Fugitive Blimp Brought Down After Wild Chase

May 9, 1947
Los Angeles

For several weeks, Harry Hasley has been minding the barrage balloon that floated 300 feet over the Pan-Pacific Auditorium bearing an ad for the current show. It was quiet work, sleepy really… until tonight. The balloon broke free of its nylon tether and while Harry watched helplessly, floated off on the northwest wind.

Numerous city agencies, including the LAPD, Sheriff and Airway Traffic Control began nervously monitoring the blimp’s unpredictable progress, concerned that it might stray into the airspace of Los Angeles Municipal Airport.

When the errant bubble finally bobbed to earth, it was spotted by Sheriff’s Deputies William O’Keefe and Kennth Hancock, who caught up with it at 105th Street and Wilmington, in the Firestone Park district. By the time Harry Hasley arrived, the deputies had released the remaining helium and folded the runaway gasbag for the trip back to the Pan-Pacific.