Japanese Bombing Site Trail #1118

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

NOTE: This site is TEMPORARILY CLOSED due to ongoing removal of hazards following the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire. We appreciate your patience as we work towards making this site safe for public enjoyment!

The Japanese Bomb Site Interpretive Trail provides access to and tells the tail of the Wheeler Ridge Japanese Aerial Bombing Site, the location of the first bombardment by enemy aircraft in the United States. It is one of only such aerial incidents ever to occur on mainland American soil--both of which occurred during World War II. On September 9, 1942, two incediary bombs were dropped from a Japanese floatplane that had been catapulted from a submarine with the intent of starting a wildfire. The bombing was an act to take revence for the American bombing of Tokyo the previous April. Fortunately, due to damp weather, the fire did little damage and was easily extinguished. A small deck on the interpretive trail provides a view of the bomb site, which today, shows little evidence of its history.

The trail passes through the 330-acre Wheeler Creek Research Natural Area, and through some of the only protected coastal redwoods in southwest Oregon.

There is limited parking – park near the intersection of Forest Roads 1205 and 260 and walk to the beginning of the trail on the south side of Forest Road 1205 (about 200 feet from the intersection).

There are several commemorations of this event in and around the town of Brookings. A State Historical Marker is located at the north end of the Chetco Wild and Scenic River Bridge, just off Highway 101 (junction of Highway 101 and Northbank Chetco Wild and Scenic River Road), next to the Botanical Garden. The marker was erected in 1994 to commemorate the unique story behind the bomb site. Additionally, a display and more information about this event can be found at the Chetco Community Public Library, located at 405 Alder Street in Brookings, OR.

At a Glance

Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns:
  • Brookings, OR
  • Crescent City, CA
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.
Information Center: Gold Beach Ranger District

General Information


From Brookings, OR, travel south on Highway 101 and cross the Chetco River Bridge. Turn right immediately after the bridge, onto the South Bank Chetco River road (County Road 808). Continue on South Bank road (which travels through residential areas) until a junction that leads uphill on the right to Forest Road 1205. (Note: There are a few private driveways before reaching the Forest boundary.) Continue on Forest Road 1205 approximately 13 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead is located at the junction of the Forest Roads 1205 and 260.

General Notes:

Trail is not barrier-free.


Parking is limited. It is suggested to park near the intersection of Forest Roads 1205 and 260, and to walk to the trail's beginning (approximately 200 feet).



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  Area/Length : 
1.6 miles round-trip

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
1,200 feet