I-25; Wikimedia Commons

I-25; Wikimedia Commons

On September 9, 1942, a  Yokosuka E14Y floatplane, launched from the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-25, dropped two incendiary bombs on the forest near Brookings, Oregon. Although the Japanese intended to start a forest fire, wet weather and alert fire lookouts limited the minimal damage.

I described the launch of the floatplane in my historical fiction novel Enemy in the Mirror: Love and Fury in the Pacific War:

Tanaka descended into the submarine and shortly emerged on the foredeck through a hatch. He pulled on his leather flying cap, pushed the goggles onto his forehead and stepped into the pilot’s seat in front of his observer. He revved the engine several times, pulled his goggles down over his eyes and saluted the bridge.

With a sharp crack and a whoosh, the E14Y airplane was catapulted off the bow of the submarine with its small engine wide open. It flew barely above the water for several minutes, then climbed slowly to an altitude of 150 meters. Soon it reached its maximum speed of 210 kilometers per hour.

Isamu and the Commander trained their binoculars on the airplane as it headed toward the flashing beacon of Cape Blanco. The drone of the 340-horsepower, nine-cylinder engine faded away before the plane flew completely out of sight. Isamu pondered the mission. Revenge for the Doolittle raid?  Perhaps that was an honorable motive. Yet he felt little of the emotion that Tanaka had expressed. On the other hand, he felt proud of the intricate technology that had produced this submersible aircraft and launching mechanism. Quite ingenious. And to strike a real blow, however psychological, against the enemy’s homeland was rather exciting. He was proud to be on the I-25.