Only Enemy Pilot Ever To Drop Bombs On US Mainland Given Honorary Citizenship

By Ethan Cole on
 January 30, 2022

Only one foreign air force has attacked the continental United States. September 9, 1942 saw a plane launch from a Japanese sub, dropping bombs on the town of Brookings, Oregon.

Formidable Forces

When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Imperial Japanese Navy was the largest and most powerful in the world. It took quite some time before the United States could bring its Navy up to the same level.

The German U-boats were known as incredibly effective submarines in World War II. However, Japan had the I-400- class.

The submarine was able to hold three floatplane bombers. It could go around the world one and a half times underwater, completely undetected, and was powered by diesel.

Attack on Continental US

Japan used a B1-type sub the I-25 to attack Brookings, Oregon. The sub went out on three missions.

First, it went from Hawaii to the mouth of the Columbia River. Second, the boat did missions in Australia and New Zealand. From the boat, the Yokosuka E14Y over Sydney Harbour and Port Phillip Bay on recon missions.

Warrant Flying Officer Nobou Fujita also flew over Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand. It wasn't until the fourth mission that the sub-launched its attack on the quiet logging town.

Assault on Brookings

The Japanese planned to drop bombs in the heavily forested areas of Oregon and California in an attempt to start forest fires. Fujita carried two 168-pound incendiary bombs.

One bomb hit Mount Emily just east of Brookings. However, it did not amount to the devastation the Japanese were hoping for. The area was wet a d the U.S. Forest Service rapidly responded to the small blaze, putting it out.

The Lookout Air Raid as it was eventually called had very little effect. The I-25 tried a couple of weeks later but had even less of an effect. Some flames popped up but went nowhere.

Post War

After the war, Fujita owned a hardware store close to Tokyo, then went to work at a wire company after the hardware store went bankrupt. Fujita did not speak of his military service.

Fujitawas invited to the town of Brookings in 1962 and brought his 400-year-old samurai sword with him as a apology gift.

He was concerned they would be upset with him, but the people welcomed him with open arms. In 1997, he was made an honorary citizen and his sword is displayed at city hall.

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7 comments on “Only Enemy Pilot Ever To Drop Bombs On US Mainland Given Honorary Citizenship”

  1. I think this is commendable, he was following the orders of his country, and did what he was ordered to. But forgiveness was given and peace prevailed

  2. Forgiving ones enemy is the hardest Christian duty to perform. Yet it is the most necessary. We must forgive as Jesus forgave us. He was crucified so that all mankind after that was allowed forgiveness they need only repent and ask for it. It is our job to try to be like Christ, how can we expect to receive forgiveness unless we are also willing to give it? To enter the gates of heaven there can be no Un-forgiveness in our hearts. Not for one person. This is a beautiful story of Christian practices in action. 

  3. The naval General told the Emperor of Japan that to attack the US was a mistake. He said that you have awakened a sleeping giant.
    How true that was.
    Also the only reason they never tried to come ashore was because of all the armed citizens. They knew that this was our hidden army. You would think that the liberals would at least remember that in their quest to disarm us.

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