'When "Over There" Was Here'
(my mom checking out the uniforms)
The Aleutian Island chain was perfect for Japan's military strategy since it bridged the Pacific between there and North America. Unalaska (aka Dutch Harbor) was bombed and the islands of Kiska and Attu were at one time occupied by Japanese troops. The battle to regain Attu had one of the highest percentage of losses in WWII history! It's name: Operation Landcrab. ("Oooooh", you're all thinking, "that's why she's sharing this.")
Americans unloading gear in Massacre Bay
In May 1943, 15,000 Americans went up against 2,500 Japanese soldiers (I've also read it was 17,000 Americans versus 2,380 Japanese men, so I think these are just rough estimates). You can read about the details here (it's really interesting, and an amazing piece of Alaskan history)! All told, only 29 Japanese fighters survived while 1,500 Americans were wounded and 550 soldiers were killed in battle. What added to the devastation of war was the challenging climate that comes with an Aleutian battle site: 1,200 Americans died simply from Attu's climate.
hauling supplies through the snow on Attu
remembering Operation Landcrab