Brookings takes a peculiar pride in having been bombed by the Japanese during World War II. In 1942, two incendiary bombs were dropped about 16 miles east of town on the slopes of Mount Emily. Although they were intended to start a fire, conditions were wet and the small fire that resulted was easily controlled.
A sort of mutual respect eventually developed between the Japanese pilot who dropped the bomb and the town of Brookings. The pilot was a guest of honor at one Azalea Festival, and his family later presented the town with his samurai sword, which he wore during the bombing and throughout the war. The sword is now on exhibit at the local library (420 Alder St.).
The Mount Emily Bombsite Trail commemorates the bombing. It’s a two-mile stretch with redwoods near the beginning and fire-dependent species such as knobcone pine and manzanita along the way.
Getting to the Mount Emily Bombsite Trail
To reach the Mount Emily Bombsite Trail, head eight miles east up South Bank Road and turn right onto Mount Emily Road. At the fork, turn onto Wheeler Creek Road and follow the signs.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel