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Battle of the Aleutian Islands: Recapturing Attu

6/12/2006 • World War II

In his classic History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Navy Lieutenant Commander Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that the Aleutian Islands campaign could well have been labeled the ‘Theater of Military Frustration.’ This phrase aptly describes the American effort to retake the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese in 1943. It was a campaign handicapped not only by the island’s fanatical defenders and the bitter Alaskan cold but also by the many miscalculations made by the Army itself. Yet this important campaign to take back U.S. soil, which witnessed the first American amphibious assault in the North Pacific as well as one of the first Japanese banzai attacks of the war, has been pushed into the background by many historians. Such obscurity is unwarranted, and an injustice to those soldiers who fought against extremely difficult odds to place the Aleutian Islands firmly back into Allied hands.

Attu is the westernmost island of the Aleutians, a chain of some 70 islands stretching 1,700 miles from the southwest coast of Alaska and reaching out to within 650 miles of the Kurile Islands. Since purchasing the Aleutians from Russia in 1867, the United States had done little to develop the area, and most of the islands had not even been fully mapped. As a result of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, the United States pledged not to construct any naval fortifications on the islands, a promise that it quickly revoked after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

By spring of 1942, there were 45,000 American servicemen in Alaska, 13,000 of whom were stationed on the partially fortified islands of Unalaska and Umnak. The only heavy fortifications were at Dutch Harbor, but even these were defended by a relatively small force.

In early June 1942, during the Battle of Midway, a Japanese carrier force staged a diversionary attack on Dutch Harbor. Although damaging, the raid failed to divert American carriers from Midway, resulting in a decisive U.S. naval victory there. On the way back to base, however, Vice Adm. Boshiro Hosogaya, commander of the Northern Area Force, ordered Rear Adm. Sentaro Omori to occupy Agattu, Kiska and Attu islands.

As it was American soil, the enemy presence in the western Aleutians was a source of embarrassment and discomfort to the U.S. government. It also brought several theoretical advantages to Japan. Although intense Arctic storms and fog around the islands made any attempt to use the Aleutians as a bridge to the Alaskan coast difficult, a gradual Japanese incursion onto the North American continent was not impossible. The islands also threatened vital shipping lanes between Seattle and parts of the Soviet Union. Finally, and perhaps most important, Japanese presence in the Aleutians meant that the airspace over the Home Islands might be relatively free of major U.S. bombing efforts.

Shortly after landing, the Japanese withdrew from Agattu and began building airstrips on Kiska. American troops landed on the island of Adak about 210 miles east of Kiska, and built two air bases there. They also occupied the island of Amchitka about 60 miles east of Kiska, although airstrip construction was nearly impossible due to weather and terrain.Because operations in the Central Pacific were of higher priority, American plans for the recapture of Kiska and Attu were shelved for months. By early 1943, however, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided that it was time to dislodge the Japanese from the Aleutians once and for all. Attu was chosen as the first objective, since reconnaissance seemed to show that is was less heavily fortified than Kiska. After Attu was taken, the plan was for troops from that island and Amchitka to jointly invade Kiska.

The unit chosen to make the landing for what was code-named ‘Operation Sandcrab’ was the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Albert E. Brown. The ‘Hourglass’ Division had been reactivated at Fort Ord, Calif., in the summer of 1940 as a motorized infantry division. Following its reactivation, the unit had gone through extensive training in the Mojave Desert in preparation for service against the Italians and Germans in North Africa.

In January 1943, after the Allied landings in North Africa, military commanders determined that there was no longer a need for the 7th’s services in that theater. The division then began amphibious training on the beaches around Fort Ord. Unfortunately, the comparatively mild climate found along the California coast did little to prepare the men for the dense fog and bone-chilling cold of Attu.

When the 11,000 men of the 7th were loaded onto transport vessels in late April 1943, many of the troops believed they were going to Hawaii. This seemed plausible, since most of the soldiers were wearing summer uniforms. The quartermaster general had intended that special winter clothing be issued to the troops participating in the invasion. But the order was rescinded because it was thought that the extra weight of winter uniforms might slow the men down. Although some soldiers were issued special equipment just before the landings, most 7th Division GIs reached Attu in inadequate clothing.

The convoy arrived at Cold Harbor, at the eastern end of the Aleutians, on April 30. Due to bad weather, the ships stayed in anchorage until May 4, then headed west. Since a gale was pounding Attu at that time, the assault was postponed until May 9, and the convoy took off for the Bering Sea to avoid enemy detection.

Japanese submarines operating around Cold Harbor, however, had seen the convoy and had relayed the intelligence to the garrisons on Kiska and Attu. The Attu garrison was put on alert on May 3, and for six days the men stayed in their battle positions. By May 9, it looked as if no invasion was coming, so the alert was called off. The next day, the U.S. convoy left the Bering Sea and arrived offshore of Attu, unaware of its good fortune.

The Japanese forces on Attu were commanded by Colonel Yasuyo Yamazaki, whose garrison consisted of the 303rd Independent Infantry Battalion, along with engineer, artillery, mountain artillery and service troops. The Japanese were well dug-in, and were supplied with fur-lined uniforms and boots, kerosene stoves and sake. Initial American estimates of enemy strength were set at about 500, although this was later increased to 1,500.

Preinvasion reconnaissance had shown that the Japanese were concentrated around Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor in the north and Massacre Bay in the south. Therefore, two landings were planned. The Northern Force, commanded by Lt. Col. Albert Hartl, consisted of the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, and its attached artillery and auxiliary units. The Northern Force’s objective was to secure Holtz Bay and a valley lying to the southwest.

The Southern Force was the larger of the two and was commanded by Colonel Edward Earle. The force comprised the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 17th Infantry; the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry; and field artillery and auxiliary units. After landing at Massacre Bay, the Southern Force was to go up Massacre Valley, take Clevesy and Jarmin passes, hook up with the Northern Force at Holtz Bay and then destroy the enemy at Chichagof Harbor. The 1st and 3rd battalions, 32nd Infantry, along with some field artillery troops, were to stay on the transports as reserves.

Although the U.S. convoy included three battleships, destroyers and an escort carrier, to retain the element of surprise no preinvasion naval bombardment was ordered. Consequently, when the bulk of the Northern Force landed just west of Holtz Bay at 4:15 p.m. on May 11, the troops encountered no opposition. At 6:30 p.m. the force began moving toward its first objective, a series of small hill peaks collectively known as Hill X, located on the shelf west of Holtz Bay. The hill controlled the western arm of the bay. The first peak of the hill mass was only 800 yards to the south, there was still plenty of daylight left, and while it was foggy, the fog was very thin.

Yet soon after the Northern Force started moving, it came into contact with four Japanese soldiers who were manning a beach defense site. The force killed two, but the other two managed to escape to their main camp. Not much later, Japanese anti-aircraft batteries around Holtz Bay opened up on the beach. Having already moved inland, the Americans took no casualties, but the Northern Force’s advance was halted. Approaching nightfall, coupled with the lack of proper maps, persuaded Colonel Hartl to halt his men and have them dig into the soft, wet Aleutian muskeg.

Down at Massacre Bay, intense coastal fog forced postponement of the Southern Force’s landings from 7:40 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. When the landing craft finally came ashore, the weather had turned sunny and warm. Although the American landing was unopposed, the artillerymen found that moving their guns across the mucky muskeg was extremely difficult. Finally the gunners were forced to emplace their 105mm howitzers only 75 yards from the beach.

By 5:30 p.m., the Southern Force had begun its advance through Massacre Valley, a wide, gradually rising valley flanked by high ridges. The plan was to advance north for three miles, proceed through Clevesy and Jarmin passes, and join up with the Northern Force at Holtz Bay.

