedicates his writings and talks to Mel Duncan, flight engineer, historian, and former colleague of Marcum’s who died in 2007.

The WSA Speaker Series hosts talks at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Upcoming topics include Chinese Communities in Western Wyoming with Dr. Dudley Gardner on September 8th, with others scheduled throughout the year. To view upcoming events, check out the Wyoming State Archives events calendar at A recording of this talk will be available on the WSA YouTube channel the week following the talk.

The Wyoming State Archives collects, manages, and preserves Wyoming state public records that have long-term administrative, legal, and historical value. These records document the history of our state and the activities of Wyoming Government offices. The Archives also collects non-government records that contribute to the understanding of the state’s history.

For more information, contact Sara Davis, Wyoming State Archivist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the WSA at 307-777-7826.

The Wyoming State Archives is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you require special assistance, please contact the Wyoming State Archives at 307-777-7826.