Nubuo Fujita dropped two bombs on a ridge above Brookings, Oregon.
It was a September evening off the Brookings, Oregon coast.
Nobuo Fujita strapped himself into the pilot's seat in his floatplane atop the submarine aircraft carrier.
His spotter gave the thumbs up and their craft was catapulted from the sub into the air, eventually rising to several thousand feet as they headed toward the redwood forest on Wheeler Ridge.
Minutes later it was bombs away as they dropped two incendiary devices, intending to start a massive wildfire and divert American manpower from the war.
Forest Service guards heard a plane approaching their fire lookout. “What is going on?” they wondered.
The men heard an explosion and soon saw signs of a fire.
Forest Service Guard Keith Johnson at the bombing site the day after the attack.
They knew they must get to the fire quickly to prevent a disaster. Rain the previous night had dampened the ground. They summoned help and a wildfire was averted.
That was 1942. Fujita was a Japanese pilot aboard the I-25 submarine. His daring raid aboard the Glen was one of several missions by their submarine off the Oregon coast that year.
Sue and I made our way to the bombing site today, driving about 17 miles inland from Brookings, the last 12 on a gravel road that got more treacherous as we traveled. About 15 inches of rain had fallen in a recent storm, making parts of the road a challenge. A few trees had fallen, but the road remained passable.
After parking, we headed up the rustic trail, past a few markers commemorating Fujita's daring raid. After about a half hour, we arrived at the bombing site, marked by a platform overlooking the place where his daughter had scattered some of his remains in 1997.
Nubuo Fujita and his wife visited Brookings in 1962 and he presented his family's 400-year-old samurai sword in an act of friendship to the Brookings mayor.
Small road signs marked the way up the mountain.
There was no sign of other visitors during our drive and trek.
Sue holds back branches so our truck can pass underneath.
The trail headed up steeply, then down the other side to the bombing site.
Somehow, the Japanese attackers launched the plane from their submarine.
A small clearing provided parking near the trailhead.
A marker for the bombing site, as seen from a small deck.
A viewing platform and historical markers commemorate the World War II site.