Although fog enshrouded the ridges around Massacre Valley, the valley floor was clear, and American troops advanced easily for about a mile. When the lead companies were well into the valley, however, Japanese soldiers hidden on the ridges opened fire with machine guns and mortars and rapidly mowed down GIs who tried to run for cover; other Americans twisted ankles in potholes in the muskeg and fell. As the advance bogged down, General Brown and his headquarters staff came ashore at Massacre Bay.

While the GIs received support from the 105mm guns back on the beach, naval bombardment was impossible because of the thick fog. With nightfall approaching, the two U.S. battalions tried to dig in around a small ridge that bisected the valley. Some soldiers, unable to find cover, lay down in the mud or crouched behind stream banks in the valley.

In the long daylight and short nights of spring in the Aleutians, evening on Attu began after 10 p.m. and ended just after 1 a.m. Although brief, the night was bitter for both the Northern and Southern forces. The Americans froze in their lightweight uniforms, while the Japanese, bundled in fur-lined coats, huddled around their kerosene stoves. Some of the GIs who had spent the night on the floor of Massacre Valley were later found frozen stiff, having burned the stocks of their rifles in a futile attempt to keep warm.

May 12 dawned with the Southern Force still under enemy fire. Supporting U.S. artillery on the beach shelled suspected enemy positions for 40 minutes, then the Americans attacked nearby Jarmin Pass in an attempt to link up with the Northern Force. Their advance ran into heavy fire, most of it coming from the nearby Black and Cold mountains to the north. Further bombardment by the U.S. Navy did little to displace the Japanese, who thwarted a second American assault. When Colonel Earle went forward to see what was holding up the men, the Southern Force commander was killed by a sniper.

With little progress being made, Brown brought in additional manpower. Even reinforced with the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, the Southern Force spent four unsuccessful days trying to destroy the Japanese emplacements that surrounded Jarmin Pass. Artillery fire did little but leave craters in the snow, while three Navy fighters attempting to bomb Japanese positions crashed as a result of heavy winds. Movement was only a few yards per hour, with men holding on to the jackets or cartridge belts of the men to their front in order not to be separated. On the evening of the 14th, a frustrated Brown reported to higher headquarters that ‘progress through passes will, unless we are extremely lucky, be slow and costly, and will require troops in excess to those now available to new command.’

Meanwhile, on the morning of May 12, the Northern Force suffered its first casualties. While moving south down the western arm of Holtz Bay, one company of Americans began to climb up a small hill in an effort to secure the nearby ridge. As the men entered a gully, they were fired upon by enemy troops who had occupied the ridge only the night before. For 12 hours the company was pinned down by Japanese machine guns, mortars and artillery. Two other companies, supported by artillery and close air support, vainly tried to eliminate the Japanese. It was not until 5 p.m., however, after a massive naval bombardment, that the Americans began to slowly advance, eventually taking the ridge and forcing the enemy down the far side. The Japanese quickly turned and counterattacked. As they advanced, their artillery fire fell indiscriminately on friend and foe alike. In a fierce battle that lasted only about 20 minutes, the Americans staved off the Japanese and took firm control of the ridge thereafter known as Bloody Point.

The next day, the Northern Force was reinforced by the 3rd Battalion, 32nd Infantry, and a battery of coast artillery. This addition was soon further augmented by the 4th Infantry Regiment, which had arrived from Adak Island. American commanders then resumed their attack to clear out a Japanese camp south of Holtz Bay.

When the Americans reached the camp on May 15, however, the enemy had already sneaked away in the fog and moved to a ridge that separated the western and eastern arms of the bay. As the GIs moved down the western arm, U.S. fighter pilots sent to strike the new Japanese positions mistook the advancing Americans for enemy soldiers and proceeded to bomb and strafe them. This tragic misidentification resulted in numerous casualties and delayed the advance for two hours.

Finally, an American rifle platoon managed to fight its way to the ridge’s highest point. No sooner had GIs secured the position than they were attacked by about 45 Japanese, led by a saber-wielding officer. The Americans quickly cut down the attackers and completed their occupation of the ridge.

The Northern Force now overlooked Holtz Bay, and as soon as heavy weapons were brought up to Bloody Point, all Japanese positions on the rest of the ridge could be destroyed. Doing so would free the Southern Force, still pinned down in Massacre Valley, and allow it to link up with the Northern Force at Clevesy and Jarmin passes.

Despite this success, Brown’s superiors had grown impatient with the 7th’s slow progress and the general’s continued call for additional reinforcements. On the 16th Brown was replaced by Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum.

Realizing the predicament that his troops were now in, Colonel Yamazaki quietly withdrew them from Jarmin Pass early on the morning of May 17. He placed most of his soldiers at the Chichagof Harbor defenses, but he also reinforced some of his positions around Clevesy Pass, which was the principal route to the harbor. The next day the two American forces linked up at Jarmin Pass.

The west flank of Clevesy Pass, leading to mountain peaks overlooking Chichagof Bay, was dominated by Cold Mountain. The east flank, which led to the Sarana Valley, was overlooked by Engineer Hill and an escarpment named Point Able. All these positions were occupied by the Japanese, and the Americans spent the next four days trying to take them.

The first attacks against Point Able and Cold Mountain, led by the 32nd and 17th infantries, respectively, were stopped by enemy machine guns. The second assault on Cold Mountain was preceded by heavy artillery fire. The Americans swiftly wiped out a series of Japanese positions along the lower edges of the mountain, but were soon stopped by heavy Japanese fire.In the meantime, a company of the 17th Infantry had managed to secure a high point within Clevesy Pass, thanks in part to a smoke screen laid down before the assault. Thinking it was poison gas, the Japanese either donned masks or fled from their positions. Those who remained did not begin returning fire until the Americans had occupied that section of the pass.

From their newly won position, two platoons of Americans were able to seize the closest enemy position on Engineer Hill. While Japanese soldiers farther up the hill fired down on the two platoons, U.S. artillery pounded the enemy positions, spraying shell fragments over the heads of American soldiers, but also blowing the Japanese out of their trenches. Despite continued artillery support, the Americans came under increasing enemy fire and were unable to move farther up Cold Mountain.

By the afternoon of May 19, companies from the 17th and 32nd regiments had begun a slow ascent up the snowy slope of Cold Mountain. Despite heavy fire from above, the Americans gradually moved up the slope that faced Massacre Valley. The Japanese attempted to stay in their holes, but the GIs ousted them using grenades and bayonets. American attempts to reach the north side of the mountain, however, were held up until high explosives and smoke rounds were fired into the enemy positions. Again mistaking the smoke for gas, the Japanese were either killed while putting on their masks or simply fled toward Chichagof Harbor.

Just before the peak of Cold Mountain was finally taken on the morning of May 20, the Americans on Engineer Hill were able to directly assault the northern slopes. The last obstacle, Point Able, was slowly climbed by companies of the 32nd Infantry just after Engineer Hill was taken. The snow was thick, the cold bitter and the night so bright that soldiers silhouetted against the whiteness could be seen for 200 yards.

As the Americans reached the lower positions of the enemy strongpoint, the Japanese lobbed grenades down the hill, their explosions mingling with the flat crack of small arms. The Americans found cover among some rock outcroppings while a Japanese officer yelled insults at them in English. Following a few moments of chaos, more GIs reached the strongpoint and destroyed it. After a mortar section chief directed fire at the crest of the peak, the Americans secured Point Able on the morning of May 22. The last Japanese defender, after killing two Americans, hurled himself off the peak, screaming.While the final assaults on Cold Mountain and Point Able were being made, the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry, along with the 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry, cleared the ridges surrounding the entrance of Chichagof Valley.

