On September 9, 1942, a Japanese submarine was spotted cruising in an easterly direction raising its periscope occasionally as it neared the Oregon Coastline. Based
on the Sub was a small two passenger float plane (above). It’s mission; a test run to
start a devastating forest fire by dropping two 176 pound incendiary bombs. If they
were successful, Japan had hopes of attacking the eastern end of the Panama
Canal to slow down shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
This event, which caused no damage, marked the only time during World War ll that
an enemy plane had dropped bombs on the U.S. mainland. A major fire had been
averted due to the fact the coastal fog, mist and heavy doses of Oregon rain made
the forests so wet they simply didn’t catch fire.
Fifty years later on 1992, the the Japanese pilot, Nobuo Fujita who survived the war, returned to Oregon to help dedicate a historical plaque (below) at the exact spot
where his two bombs had impacted. The elderly pilot then donated his ceremonial
sward as a gesture of peace and closure of the bombings of Oregon on that day
in 1942. Fujita would return to Brookings 3 more times before his death in 1997,
and the following year his daughter buried some of his ashes at the site of his
The Memorial Plaque located in Brookings, Oregon at the site of the 1942