AN AMAZING FACT: Every American knows about the infamous day (December 7, 1941) when Pearl Harbor was attacked, but few people know that the Japanese bombed the American mainland 10 months later. It’s true! The bizarre and daring mission involved using a submarine to penetrate U.S. coastal defenses. Attached to the deck of the submarine was a small hangar containing a partially disassembled seaplane. The plane was designed to drop incendiary bombs on the dry Northwest forests with the intention of causing a massive inferno.
So, on September 9, 1942, a Japanese navy pilot, Nobuo Fujita, and his one assistant, Shoji Okuda, surfaced with the Japanese submarine crew off the North American coast near the border of Oregon and California. After the weather to cleared, the tiny seaplane was quickly assembled and secretly catapulted into the skies. Along with the two 160-pound incendiary bombs, Fujita packed a Samurai sword that had been in his family for 400 years. He reasoned if he was forced down, he would use it to end his life rather than be captured by the enemy. It was a peaceful morning in Brookings, Oregon, when a fisherman heard the sound of a small plane flying overhead. No one dreamed they were in the midst of an air attack. The small plane proceeded east, climbing to 8,000 feet, and dropped its load over a heavily wooded forest, becoming the only foreign enemy to ever bomb the United States mainland. But they didn’t wait around to see what happened. Instead they hurried back to the sanctuary of their sub.
At 4:20 p.m. that day, a forest lookout on Mt. Emily spotted a small blaze involving about seven trees that was easily extinguished. Evidently, the wooded regions in Southern Oregon were still moist because of some unseasonable rains that had fallen a few days before the attack. In 1962, twenty years after the attack, Fujita returned to Brookings and presented the city with his cherished Samurai sword to pledge peace and friendship and to make amends for his attack. The sword was placed in the mayor’s office, where it remains today.
Did you know the Bible speaks of another ancient sword that God has given to mankind? “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword …” (Hebrews 4:12). No earthly sword can protect you like the Bible.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians 6:17