Also on May 22, the Americans began pushing the Japanese closer to Chichagof Harbor. The two ridges leading to the harbor, Fish Hook and Buffalo, contained numerous Japanese defensive positions, most of which had to be cleared out by machine guns and grenades. American advances were slow, supplies often ran low and casualties from gunfire and weather were high.Often the leadership of individual enlisted men helped push U.S. troops ahead. Such a leader was a Pfc Barnett of the 4th Infantry. While the rest of his outfit struggled slowly down a muddy hill studded with Japanese, Barnett managed to slide and walk down the hill, lobbing grenades and firing into a nearby trench system. His company began to follow him, but by the time the rest of the men had caught up, Barnett had killed all 47 enemy soldiers who had held the position.

It was also on Fish Hook Ridge that Pfc Joe P. Martinez made his mark. The 32nd Infantry Regiment GI saw his battalion pinned down twice by the Japanese on May 26, and twice he got to his feet and took action. Cradling his BAR, Martinez advanced through a hail of enemy fire and coolly emptied his weapon into Japanese foxholes, reloading as he went. The men of his company followed Martinez as he led two assaults. It was only as he approached one final foxhole after the second assault that Martinez was shot in the head, dying of the wound the following day. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery.

By May 28, the Japanese had been pushed back into a small corner of Chichagof Harbor. The 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry, along with one company of the 32nd, was positioned close enough to the Japanese to thwart any attempted withdrawal. Other U.S. units secured various valleys and passes, although Chichagof Valley itself was thinly occupied.

On the 28th, all American commanders were notified of a pending attack against the enemy to begin no later than 5 a.m. the next day. All able-bodied men were ordered to leave the aid stations and on-ship hospitals and return to their outfits for what was meant to be the final American push. The fate of the Japanese seemed sealed.

Colonel Yamazaki, however, had plans of his own. Rather than withdraw into a nearby harbor that provided better defenses but could not easily be reached by supply ships, he decided to counterattack. From Chichagof Harbor, he would have his remaining men, who numbered about 1,000, sweep down through lightly defended Chichagof Valley. His soldiers would then go on to reoccupy Point Able and Clevesy Pass, then take over the artillery in Massacre Valley. If the attack succeeded, the Japanese could then hold down the GIs in the valley, cut off the main American supply line and wait for help from the Kuriles.

On the evening of May 28, a small American patrol from the 17th Infantry penetrated Japanese lines, seeking any information that might help the impending U.S. attack. When the patrol got about 500 yards into enemy territory, the GIs could hardly believe what they saw–groups of frenzied Japanese jumping up and down, yelling at the top of their lungs and guzzling bottles of sake. They were dispatching their own wounded, either through morphine injections or self-inflicted pistol shots.

When the patrol returned to American lines, its members could not recall the password and almost were shot by their own troops. Then one man started yelling, ‘Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, Joe DiMaggio,’ and the patrol was allowed to pass through.

The leader of the patrol, Tech. 5 Lee J. Bartoletti, reported what he had seen. His lieutenant shrugged off the information, but Bartoletti began to crawl from foxhole to foxhole, warning the men in his company that a Japanese attack was coming. Bartoletti’s was the only warning the GIs would receive before coming under one of the largest Japanese banzai charges of the war.

At about 3:30 a.m., a thousand screaming Japanese soldiers came running through the bivouac area of the 32nd Infantry. They carried rifles, grenades, even bayonets attached to sticks. The Americans, who had been ordered a few minutes earlier to leave their positions and have a hot meal at a regimental kitchen, were caught totally off guard. Some found cover on high ground, but many were overrun by the enemy. Much of the ensuing combat was hand to hand, and gunfire and screams rang throughout the valley. But the darkness kept the rest of the American troops unaware of what was happening.

After the main Japanese assault began, diversionary forces attacked the 17th Infantry in Chichagof Valley. Screaming ‘We’ll drink your blood,’ the Japanese butchered any GIs they could get their hands on. The main body of Japanese then stormed into the lower valley, where an American aid station was set up. They swept through the station, slashing the tent ropes and killing the wounded, who were trapped in their sleeping bags by the fallen canvas.

When they had finished destroying the aid station, the main Japanese force headed down toward Clevesy Pass, occupied mostly by engineer, medical and artillery troops. The only warning these troops had came from retreating GIs shouting, ‘The Japs are coming!’

Several groups of screaming Japanese, led by Yamazaki himself, hurled themselves at a detachment of artillerymen. With small arms and two heavy machine guns, the Americans fought them off, killing many. The engineer companies also managed to mount a hasty defense, while the cooks and bulldozer drivers grabbed a few automatic weapons from retreating infantrymen and proceeded to further decimate the enemy.

As Japanese numbers dwindled, they became disorganized and began to run off in different directions. They also stopped killing Americans and began killing themselves with grenades.

When the fighting was over, Chichagof and Sarana valleys looked like dug-up graveyards, with dead Americans and Japanese littered everywhere. Some wounded GIs could still be heard calling out to their mothers, or to God. The ghastly sight caused a chaplain of the 7th to exclaim, ‘I am glad they’re [the Japanese] dead, really glad….How can I go back to my church when I’ve got it in me to be glad men are dead?’

Although the last big battle was over, American patrols continued to search out and destroy isolated pockets of resistance. Most of the last Japanese defenders fought to the death, as Americans made no attempts to take prisoners. But one Japanese soldier clearly realized that neither continuing to fight nor taking his own life was worth the effort. Bundling himself up in the same Japanese uniform that some GIs were now wearing to keep warm, he managed to get into an American chow line. He might have actually gotten a hot meal had he not turned around and asked the man behind him how the Brooklyn Dodgers were doing. At least he left the island as a prisoner, instead of remaining as a corpse.

By the evening of May 31, the island was fully in American hands, but at a terrible price for both sides. Out of the Japanese defenders, 2,351 were killed and only 29 were taken prisoner. The American figures were 549 killed, 1,148 wounded and about 2,100 listed as casualties from exposure, trench foot and shock.

The subsequent campaign to retake Kiska, which was to involve 34,000 U.S. and Canadian troops, never got past the landings. Unknown to the Americans, the Japanese had come to realize the uselessness of defending such remote positions of minor importance in the overall struggle. When the first Allied units reached the beaches on August 15, 1943, they discovered that the island was defended by four dogs and the corpse of a Japanese soldier. Just three weeks earlier, the 5,000-man garrison occupying the island had been loaded onto transports and had headed back to Japan.


This article was written by Lee F. Bartoletti and originally appeared in the November 2003 issue of World War II. For more great articles subscribe to World War II magazine today!

230 Responses to Battle of the Aleutian Islands: Recapturing Attu

  1. Sheri (Hildebrand) Soukup says:

    My father, Lester Hildebrand, fought in this battle at Attu,as part of the 32nd Infantry. He seldom talked about this, but these were his thoughts. He said the soldiers thought they were headed for the Pacific, and nearly froze to death because they did not have coats or boots. He said they “found” Japanese clothing and that is the reason they survived. He said at every hill they came to they risked their lives. Their commanders said to just make a run for it when they felt lucky! He told me that he learned that men’s beards grew after they died. He said they would bury men clean shaven, and when they returned to pick them up, they had beards. Dad said that he and many other soldiers were trapped in an area surrounded by rocks. Bullets were ricochetting off of the rock and hitting all of the soldiers. He said he knelt down and wondered why they were all injured and he wasn’t. He said it made him believe God was watching over him. One of his buddies was shot and begged him to take him with him. Dad said the man was a large man, and there was no way he could carry the man and run from the gunfire. That always bothered him. He hated the Japanese his entire life. He couldn’t believe how they would never surrender. The American solders were forced to kill them.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      And know now too, Sheri that our government allowed the Japanese government to place one of their memorials atop Engineer Hill.

