The Aleutian Islands served as the battleground for some of the bloodiest conflicts on American soil since the Civil War. But most people have never heard of the Battle of Attu, the invasion of Kiska, or even the Aleutian campaign. A Japanese filmmaker wants to change that.
In 1942, there were 44 people living on Attu Island, nearly all Alaska Natives. They were taken as captives to Japan, where half of them died. And after the war, the federal government forbade them from returning. In August, a group of 11 descendants finally visited their ancestral home for the first time.
Seventy-five years ago, Japan and the United States were locked in one of the bloodiest battles fought on American soil: the Battle of Attu. In 1943, American troops were streaming into Alaska in preparation for one of the deadliest battles of World War II. One year earlier, Japanese soldiers had bombed Dutch Harbor, seized Attu Island and took the Alaska Native people who lived there as prisoners of war.
Ringed seals — an Arctic species that typically lives far north of the ice-free Aleutian Islands — are showing up.
Now, scientists are monitoring the unusual visitors to find out why they’re near Unalaska..
State troopers have wrapped up a months-long investigation concerning at least one of Unalaska’s elected officials. The case is now under review by the Alaska Office of Special Prosecutions, which will decide whether to pursue criminal charges.