On July 5, 1943, a B-17 E version bomber based at Dalhart Army Air Base dropped six practice bombs on Boise City. None of the bombs (four pounds of powder, 96 pounds of sand) scored a direct hit and nobody was hurt. The Cimarron County courthouse had one street light in the center of its four side, which made it appear almost identical to the lights of the crew's target at Conlen, Texas, 40 miles to the southeast.
The first bomb hit the alley directly northwest of Court Avenue, near an apartment where a family was sleeping. It hit a garage blowing open the door and leaving a 20 by 40 inch crater. The bomber circled and made another bomb run aiming for those four lights and missed the west wall of the First Baptist Church by only inches. The crater was 3 feet deep. Circling again, their third bomb hit between the sidewalk and curb in front of the Style Shoppe Building. The fourth bomb, struck the ground only yards from the McGowan Boarding house. It also missed a parked fuel transport truck. The fifth bomb hit an open area 80 feet from a small house and the sixth and last bomb fell in the southeast edge of town by the railroad track.
The 30 minutes or so that it took to drop the six bombs was probably the most exciting half-hour in Boise Citys history. Newsweek Magazine observed that Boise City was one of the most unlikely targets for an air raid. Time Magazine reported that the citizens of Boise City acted the way most civilians do who have never been bombed before, saying "Most of them ran like hell, in no particular direction".
Additional Reading from the CHC Gift Shop
"BC Bombed" by Norma Gene Young
"The Tracks We Followed" by Norma Gene Young