      The greatest insult this memorial represents is that in all reality it could very well sit on the very ground where one or more of our boys were killed in action on 29 May 1943. Veterans always consider the very spot where a man is killed to be sacred “Hallowed Ground” to never be decimated in any way. This memorial is insulting and totally inappropriate in its location. I’ve tried and a veteran of Attu, Bill Jones had tried for many years to have the memorial removed from this location but the Dept of the Interior refuses to redress our grievance. This memorial where it now stands constitutes a National Disgrace of the highest order!

  2. todd goff says:

    My grandfather fought in the aleutian islands and told me about it when I was younger. He said he saw a japanese soldier on a mountain about a mile or two away and raised his rifle and took a shot at him and got him. He also told about how cold the weather was and how hard it was to get around. I don’t know much else about this battle, but would like to find out all that I can. Sad to say but we are probably going to lose grandaddy in the next day or two.

    • Gary Johnson says:

      Sounds like eh was pulling your leg, average rifle wasn’t lethal at a mile – much less two! “When world war 2 begun, most soldiers were equipped with bolt-action rifles. A 19th century technology, these rifles were powerful and very accurate weapons, effective to a long range of over half a mile”

      • DrocOhio says:

        “There I was…up to my a$$hole in grenade pins and MRE heaters…” Perhaps not pulling your leg, but we vets know that a story, like a fine wine, only gets better with time.

    • George Guzman says:

      so it was a great shot! from a long ways away,maybe not from two miles.
      still a great shot!

    • George Guzman says:

      I heard of a group of aluetian Islanders also helped a lot of the
      soldiers adapt and lead them into battle.

  3. Barbara Lyerla says:

    My father William G Lamb served in the Aleutian Islands from 1942-1945. He never talked about his years of service there, but I have a picture of him squatting down with the army hut behind hom that looks like a half a huge can and the snow was half way up the side of it. I also have a picture of him sitting on a seat of a big long barreled gun (?I think it’s a howitzer?) with another soldier on the left side of it pointing down the barrel of the gun & my dad and another soldier standng on
    the right side of the gun as if they were looking down the barrel of the gun at where the man on the left was pointing to. If my dad tlked of the war, I don’t remember it. But from the stories I’ve read, the cold and treacherous traveling on the ice with all the equipment and guns was very hard and dangerous for our servicement who were a long was from home in a very cold and treacherous part of the war.

    • dudley kindrick says:

      Sounds like your father may have known my father. Prior to being shipped out he was in california. Monterrey, san louis obispo. Maneuvers in the desert and to oregon or washington. Would like to see your pics

  4. Dudley kindrick says:

    My father Raybon Kindrick was also there in the 31st field artillery which I
    think was assigned with the 7th division. From there they went to
    Hawaii, Kwajelein the solomon is and phillippines. I do not think any of
    it was good times.

  5. richard fusilier says:

    My high school friend , in the marines, was killed on Attu. Ghis account
    mentions no U.S. marines.?

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Richards,

      If you should come back to this web site sometime, the Battle for Attu, 11-29 May 1943 was an army operation only.

      Your friend, our hero, lost his life (for our freedoms) on some other Pacific Island. God Bless Him and all those who fought for us in WWII.

      • Marcus Clarke says:

        I have just come across a bunch of photo’s from my fathers things. All from the Aleutian Islands from WW2 where he was stationed. He was a t/4 Battery D 210th Calvary campaign GO #33. Wondering if you might make some sense of this for me. I’ve looked everywhere and it appears you have some knowledge of these things. Thank you…Marcus Clarke

      • Kim Byars says:

        Mr. Clark,
        Would you be willing to share your photographs? My dad, Jewell Gilliam, was also in the Calvary but he would never talk about the battle and he passed away in 2008. I would give anything to see what it was like through the lens of somebody who was there.
        Please email any pictures or information
        Kind Regards
        Kim Byars

      • Mark Wilton says:

        My father was a Marine who fought in WWII during this time frame and I recently looked at his discharge papers and Attu Island is listed under battles and skirmishes that he was part of.

    • Gary Lee says:

      Go to this page and there is a list of all the KIA on Attu.

      Hope you find what you are looking for.

      There were for sure Marines at Dutch Harbor on June 3.
      Sounds like they were there as a detachment of the Marine Defense Force
      4 officers, 126 enlisted.

  6. Charles Thomson says:

    Robert p. McAmiss, my grandfather was 19 years old when he was sent from Fort Ord Ca. to fight at Atu.

    After taking the beach, his unit engaged the Japanese who had dug trenches and tunnels.

    US gun boats shelled the Japanese positions but missed. My grandfather was one of only two survivors who were hit by this US friendly fire.

    After being critical injured he was injected with morphine and left to die. He finally received the Purple heart 30 years later. He had pieces of shrapnel in his body until his death.

    He used to talk about this all the time. Looking back, I understand now that he felt a deep sense of betrayal on the part of his commanders. I wish I had listened to him more when he was still around.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Charles,
      My grandfather was also in this battle and had a few artifacts as well as a purple heart. I was wondering if we could correspond a bit through E-mail about a few things- I am writing a history research paper on the topic. My email is

  7. John W Casey says:

    My husband was on the landing of Massacre Bay on Attu on D-Day 1942. He landed with the 17th Inf Battalion and he was in the 7th inf Division. We have been reading your articles.
    I want to visit Attu with my husband and some of the other landings he participated in the South Pacific. He keeps telling me there would not be any place near Attu where we would find lodging.
    He will be 93 in July of this year and in excellent health. We want to travel back into time if possible.
    Are there any books that relate only to Attu that can be purchased?

    He made the initial D-Day landings at Kwajalein, Leyte and Okinawa. We want to start our trip in Attu and work our way down.

    Is there any information you could give us as to our plans?

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Frances N. Casey

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Frances,

      If you have not made a visit to Attu at this point, please know that the USCG LORAN STATION closed down in July 2010. They could have provided limited accomodations for you.

      Now, you must contact the U.S.FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (U.S.Dept of the Interior) IN ANCHORAGE FOR VISIT INFORMATION.

      I am currently writing a book only about Attu and I hope to have it completed by the end of 2011. Its title is “The 7th of June”. Please be on the look out for it. I only pray to God that I do right for all the heroes of Attu.

      • Ed Nielsen says:

        My Father, Ray Nielsen landed at Massacre Bay; he was a platoon sergeant in F Company, 17th Infantry, 3rd Batallion. I have many pictures of Attu, and of San Fran Bay as they were leaving to make the trip up there. I also have a picture of Col. Earle addressing the troops onboard ship just days before the landings and ironically, just before he himself was killed. I would be glad to send them to you. Let me know.

      • Kim Byars says:

        Dear Ed,
        You have no idea how much those pictures would mean to me! My email is I can’t wait!
        Thank you so much Sir for being so very kind and thoughtful

        Kim Byars

      • Nicholas A. Baio says:

        Hey Jack,

        I was wondering how your book is going. I just found out my Grandfather was in the Sea Bee’s which set up logistics…I may be writing a feature film regarding these topics-perhaps we could talk more….

        All the best,

      • Jack Jonas says:

        Dear Ed,

        As you can see there is not a “reply” click-on to your comment. I hope this reply to my reply works.

        I’d be very much interested in seeing your father’s pictures.

        Email me at and let’s talk further.


  8. Claire Murphy says:

    My husband’s father was also a Marine stationed in the Aleutians during WWII. Does anyone know where we could find more information regarding the part the Marines played in this area?

