Imagine your whole hometown getting bombed non-stop by planes, to the point where it's just blown off the map.
It happened in South Jersey during World War II. The town was Baileytown, NJ, in Cumberland County.
Baileytown? Where's that?
Gone, long gone. Destroyed by bombs.
Not theirs -- ours.
For the story of Bailetown, we check in with the website, baileytown-nj.com. The site recalls the " picturesque farming community dotted with family farms, a quaint one-room schoolhouse and small store."
Baileytown dates back to 1799 when Bagwell Bailey built a log cabin about a mile from Laurel Lake.
Fast forward to 1942 when the families of Baileytown packed their bags and moved what they could away from their homes. The War Department cleared the town so it could be used for bombing practice for the nearby Millville Army Air Field. " Young pilots shot up homes and barns, leaving the community in ruins. "
Families didn't have a choice but to move: "Immediately south of the Millville Airport and extending almost to Dividing Creek, the United States Government acquired 18,000 acres, covering 20 square miles, for use as an aerial target area. Every property owner in this region was required to sell his property to the War Department or risk having it taken through condemnation."
According to baileytown-nj.com, "Wooden replicas of military targets such as ships, trains, convoys, airplanes, and ammo dumps were placed in what were once productive farm fields." By the end of the war, the town was pretty much gone.
Can you imagine having to leave your home so it could be blown off the map?