This week marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Los Angeles, one of the scarier and more absurd moments in the city’s World War II efforts.
Following the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, war jitters swept the Southland. By February 1942, air-raid sirens, searchlights and antiaircraft guns filled Los Angeles. Blackouts and drills were common.
Then on Feb. 23, 1942, a Japanese submarine surfaced and shelled oil installations at Ellwood, north of Santa Barbara.
Longtime Times columnist and Los Angeles observer Jack Smith explains what happened next in a February 1992 column:
It was on the night of Feb. 25,...