  9. James LaVerdure says:

    Mrs. Casey, It’s very hard to get to Attu, getting to Kwajalein,Leyte and Okinawa would be alot easier. I have some books about the 17th Regiment 7th Division that i have copied and i would be more than happy to share them with you. My father was in Co B 1st Battalion 17th Regiment, he fought on Attu,Kiska,Kwajalein,Leyte and Okinawa. if you are interested in what i have please do get abck with me at

    James LaVerdure

  10. Ronnie Smith says:

    My dad fought in Attu. He was part of the scout team that came in first. He got frostbite on his feet. I think he told me that this occurred when he was pinned down by machine gun fire.

  11. Elena Mastroianni says:

    What mecial units served in Aleutian Islands during WWII? My father was a Captain the Medical Corps in the Aleutian islands.

  12. Doran R. Long Jr. says:

    Dear Sir’s
    My Father Doran S Long Sr. was deployed from one of the two subs off the coast of Attu. He was wounded and had a close friend in his unit named Tony Gayardo. If any one has any info on their actions on Attu, It ould be greatly appreciated.

    Doran R. Long Jr.

    • Gilbert D. Gallardo says:

      Greetings from Galveston, Texas.
      I just read your entry today, May 16, 2011. I’ve been researching information for the U.S. Army 59th Medical Battalion in Attu. My uncle Antonio M. (Tony) Gallardo served with Company A, 59th Medical Battalion as a cook, and I was wondering if by Gayardo you meant Gallardo (same pronounciation). My uncle attended high school in San Antonio and joined the Army from Fort Sam Houston in 1943 until 1945 and served in the Aleutian Islands, New Guinea, Southern Philippines.
      I would like to know what Army Division shoulder patch and the 59th Medical Battalion patch they wear on their uniform?

      Look forward to hearing from you. I hope your dad is well.

      Gilbert D. Gallardo, Vietnam Veteran

      • Marc Abott says:

        We might be able to help each other out with info. My granddad Dee L Abbott from Bakersfield Ca served in Attu as a doc then was also sent to New Guinea ATC 818 17th navy base hospital, I have letters dated Sept 1 44, Jan 45, and april 24, 45 from there. He was then island hopping according to his letters July 29 1945, letter says Navy 12 (might be 17) which would be postal codes for Okinawa or 17 being Palau, Pelelui, Guam & Leyte. Also have a V mail june 30 1945 saying he was at sea with Navy 12 code which is thru Okinawa. When the war ended he was at Navy base, Navy 1156 which is coded to Eniwetok. I know he landed on Leyte in the Phillipines & I still have the M1 carbine he sent home from there & there was a story about liberating a POW camp in the south pacific & he had the lock off the front gate. If any of this fits in with your info please let me know.

  13. Cheryl Leadford says:

    WW11 records were destroyed in a fire in ST Louis, MO. My father in law enlisted in the Army in 1941. He was on Attu and other of the Aleutians. He arrived in there in Aug 1942. this is what information on his DD214 containes.

    Mayo W. Campbell, Private First Class, 1072d Army Air Force Base unit Squadron A., Auto Equipment Operator 345. Rifle Marksman Carbine Expert. , Aleutian Island, GO 75 WD 44.

    All we know is that he was attached to the SEAB’s, he helped build air strips and fought in the battles.

    We cannot find out what army unit he was in . Can anyone help. Any leads would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  14. bill scott says:

    My grandfather Estel W Scott (know also as Bill Scott) fought in the battle of Attu. He received a silver star and purple heart. He was killed in action on May 20th 1943 there on Attu and is buried at Holtz bay. I would love if anyone may have any knowledge of him. He was from Dresden Tenn. and an American hero.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Bill,

      Should you ever come back to this web site, know that I am trying to get an appropriate American Memorial placed on Attu.

      Rest assured that your grandfather’s name will be on it.

      Jack Jonas

      • Bill Scott says:

        Mr. Jonas,
        Thank you for taking the time to mention this.
        Many thoughts and appreciation for an American Memorial.
        I think of my grandfather often and wish I could have known him. One day I hope too … In a hope of heaven and he and I meeting.

  15. Shealynn Walker says:

    My grandfather, Eugene Telgmann, was a part of the 18th Engineers Battalion stationed in the Aleutian Islands. He said it was so cold that he never warmed up in 4 years. How true that was, he would always wear a long sleeve shirt and sweater in the middle of summer.

    He recently passed away on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

  16. Stan Jersey says:

    I am interested in finding (purchasing) a Japanese postcards and/or letters picked up on Attu or Kiska by American soldiers. Thanks ,

    Wheels up.SCJ

  17. Stanley C. Jersey says:

    Stan Jersey
    Author, Hell’s Islands: The Untold Story of Guadalcanal

    I can be reached

    My current project is a new book that I have named” Hell’s Cold Corner, The Japanese Occupation of Atty and Kiska, World War II, and be interested in hearing from any veteraans who fought there.

    • Joe Blevins says:

      Dear Mr. Jersey,

      Just came across your inquirey searching out veterans of the Aleutian Island campaiqn. My dad (Howard V. Blevins) was stationed there. He inlisted in the army in Scott co. Tenn. in Dec. 1941, he is a very healthy 91 years old and now lives in Ohio. If you are still interested in finding more info on the subject, I think you would find his recollection of his time there interesting, accurate and honest. You can reach me by e-mail or phone (513-608-6762), Thank you, Joe Blevins.

  18. Stanley C. Jersey says:

    Stan’s email address :

  19. Robert Hartl says:

    My great uncle Albert V. Hartl was the commander of the northern invasion force at Attu. After the war he became the CEO of Otter Tail Power Company in Minn. and was active in the Boy Scouts of America and on several university boards. He is mentioned in several books about Attu. I had a few communications with him and his daughter. He passed away several years ago and will be remembered as an American Hero.

    • Rock Coleman says:

      Robert, have a newpaper article on your great uncle and can email if you would like a copy.

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi Robert, I have alot of info about the 17th 7th Division, during the batle for Attu, your great uncle is mention many times in some books and newspaper aricles that i have. I also have been in touch with a Wayne Cross, his grandfather was Col Wayne Zimmerman, who also was with the 17th. My father was in Co B 17th Regiment. I would be more than happy to share what i have. If you are interested, please do get back with me at

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi Robert, I replied to your posted message and i left you my email address but i left out one letter it should be


  20. Michelle VonNieda says:

    My granfather served on the island of Attu. I have pictures of his battalion, he was in the Navy. I also have pictures of the island, navy planes and mountains of dead japenese..He has a hole scrapbook of pictures. They are life magazine material..

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I had a relative in the Navy who also served there. I’d love to talk to you about the pictures. Could you please email me? I’d much appreciate it. Thank you.

      • Michelle VonNieda says:

        Hi Catherine,

        I would love to chat with you about the pictures. They are amazing..


    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Michelle,

      I’m currently writing and researching material for my book on the Battle of Attu.

      And good pictures are hard to come by.

      Would you email me at so we could chat more about the pictures you have?

  21. Kim Byars says:

    My father, Jewell Gilliam, was in this battle. He was a member of the initial landing force under Gen Albert Brown. Is there anyone out there who may have known him? He would never talk about it and has since passed away. Anyone who trained in the Desert Training facility or came from Camp Ord please share any stories you might have. My dad was from Kentucky and I believe his nick name was “Gill.”
    Thank you very much-
    Kim Gilliam Byars

    • chuck says:

      My dad was there as well – he was with the 7th Inf Div and spoke of desert training prior to going to Attu and Kiska. They had no idea where they were going at the time and certainly did not expect to see combat in the Alaskan chain. He was also with a scoput team and said they saw very tall Japanese soliders – that turned out to be from Mongolia on Kiska. Fortunately, the Japanese withdrew prior to the US landing on the island.

