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Balloons in War

Information about the Balloons in War exhibition.

A close-up of an illustration of men working on hot air balloons during the 20th century. Next to it is a faux 20th century newspaper informational display about the exhibit.

The military’s use of balloons and lighter-than-air craft was inevitable. During the Civil War, America’s first military aviation unit was formed by the Union Army, the Balloon Corps. In Europe, balloons were used during the siege of Paris by the Prussians. Later, German zeppelins bombed England during World War I, and in World War II, Japan bombed the United States using the jet stream to send 10,000 transcontinental balloon bombs known as Fugos across the Pacific Ocean.