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Japanese Pilot Nobuo Fujita Dies

October 1, 1997

TOKYO (AP) _ Nobuo Fujita, the only Japanese pilot to drop a bomb on the U.S. mainland during World War II, has died, a family member said today. He was 85.

Fujita died Tuesday of lung cancer, his granddaughter, Mina Yanagihashi, said from his home in the city of Tsuchiura, northeast of Tokyo.

Flying a small reconnaissance plane from a surfaced submarine off the U.S. West Coast in September 1942, Fujita dropped the bomb outside Brookings, Ore., with the intention of starting a forest fire, Japanese media reported.

In 1962, Fujita was invited to visit Brookings, where he was praised for his bravery, Kyodo News agency reported.

Fujita later invited American youngsters to Japan and worked through other exchanges to deepen relations between the two former enemies.

Fujita’s family members told the Mainichi newspaper that Fujita was happy about serving as ``a bridge between Japan and America.″

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