In the late evening of June 21, 1942, the I-25, a  2,369 ton, 354 ft long B1-class submarine with a range of 14,000 nautical miles and a maximum surface speed of 23.5 knots (submerged, 8 knots), used a screen of fishing boats to avoid minefields at the Columbia River bar and cruised off Fort Stevens, Oregon.

The I-25 fired 17 rounds of its 14 cm (5.5 inch) deck gun at the shore without taking aim at any clear target. Fort Stevens’ searchlights were turned on briefly, then doused.  Perhaps because the submarine was considered out of range or due to fear of giving away the exact location of the fort, U.S. artillerymen never received permission to return fire with their 10-inch disappearing guns.

The I-25’s shells fell harmlessly in the sand and scrub brush near the fort’s Battery Russell. A baseball backstop and a power line were damaged, and one soldier cut his head in a fall while rushing to his battle station. At about midnight, firing ceased and the submarine departed.

The attack of the I-25 may have been conceived as retaliation for the April Doolittle raid on Tokyo. Although it caused no significant physical damage, it did serve to heighten civilian anxiety regarding a possible Japanese invasion of the West Coast USA.

See a fictionalized description in my book: Enemy in the Mirror: Love and Fury in the Pacific War