Nobuo Fujita was a Japanese naval aviator who, in 1942, piloted a floatplane called the “E14Y” (Allied code name “Glen”) on a bombing mission over the mainland United States. The mission took place on September 9, 1942, and the target was the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon.
The mission was part of a more extensive operation called “Tora! Tora! Tora!” which was an attempt by Japan to bomb and destroy American military bases on the West Coast of the United States. Fujita’s mission was a reconnaissance mission intended to assess the damage caused by the bombing and to identify potential targets for future missions.
Fujita and his crew flew from a Japanese submarine, the I-25, which had been launched from the Kuril Islands. They flew over the Pacific Ocean, then over the coast of Oregon, and dropped incendiary bombs on the Siskiyou National Forest. The bombs caused a small fire, but it was quickly put out by local firefighters.
After the mission, Fujita’s plane flew back to the I-25, submerging and sailing away. Fujita’s mission was the only time that bombs were dropped on the mainland United States during World War II.
Fujita would later return to the United States as an emissary of peace, visiting the town of Brookings, Oregon, where the bombing occurred. He met with the mayor, gave a speech, and apologized for the bombing. He also presented the town with a traditional Japanese sword as a gesture of goodwill. He would die in 1997, never giving up his belief in the importance of peace.