California And Oregon Attacked: Incredible Submarine Attacks Of WWII

Last updated: July 7, 2022

While most people think the only attack on American soil during World War II was on Pearl Harbor, the West Coast was hit with several direct attacks.

Attacking The California Coast

Just seven days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, nine Japanese submarines popped up to survey the area. When four of the submarines attacked, a freighter was hit, and two tankers sunk.

The mainland was hit by two other Japanese ships. Submarine I-17 came up to Point Loma on February 19, 1942, to assess their position. The sub went north, landing off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, by the Ellwood Oil Field.

The submarine targeted the Richfield aviation fuel tanks behind the beach shooting at them for 20 minutes. The submarine shot 17 rounds, but the closest shell came within 30 yards of a tank.

One overshot by a lot, landing a mile inland. Overall, there was not a whole lot of damage. The pier and the pump house only had minor hits. But, it did raise a lot of fear of an invasion on the coast.

Attacking Oregon

Japanese submarine I-25 sailed even further north to the Oregon coast. Finally, she surfaced outside of Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The I-25 also shot 17 shells and did not damage the base. The only thing destroyed was the baseball field's backstop. The attack was the first on a CONUS installation since the War of 1812.

I-25 attacked again on September 9, 1942. A seaplane flown by Warrant Flying Officer Nobuo Fujita launched from the submarine and dropped bombs outside Brookings, Oregon. The plan was to start a wildfire, but it failed.

However, the bombing was the only time an enemy aircraft attacked the U.S. mainland.

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6 comments on “California And Oregon Attacked: Incredible Submarine Attacks Of WWII”

  1. Why isn't it mentioned in any history books? We could have been totally shocked to realize how vulnerable we were. Very interesting.

  2. it could happen again with those fags and homos in them states !and biden will leave this country defenceless ,giving our oil away and taking away our guns to defend ourselves! making our military weak ! between the illegals and the comunist her we are in trouble !!!!

    1. That demented jackass is coming to an end!!! This won't go on much longer before we rise up and take action against these trolls!!

  3. We lived on Catalina Island from 1938 until 1942, when the U.S. Navy took over the island. I remember the explosions, the air-raid sirens, my father and all the other men leaving the house carrying shovels and buckets which they filled with sand to put out fires. My father put tarpaper over all our windows so no light would show through, and we couldn't turn on any lights at night. Our Christmas tree was up but we couldnt turn the Christmas lights on at night. My little brother was 1 (his birthday was Dec 8th) and I was 5. My mom took us in bed with her and sang to us, because we were so scared from the loud booming and explosions going on outside. Their were searchlights scanning the sky. It was SO terrifying for us! Then, after Christmas, some men came and talked to my parents and told us we had to leave the island because the Navy was coming. It was called emminiment domain. The government paid my parents a small amount of money for our house and business (They owned the flower shop at the Cantina. Daddy had to declare bankruptcy, and we had to move in with my grandmother in Los Angeles, in February 1942. I have pictures of our Christmas tree, us kids and they show the tarpaper on the windows. Why is this never mentioned?

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