GOLETA, Calif .– February 23 is a date that will likely be remembered by alumni in our region.
The date marks the 79th anniversary of the Ellwood Bombing, the attack on Ellwood’s oil facilities by a Japanese submarine known as I-17. The I-17 was under the command of Commander Kozo Noshino.
Santa Barbara historian Neal Graffy told NewsChannel that the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. that night, while President Franklin Roosevelt was holding his “Fireside Chat” party.
The I-17 surfaced off Ellwood and fired about 25 rounds; most were misfires. However, Graffy said one of the shells landed three miles away on Tecolote Ranch.
The total cost of the damage was around $ 500 at the time, or roughly $ 8,000 in 2021.
Graffy said he wrote about “the attack” as a small part of the story he wrote about the Timbers restaurant: “They came. They saw, they served.”
“Then I got interested in finding out the true story against The Legend which became a section of its own.” They came, they saw, they bombed. ”
Graffy said he had researched the full history of the I-17, all schematics and specs.
“And more importantly, why it was off the coast of California, what he did here and that’s later in history. Then of course I had to do a little bit about the reasons for which there were oil fields in Ellwood “They came, they saw, they drilled. “
The attack was the first bombardment of the North American continent during World War II and is seen as a prelude to the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States.
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