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The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS -

Ob­vi­ously, I know that much of Europe was dev­as­tated by bombs dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

How­ever, I’ve al­ways been in­trigued to know if the United States suf­fered from a Ja­panese bomb­ing cam­paign? – E.

The Ja­panese at­tack on Pearl Har­bor, on De­cem­ber 7, 1941, “a date which will live in in­famy” as Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt called it, took place on Hawaii, al­most 2,500 miles from the US main­land.

As the US was so far from Ja­pan, only one man ever man­aged to bomb the USA, Nobuo Fu­jita.

He was a pi­lot in the Im­pe­rial Ja­panese Navy and, on Septem­ber 9, 1942, flew a float­plane from the lon­grange sub­ma­rine air­craft car­rier I-25.

His mis­sion was to drop in­cen­di­ary bombs, to start mas­sive for­est fires in the Pa­cific North­west near the city of Brook­ings, Ore­gon. The ob­jec­tive was to draw the US mil­i­tary’s re­sources away from the Pa­cific The­atre.

Fu­jita com­pleted his mis­sion, how­ever, the ord­nance only started a few fires, which for­est rangers quickly ex­tin­guished.

Twenty years later, Fu­jita was in­vited to Brook­ings by the lo­cal com­mu­nity and he gave them his fam­ily’s 400-year-old katana, a sword, as a mark of friend­ship.

He later said he in­tended to use it to com­mit harakiri, rit­ual sui­cide, if he re­ceived a hos­tile re­cep­tion.

Thank­fully, the peo­ple of Brook­ings wel­comed him and he went on to re­turn sev­eral times, set­ting up an ex­change pro­gramme for Ja­panese and Amer­i­can stu­dents.

He died in 2005 and some of his ashes were scat­tered in Brook­ings, the town he once bombed.

Dur­ing the war, my brother was co-driver in a Churchill tank. His wire­less oper­a­tor was Wil­lie Pa­ton, who went on to play for Rangers. Can you tell me more about him? – M.

Wil­lie was part of the Rangers team of the late 1940s who be­came known as the Iron Cur­tain, thanks to their solid de­fence.

He won two league ti­tles, a Scot­tish Cup and a Scot­tish League cup at Ibrox be­fore mov­ing on to Ayr United and retiring from foot­ball in 1962. There’s a big drugs trial go­ing on in Amer­ica just now where a man, known as “El Chapo” is accused of be­ing leader of a drugs car­tel. But what does El Chapo mean? – R.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guz­man is on trial in New York, accused of a num­ber of crimes, in­clud­ing money laun­der­ing and mur­der con­spir­acy.

Guz­man is only 5ft 6ins, and his nick­name means “Shorty”.

Nobuo Fu­jita presents his cer­e­mo­nial katana to the mayor of Brook­ings

El Chapo

Foot­baller Wil­lie Pa­ton

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