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When War Came to Dorr

  • North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue Coloma, MI, 49038 United States (map)

Historian and museum exhibit designer Valerie van Heest will share the story of how a recent WZZM newscast shed light on the long-forgotten story of three preteen boys from Dorr, Michigan, who found a strange object floating downward from the sky, that years later they learned was a FU-GO balloon, an unusual weapon launched by the Japanese near the end of World War II.

This newscast led to Van Heest’s involvement in fleshing out the local story and studying the amazing history of the FU-GO balloons, which, though ultimately unsuccessful in their mission to wreak widespread havoc and destruction in America, were a scientific marvel as the first experiment with the concept of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The newscast also led to the acquisition of the very balloon that landed in Dorr, Michigan, 74 years ago.

No RSVP is required for this free program. Questions may be directed to or call the North Berrien Historical Museum at (269) 468-3330.