Mitchell Monument 75th Remembrance Event Postponed

Contact(s): Tamara Schmidt


LAKEVIEW, Ore. – The remembrance event marking the 75th anniversary of the tragedy at Mitchell Monument, originally planned for Tuesday, May 5, has been postponed as a result of COVID-19.

The event is now being planned for Saturday, September 19.

Members of the Bly Community Action Team, Standing Stone Church of the Christian Missionary Alliance, Green Diamond Resource Company and the Fremont-Winema National Forest began planning the event last fall.  In March, as restrictions went into place regarding meetings and events, the planning committee decided to postpone the event until September.

More information will be available as the new event date gets closer.

On May 5, 1945, Reverend Archie Mitchell, his pregnant wife Elsie and five of his Sunday school students went for a picnic approximately 10 miles northeast of Bly.  While Mitchell was parking the car, his wife and the children discovered a Japanese fugo or balloon bomb.  The device went off, killing everyone except Mitchell.

The fatalities were the only ones on the continental United States as a result of enemy action during World War II.

In 1950, Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, which owned the bomb site at the time, dedicated a memorial to the victims.  The land was donated to the Forest Service in 1996. 

The site continues to be significant not only for the families of the victims, but also for the local community, historians and land managers.

Mitchell Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places at the Smithsonian on February 20, 2003.  The “Shrapnel Tree” was designated an Oregon Historic Tree in 2005.

Information is available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/r6fwnf or contact event organizers at mitchellmonument75@gmail.com.  For more information on Mitchell Monument, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/fremont-winema/recarea/?recid=59797.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/fremont-winema/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD730783