Nobuo Fujita, a pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the WWII, is known for having conducted the only wartime aircraft-dropped bombing on the continental United States. However in the years that followed, Fujita’s relationship with the U.S. changed from one of war to one of peace.
Fujita flew a floatplane from the long-range submarine aircraft carrier I-25. Using incendiary bombs, his mission was to start massive forest fires in the Pacific Northwest near the city of Brookings, Oregon with the objective of drawing the U.S. military’s resources away from the Pacific Theater. The bomb caused a small fire which Forest Rangers quickly extinguished.
On September 9, 1962, the 20th anniversary of the historic bombing, Fujita was invited to Brookings, and during this visit he presented the town his family’s 400-year-old Samurai sword in a gesture of friendship. Fujita returned to Brookings a number of times since his first visit—to plant trees.
Today the sword is displayed in the Brooking’s Public Library, accompanied by a plaque describing Fujita as “the only enemy to bomb the U.S. from the air” and says that the sword was offered “in the interest of peace and friendship.”
Update as of July 2021: Currently closed for renovations with plans to reopen in 2o22.
Know Before You Go
The sword and plaque are in the Brooking's Public Library so make sure to visit during hours of operation. The display is located on the back wall and to the right.