  22. Vincent Lesko says:

    My grandfather, Joseph A. Lesko, served on Attu. Unfortunately I know nothing about his personal experience there. I know only what the history books have recorded.

  23. Chris Manderfeld says:

    My grandfather served on Attu. The comments here are amazing because they all ring true and mirror my own experiences with a man who fought there and made it out. I have formed a page called “Remembering Attu” for any facebook users who may be interested in sharing comments or pictures. Please check it out.

  24. Mike Hunter says:

    My grandfather served in the Aleutian Islands as part of the Army Air Corps, in the medical service section. I have a copy of him in uniform, but only the AAC patch, not a unit patch. Does anyone have any idea how to find out the unit? His name was Charles M. Hawk. I would love to find his name on a unit roster so I can try to reconstruct his military history as getting a DD214 isnt possible out of ST. Louis. Thanks for any response.

  25. laura says:

    My uncle Bill Jones fought and survived on this island. He passed away recently after overcoming so many horrible tragic things. There is a documentary about this called Red, White, Black and Blue. He is in it. God bless all of our Troops!

    • Jack Jonas says:


      I just came back to this web site today.

      As you know, Bill fought for 8 long years to try and have the Japanese memorial removed from the island.

      I linked up with Bill in January 2008 and have continued his fight. Over the years I’ve had to relent knowing now to have it removed completely is filled with so many political ramifications. However, I am still fighting to have it, at least, removed from Engineer Hill.

      I’d love to hear from you.I talked to your Aunt Nancy a few weeks back and she seems to be doing okay (bless her soul).


      Jack Jonas

  26. Jeffery says:

    My Dad was on board the Williamson when Dutch Harbor was attached. I am going to do a series of interviews of the survivors of the Alaskan campaign. If any of your surviving relatives are interested in being interviewed I can be reached at

  27. J.D. Marcum says:

    I served aboard the USS Tillamook ATA 192 from Jan. 1st, 1951 to June 30th, 1953. It seemed at the time that we were tied-up for more months at Attu than even Adak. I had to bake bread at the small Navy Base on the hill every third day because they had a mixer. Somewhere I read more about the battle for Attu than I am able to get from these above reports. The one piece for which I know I read was the fact that 500 of the Japanes committed Hari-kari to avoid embarrassement at being captured. Do anybody know where I might find this particular piece of information. Jack Marcum

  28. Cindy James says:

    My precious Daddy, the best human being I have ever met, passed away June 21, 2010 at 8:40 p.m. His name is Allen P. James. I was sitting right beside him when he left. He often spoke of Kiska and Attu, having served as a medic on one of these islands. We have pictures of he and his comrades bundled up in front of the tents. Daddy never spoke of the experience in a negative way. He talked about the freezing cold and the blowing winds. He spoke of the brotherhood among the men. He said ropes were tied from tent to tent for the soldiers to hold on to when making their way to the tent that was used as a bathroom. Without the ropes, one could be blown off course when going to “do your business.” I remember him talking about being on the ship in the Bering Sea and a great many of the soldier boys were seasick.

  29. Mary Henderson Mathias says:

    My cousin Douglas Henderson was a naval pilot who died during one of these battles, I can’t remember which one. My brother was in the army and I will never forget the night we received the telegram that Douglas had been killed. He trained at Pensacola and was stationed in Corpus Christi, TX, before going to the Pacific. His baby daughter was 6 months old and he saw her only once. His widow brought his body back to US soil and he is buried in California.

    • Cindy James says:

      Hello to Mary Mathias,
      Your story made my heart sink. My entry is right above yours. I am so sorry about the tragic loss of your cousin, Douglas, and that he only got to see his baby daughter once. I must ask, in spite of her rough beginning, how has life been for the baby daughter? What and how is she doing? Did her mother remarry?

    • Rock Coleman says:

      Ms. Mathias,
      I have an article written about this entire operation from the Navy side and it mentions your cousin in the article. If you would like to write me I will be glad to email it to you. My email address is

      Thanks, Rock Coleman

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Mary,

      If you come back to this web site in the future I just wanted you to know that they named a ridge on Attu after your cousin. There are pictures in the back of the book “The Capture of Attu” which shows a picture of Henderson Ridge and stated he was killed while strafing this area during severe bad weather.

      He saw a job and commenced to go about it the best he could under the worse of conditions (heavy fog). He wanted to protect our boys on the ground and his heroism cost him his life.

      Men of valor – heroes all!

  30. Kendall E. Lacey says:

    I noticed that nearly 10% of the KIA on Attu were from Minnesota. My dad was activated with his Unit ,the 216th Coast Artillery out of St. Paul in late Jan. 1941 and sent to Camp Haan ,CA,near Riverside. After 12/7/41 he, as a !st Sergeant, was sent to OCS and the rest of his outfit ,being somewhat militarily trained was sent off to action, mostly in the Pacific Theater. He said they really suffered due to lack of up-to-date training, equipment and leadership. I am curious if any of the families of those Minnesotans know if they happened to be in that outfit, and if any of your readers have family members who were also in that Guard outfit? Thank you, Ken Lacey

    • Gary Lee says:

      My father was a mess sergeant thru the Aleutian campaign starting at Dutch Harbor on June 2, 42. He was from north central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. He enlisted in Wisconsin, and did his basic in Texas, his AIT in Cal. Then he was transferred to the kitchens. My mother used to tell us that he came back with a southern accent as a lot of the GI’s that were sent there were from the deep south.
      He had some very interesting stories. He died about 2 years ago, but a decade before he died he said that he had run into a soldier that he used to use in the kitchens now and then, living in North Branch.

    • Gary Tefft says:

      My father and an uncle were from Red Wing, Minnesota. Their National Guard unit was reconfigured from an infantry company into Battery F of the 216th Coast Artillery (Anti Aircraft), federalized and sent for one year of training and service beginning in January, 1941 at Camp Haan. I have my fathers Camp Haan “year book” and find a First Sgt. E.O. Lacey included in the picture of the Regimental Headquarters Battery. The 216th Coast Artillery was made-up completely of Minnesota National Guard units. As far as I know, the entire unit was deployed to Adak Island in September of 1942, after being sent to Camp Swift in Texas in anticipation of being sent to North Africa. So, they were not outfitted with arctic clothing or footwear. I believe that many of the infantry units involved in the invasions of Amchitka, Attu and Kiska were also formerly Minnesota Guard units. One of the persons featured in a 60th anniversary television series a few years back had begun his service with a Blue Earth, Minnesota infantry unit. He participated in the Attu invasion.

      • Star Theodore says:

        Could my fathers name possibly be in that book? Kenneth W. Heim. He would have signed up out of Minnesota, also. He passed in 1970.

  31. S.D. Faulk says:

    My father, Jack D. Faulk was at Attu. He never talked much about the details of the actual fighting but he was bitter to the day he died about being sent there dressed for the summer.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear S.D.,

      The worst sin committed by Army High Command was sending our boys to Attu so ill-equipped! After it was over nearly 2,100 of them were weather causalities. Frostbitten hands and trench foot so darn bad hands and feet turned black! Some of the worst called for amputation as nothing more could be done.

      I’ll never figure out why they just couldn’t have waited just two more months (July) when summer weather prevailed. I think the biggest mistake was made when the Brass was convinced by Gen DeWitt that it was only going to take 3 days to re-capture Attu.

      Your Pa, like so many others, came home and never talked about it. Sad, huh.

  32. SFC Wayne Ashby USA (Ret) says:

    I have a question for anyone that may be able to help. My Grandfather’s brother: Ashby, Ben O. was killed in action on 12 May 1943 on Attu. I believe that he was Assigned to the 7th Infantry Division’s 17th Infantry Regiment, and went ashore withe very small reconnaisance element at the Base of Gilbert Ridge and after he was killed in action, my uncle, whom was trained as an Infantry Mortarman was buried at the Little Falls Cemetary there before being re-interned at the Pixley-Tulare Cemetery in California. I seek any information that may be relevent, and did either the 7th Infantry Division or 17th Infantry Regiment create any list of KIAs for this action?

