In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, the tranquil waters of Pearl Harbor were forever disrupted by the tides of war. But, did you know that the first Japanese attack on the United States occurred in Goleta? Hawaii was not a state at the time of the Pearl Harbor attacks and on February 23, 1942, a Japanese submarine
bombed shelled the Ellwood Oil Field west of Goleta, triggering an invasion scare along the West Coast.
Although only a pumphouse and catwalk at one oil well were damaged, Captain Nishino Kozo radioed Tokyo that he had left Santa Barbara in flames. No casualties were reported and the total cost of the damage was estimated at approximately $750.