When The Japanese Bombed Oregon During World War II.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, all Americans were on high alert. There was a real fear that Japanese forces would attack other parts of the United States. That fear came true 10 months later when a Japanese pilot on a seaplane dropped bombs on an Oregon forest, making the first wartime air raid on the mainland United States.

Bombing Oregon

After the successful surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese wanted to attack other key targets on the North American mainland. One of the targets they discussed was the Panama Canal due to its strategic location, but they also wanted to attack points along the west coast. Specifically, Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita used a seaplane launched from a long-range anti-submarine aircraft carrier designed to attack the Panama Canal to fly around Brookings, Oregon, hoping that a major fire would be averted. wanted to drop incendiary bombs in the forest. Pacific manpower and resources.

Somehow it worked. When the submarine surfaced near the Oregon-California border on September 9, 1942, Fujita dropped a bomb on Mount Emily, Oregon (the second one proved unexploded, but was never recovered). did not), detonating a forest fire 9 miles outskirts. Brookings. Luckily, he didn’t consider the Pacific Northwest’s notoriously wet and wet climate. The forest was too wet to cause the kind of disaster he envisioned. The Brookings-based Forest Service witnessed the bombing from a fire watchtower and was able to easily extinguish the fire.

Fujita’s Return

After the war, Mr. Fujita opened a hardware store and established himself in the private sector. He never considered returning to Oregon, but was invited to visit Brookings in 1962. Of course, he had doubts about the invitation, but after the U.S. government assured him it wasn’t a trap, Fujita became desperate to make amends to the people of the Pacific Northwest. Still, he was very concerned about his reception in the state, intending to restore his family’s honor by committing seppuku, and brought his heirloom, a 400-year-old sword.

To his surprise, however, the residents of Brookings received him with kindness and respect, instead offering him a sword as a sign of friendship with the town and commitment to the community. He has helped frequent local high school students visit Japan and has carried out many community projects such as planting trees at bombing sites as a symbol of peace and friendship. His sword was originally displayed at City Hall, but Fujita helped procure it, and in 1995 it was moved to the new City Library.