The Clatsop County Historical Society's Thursday Night Talk for July will feature an Oregon Chautauqua program by retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer Rick Francona, "Japanese Attacks on Oregon in World War II." This free, public program will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7 in the Edwin K. Parker Gallery of the Heritage Museum, 1618 Exchange St.

Francona, vice president of the Port Orford Heritage Society, brings a piece of Oregon history to life with this lecture and discussion of a well-planned and executed Japanese military operation that ultimately failed. In the summer of 1942, the Japanese Navy submarine I-25 attacked the Oregon Coast on several occasions. In June, it fired on Fort Stevens near Astoria, and in September, it launched two aerial bombing attacks on Curry County - one near Brookings and the other near Port Orford.

These attacks were meant to induce panic among the citizenry and force the U.S. Navy to withdraw the Pacific fleet closer to the coast, thus relieving pressure on the Japanese fleet in the Pacific. They were made possible by Japan's unique submarine-launched aircraft capabilities. While today, such events would be reported instantly around the world, tight secrecy and poor communications at the time have left them largely unknown.

Francona's program is made possible by funding from the Oregon Council for the Humanities, an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. OCH is dedicated to providing opportunities for lifelong learning in communities throughout Oregon. For more information about OCH or Oregon Chautauqua, call Carol E. Hickman at (503) 241-0543.

Thursday Night Talks, or "TNT," is a free monthly lecture series held the first Thursday of each month featuring a variety of topics and speakers. For more information about this event or other Clatsop County Historical Society activities, call (503) 325-2203 or e-mail

The Clatsop County Historical Society is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Clatsop County and the surrounding area. The society operates the Capt. George Flavel House Museum, the Heritage Museum and Research Center and the Uppertown Firefighters Museum.


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