An ultra top secret
mission carried out by the Japanese during World War II
. Commissioned in 1942 by Prince Takamatsu (brother to Emperor Hirohito) Nubuo Fujita
(a pilot) and Yukio Okuda (a navigator) were ordered to attack the U.S. mainland. Their goal was to cause forest fire
s that would burn most of America’s Northwest.
A small single engine plane(Uokosuka E14Y1) carrying two 160-pound incendiary bombs.
By early September the sub had reached the coast of Oregon. Fujita was prevented from commencing his attack for several days due to the poor weather. By September 9 conditions where sufficient for the mission. Flying east of Brookings, Fujita ordered Okuda to drop the bombs into the woods. They quickly circled and returned to their waiting submarine. Although the sub has spotted from the air it submerged and escaped sustaining minimal damage.
Only one of the two bombs exploded, which caused a small fire which destroyed seven trees. It was soon put out by two forestry lookouts who had spotted the the fire. The weather that day was apparently not conducive to starting large forest fires.
Fujika’s second attack was on an area east of Port Orford. It was unsuccessful as neither bomb exploded and neither has been found. A third mission was canceled and the submarine returned to Japan.
Okuda was later killed in action during the war in the South Pacific. Fujita flew reconnaissance missions until 1944 and then trained kamikaze pilots. He later went on to become a successful businessman in metal products sales. In 1962 he returned to Brookings as a guest of the city and presented them with his samurai sword as a symbol of peace and friendship. At the age of 78 he returned with his granddaughter to show her the site. In 1997 Fujita died in Japan.
The Site: Trail guides are available at the Chetco Ranger District office in Brookings. The site is about a three hour drive and 3/4-mile hike. I have never gone, but I understand that it is in the middle of nowhere.
Sources: outwestnewspaper.com; womenshistory.com