Seaside History

The War Years in Seaside

February 13, 2013 | by Nate Burke

If you happened to be sunbathing on Seaside’s beach during the summer of 1942, it wasn’t uncommon to see the massive U.S Navy blimps out patrolling the shores. If you were wading out in the shallow surf, you might find yourself suddenly in the midst of an immense shadow with the sun blocked by the passing airship. The far more immense shadow of World War II hung over the nation, and the blimp patrols were one part of daily life during wartime. The blimps launched from air stations in Tillamook and Astoria and were primarily used to patrol the north Oregon coast. Compared to airplanes, their slower, meandering speed was useful for spotting enemy submarines. Considering the shelling of Fort Stevens in June, 1942 by a Japanese submarine, it was obvious the blimp patrols were addressing an unquestionable threat that loomed over the nation as a whole.

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