    Very resespectfully,

    Wayne P. Ashby
    Sergeant First Class, United States Army

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Wayne,

      If you come back to this site, I have a list of the “Honored Dead” I can email to you.

      Note: He was listed with the first as “Ban” and not “Ben”. I have now corrected this.

      Jack Jonas

  33. Vic Gilardin says:

    My Father was on the Islands, Sgt Ellsworth Gilardin. He was wia the second month, was transported to a hospital in Memphis, if anyone knows more info would like to hear from you. My Dad was with the recon Platoon, He was a platoon Sgt.
    Thank you
    Vic Gilardin
    Son of Ellsworth Gilardin
    I’m retired U.S. Army SSG

  34. emil l. peterson says:

    landed from USSgrant 11may 1943 stormy as hell. ilanded with a jeep and trailer load with 105 shelles.excuse the mistakes as i am 93 years old.still very sharp in mind. left island march 6 th unit was 1d hosp4 th fiel..will be waiting for emails ok?

    • Gary Lee says:

      Emil-Please send me an email as I can’t seem to find one for you.

      • emil l. peterson says:

        gary lee yes i was in the battle of attu all the way start to finish. i wasin 14th field hosp.i dont talk about it much.dream too much at night.sure was hell there. my emailis pete…. i lve in faribauldt minn.


    • Jack Jonas says:

      Emil – You dear sweet gentleman!

      I’m going to test your brain power. Tell me the names of the other four troop transports that carried our boys to Attu. I’ll bet you can do it.

      I had a friend whose life was saved at Engineer Hill on 29 May 1943 by men just like you. He was wounded twice and pretty helpless when the Japanese stormed over Engineer Hill that day. Only through the quick thinking of the Aid Station Doctors and medics was his life and the lives of the other wounded saved from further harm and certain death.

      My hats off to you Emil. You are a man of valor of the highest order! May God Bless you and keep you!

  35. Nicholas says:

    Hello Emil,

    My Grandfather was a Sea Bee-I believe you all worked together….Maurice Caya is his name-not sure if you knew him

    • emil l. peterson says:

      nicholas no i did not know your grand father sorry i was so busy to keep from frezing and helping others that were wounded and ect,,,,pete,

  36. Gary Tefft says:

    My father, David W. Tefft and my uncle Reuben F. Koester were staff sergeants in Battery F, 216th Coast Artillery Anti Aircraft stationed on Adak Island for 18 months beginning in September 1942. I have a diary that my father kept from January 1943 through June that year. The lousy weather conditions and lack of proper footwear and clothing were often mentioned, as were frequent air raids and enemy ship and submarine action in the area. My father was in charge of the mess for the battery, so many entries speak of concern over food supplies and the struggle with failure-prone field ovens. Their living quarters were tents; they finally got a Quanset hut for their kitchen on January 13th, but it took a month before it could be assembled and ready due to the high winds.

    • Gary Lee says:

      I can state with an almost certainty that your father worked with mine.
      My dad used to tell me about Adak and the way they always seemed to be short on supplies. He said that on one island they ran out of food. There was such a fierce storm that the ships to re-supply couldn’t get in to shore. He said that everybody on the campaign couldn’t stand green beans, so he would keep in storage all of the green beans. When the storm hit and the food ran out he ended up going out to the streams and grabbing salmon. The boys ate green beans and salmon for 2 weeks straight. Growing up in the depression he lived with his grandparents. They were quite poor and he said that for a whole year the staple of their diet was tomatoes. To the day he died dad couldn’t stand green beans and tomatoes.
      Gary Lee

  37. Becky (Joyce) Lozen ski says:

    My father, Gilmer Gray Joyce, who passed away in 1960 was in the Aleutians and I believe, the battle of Attu. He was in the infantry , company H37 and was a staff sergeant. Anyone with any knowledge please respond. I am looking forward to the book, June 7th. Thank you

    • Becky (Joyce) Lozen ski says:

      Also, Gilmer was from Madison NC and served from about 1940-44. Not sure when he was in the Aleutians. The only thing my mom remembers is that he told her always, how very cold it was. I do have some pictures from there.

  38. Brian Natale says:

    My great uncle fought in this war hes on the kia list just wanted to clear it up its row gadbois not dow….

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Dear Brian,

      The official Army KIA list that I have, reflected: Gadbois, Doy – St. Spencer, Ma

      It has now been changed to read: Row

      I will contact George Smith who’s web site also contains the Attu KIA list and request he correct his record also.

      If I hear nothing from you I will assume “Row” to be correct.

      Jack Jonas at

  39. Brian Natale says:

    and i would like to find out more about this battle i dont know what company he was under or what he did … but if anything could help me and my family figure it out would be great we have some things about him but not much……..

  40. emil l. peterson says:

    ui emil peterson was on ATTU from the 11 th may 1943 until march 6th 1944.i was in the entire battle and it was hell.i dont talk about it as it was so gross at times.i am 93 years old still have my rite mind i am very lucky so far.i have a 1 bedroom assisted living place. with dreams at email is i live at fairabault mn 55021. pete/.

    • Jack Jonas says:


      You sir represent America’s “Finest Generation” and we hold dear in our hearts for all that you sacrificed during WWII.

  41. Myrl Thompson says:


    Thank you for keeping this going. I just found this site in my research as I work to interview, record, and then write the stories of veterans in our area here in Big Rapids, Michigan. I often have to do research in order to piece together the memories of the veterans
    of various wars. .

    I am currently working with my 5th vet….as a volunteer who writes their stories up as articles for our local newspaper, the Pioneer. The current Vet is a wonderful, 83 year old WWII Vet named Milt Rackham….who survived 4 years of service on PT Boat 81….first in the Aleutians and then in the Pacific.

    I have really gotten caught up in all of this…as the only way I can think of to express my appreciation to these guys for what they did. Milt is stll active in his at-home upholstery business. As a sample of what we come up with, our discussion of his current situation ended up being written as….

    “Some of my WWII scars have healed, while others still
    set off airport metal detectors when I travel….or wake in the
    quiet of the night”.

    And the Stories unford from there….

    Milt’s goal is to resolve the night time dreams that still
    wake him in the nite. He is one of only three survivors of his 12 boat Squadron out of a total of close to 300 original and replacement
    PT crewman during his 4 year PT Boat Career.

    These stories have turned out to be an emotional experience for
    both Milt and myself….for him as he tells them….and for me both as
    he tells them and as I work to sort through the recordings and notes
    to type the stories for his review and approval. I can hardly imagine
    what they went through and what they sacrificed to save this
    country……and then live in a time when there are those that would
    throw it all away in the name of political idiocy.

    I would appreciate any pictures that may be available from
    the War Time Aleutians….or from South Pacific.

    Is there any info on other PT Boat Vets in the Aleutians.? It
    looks like Milt may end up with 20 articles of 1200 or more
    words and I would like to surprise him with some pictures.

    He recalls that the weather (the Willowaws) were so bad that
    his PT Boat Squadron was able to be a part of only one battle
    (the Battle of Attu) during his time in the Aleutians…where his
    sqaudron was used to attract enemy fire from shore so that
    The Minnesota and one other ship could use the enemy fire
    flashes as targets to “soften” up the beachhead area.

