Nabuo Fujita Bombed An Oregon Forest, Then Returned To Ask For Forgiveness
The I-25 submarine was a built by the Imperial Japanese Navy and it featured a surprise that even submarines today don’t have: retrievable folding airplanes. The 1-25 was a Japanese B-1 type submarine with a complement of 95 men, and an armamentarium of 17 torpedoes, one 140mm naval gun, and on Yokosuka E14Y seaplane. The Allies called the plane The Glen. The I-25 had a range of about 16,000 miles.
On September 9th, 1942, the I-25 surfaced off the western coast of Oregon near Cape Banco. Commander Meiji Tagami ordered his crew to deploy the Yokosuka ‘Glen’ armed with two 168 pound incendiary bombs. Warrant Officer Nabuo Fujita flew the aircraft under the cover of darkness and crossed over dry land. United States Fire Service officer Howard Gardner spotted the plane from an observation point on Mt. Siskayou and saw smoke plume upwards from Mt. Emily near Brookings, Oregon. He and an associate hiked into the forest and found the strike zone. Wey weather and low winds allowed the two men to contain the fire.
The Yokosuka Glen
Fragments of the incendiary bomb were discovered by the FBI. IN the aftermath of the war, when Ronald Reagan was president, Nabuo was invited to visit Brookings, Oregon. Once he was promised that he would not be charged with war crimes, he made several trips over the year. He even took his family’s 400 year-old Samurai sword and gave it to be displayed as a symbol of his regret. Fujita even once acted as grand marshal of the Azalea Festival. He planted a tree at the site of the bombing, received a letter of dedication from the president. After he died in 1997, his daughter planted some of his ashes at the bomb site.