Nobuo Fujita, a Japanese WWII fighter pilot became an honorary citizen of Brookings, Oregon, 20 years after bombing it.
If you can put aside all the death and violence, from a historical perspective, WWII is one of the most fascinating wars in recent history. The world witnessed events and stories like never before, and one of them is the story of Nobuo Fujita.
While most people remember Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, on December 7, 1941, very few know that the Japs tried to bomb USA once again less than a year later.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) February 1, 2018
In September 1942, Nobuo Fujita, a Warrant Flying Officer of the Imperial Japanese Navy dropped fire bombs over the forests outside of the small town of Brookings, Oregon.
The Japanese Army believed that large wildfires would divert attention and resources, keeping the US government occupied while they executed the rest of their plans.
Even though Fujita managed to drop two bombs, the wildfires never caught on due to wind, rain and quick firefighter response.
Not happy with what he had attempted to do, Nobuo Fujita returned in 1962 to make amends with the people of Brookings.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) January 18, 2018
Not expecting a warm welcome, he took along a samurai sword that had been in his family for more than 400 years. He had planned to commit seppuku, a suicide ritual, had the people of Brookings not forgiven him.
However, to Fujita’s surprise, the people of Brookings had no grudge. They welcomed him with a special reception and a key to the city.
Forming a special relationship with Brookings, he offered to pay the expenses for three teenagers to visit Japan, and donated $1000 to the local library to purchase books about his country.
After he died in 1997, Brookings made Fujita an honorary citizen of the city. A year later his daughter visited the city to perform his dying wish – to have his ashes buried at the site he once tried to bomb.