    He, like many of your other responders, remembers the agony
    of poorly dressed, poorly equiped U.S. troops….some of whom
    were found frozen in front of. dead campfires where they had
    tried to burn the butts of their rifles in an unsuccessful effort to
    survive the cold nite. He also speaks of ropes tied between
    a quonset barracks and the mess hall and the latrines….to keep
    from getting lost in willowaw winds of hurricane force with first
    blowing snow, then ice, and then dirt that reduced visibility to
    the length of your arm……and of the one crewman who refused
    to use the ropes and was found two days later….frozen within
    just yards of the barracks.

    My Email is ……

    Thanks again, Jack, for your service….and for this site.

    Myrl Thompson

  42. Star Theodore says:

    I am writing to find out if there is a good list of those that served in Alaska during WW11. My father, Kenneth Heim served, but his records were destroyed in a fire. I have no other records from his service. He was in Alaska during the first part of the war, and then later in Germany. He was killed at work, in an accident, on the North Slope of Alaska, in 1970, bringing oil to Alaska. He is truly a hero, 2 times over. Our family wants to know more about his service, but the government says the records were destroyed in the fire. Is there any other records?

    • Gary Lee says:

      I have been looking at some things to see if I can find your father’s name.
      My dad told me that after the Battle of Attu the chain was declared secure and most of the units up there were shipped back to the states for reassignment. The Battle of Attu was mostly fought with the 7th Infantry Division, some units from Canada, Russia, and Britain.
      A lot of the guys in the 7th were picked up by the 3rd Army under Patton. They ended up in the Battle of the Bulge. Of the 3rd, 10.000 went in, 300 came out. Very, very bloody.
      I will keep looking and if I find something I will let you know.
      One quick question: Did your dad ever mention which unit he was in or when exactly it was he got in-country?
      Let me know.
      All the best.-GL

      • James LaVerdure says:

        Gary, During the battle for Attu, the 7th Division and one battalion of the 4th Infantry, did all of the fighting on Attu. Staying on Attu for a few weeks the 7th, went to Adak, to prepare to invade Kiska. After Kiska, the 7th went to Hawaii, for rest and started jungle training, they then went to Kwajalein, then back to Hawaii, then to Leyte, after Leyte, it was onto Okinawa. The battalion from the 4th, ended up in the 3rd army. The battle for Kiska, you had the 7th and some other units, and one from Canada. The japs left the island of Kiska, just before we invaded Kiska. My father was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th Division, he was in all of the 7th Division battles.


      • James LaVerdure says:

        Gary, These are the Canadians units that fought on Kiska. The French speaking unit, thats mention in this article was from Canada, not France. My father, who is French Canadian, spoke to them in French, while they were on Adak, just before going to Kiska. I have not found anything about any British or Russian troops fighting on Kiska.

        The decision was taken to use the headquarters of the 13th Infantry Brigade and the three infantry battalions in Pacific Command which were numerically strongest: The Canadian Fusiliers, The Winnipeg Grenadiers (re-formed after the destruction of the previous active battalion at Hong Kong), and The Rocky Mountain Rangers.19 Subsequently, it being considered desirable to include a French-speaking unit, Le Regiment de Hull was added.20 It took the place of the battalion of Combat Engineers included in the assault organization of the U.S. regimental combat team, which was equivalent to a Canadian brigade group, and one of its companies was attached to each of the three battalion combat teams into which the Canadian force was divided. The other major units chosen were the 24th Field Regiment and the 46th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery R.C.A., the 24th Field Company R.C.E., a company of The Saint John Fusiliers (M.G.), and the 25th Field Ambulance R.C.A.M.C.21 The code name “GREENLIGHT” was assigned to the special training to be given the force (the actual operation against Kiska was called “Cottage”).22

      • Jack Jonas says:

        Gary – I agree with James LaVerdure. The Battle of Attu involved only naval support personnel and Army elements of the 7th Infantry Division and the stand alone fighting 4th Infantry Regiment from the Alaska Defense Force. The Canadians were with us at Adak.

  43. ray archer says:

    i was looking for information on the 48th field artillery that was attached to the 7th infentry div on attu there is no mention of the artillery unit ,my father was in the 48th field artillery i would like to know if there is any photos or anything on them. his name was howard archer,.thank you ray archer

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi Ray, Please get back with me at i have some info on the 48th and 49th FAB. The were attach to the 7th from Attu to Okinawa.,


    • Jack Jonas says:

      Ray – you will find that the 48th Field Artillery is documented in the book “The Capture of Attu” (A WWII Battle as told by the men who fought there) compiled by Lt. Robert J. Mitchell and others. About 410 men of the 7th contributed stories for the book and although your father is not listed, there is a good chance he may have been buddies to those that were. Also, there are some good pictures in the back of the book

      Hope this helps – Jack

  44. Jim Hules says:

    I am 70. I have just started ancestery web and found my mothers 2 brothers were in the army. I asked mom who is now 102 about this and she said they were Alaska. She thinks. Neither brother ever spoke of being in the Army. William Koenig and Joseph Koenig. Is there a way to find out if they were in the battles mentioned above. I would really like to see if there are pictures of them in the Aleutions, or anywhere. I apologize for my lack of knowledge, but I am very interested in this. Thanks

    • Jack Jonas says:

      The problem you are having trying to find information about your uncles is a common one. From what I can determine, records for these men were destroyed in a fire at the St. Louis Army Records Center many years ago.

      Sorry sir.

  45. Gerald Swick says:

    Jim, you can find some images from Attu online that are part of the University of Alaska’s archive. It’s unlikely you’ll find family members in them, but you may want to look at them anyway.

    There’s also a more recent article about the fighting on Attu in the current (March/April 2012) issue of World War II magazine. It is available at many magazine retailers.

    The University of Alaska’s digital images can be found by going to this link and doing a search; try multiple searches (Attu, World War II, etc).

  46. gary holzman says:

    interesting reading the comments from everyone and hearing so much similiarities to what i have heard from my grandfather b4 his passing in 2001 my grandfather leroy w holzman served on attu and i beleive was wounded by a japanese mortar which left him with a broken back, very similiarly he spoke of it being so cold ya couldnt remove your gloves for long, he also spoke of stories of japanese soldiers commiting suicide with grenades in and near american water supplies to tint em , and also despised the japanese badly until his dying day he refused to eat rice something to do with the circumstances that followed his wounds though i know he received the purple heart i cant seem to find it in his discharge papers although i have the medal itself his papers state he was an armorer and rifleman with the 159th infantry

  47. Jack Jonas says:

    Dear Gary,

    I’m currently developing the cover for my book “The 7th of June” and I was thinking – if you could take a picture of your grandfather’s Purple Heart, scan it to your computer and send it to me, this I think, would be ideal for my cover. I’m thinking, what could be more appropriate than a picture of an actual Purple Heart of a veteran of the Attu battle.

    Also, you must grant me permission in writing (email is okay) to use your picture. If used, I will list your grandfather’s name in the “Thanks to” contributor’s section so please provide his full name and grade.

    • Gary Lee says:

      I think that you made a mistake and sent me the above email that was meant for Gary Holzman.

  48. Gary Lee says:

    I take your word on the subject but a lot of things I have read seem to say that there were Canadian Troops both on Attu an Kiska.
    Please read just some of the references I have managed to collect.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this was true, but I have found a lot of sources that state that the Canadian, English, and French in the Aleutians during the war.
    Hope you will have a great week.
    Sincerely GL


    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the various declarations of war, by early 1942, British possessions in the Pacific such as Singapore, Malaya, Borneo and Burma had been invaded or surrendered to the Japanese, as had US possessions such as the Philippine Islands. In June 1942, several outposts in the Aleutian Islands were established by the Japanese, the only invasion of North American soil to occur during the war. Canadian soldiers would go there in 1943 to reclaim the islands along with US forces, though the Japanese garrisons would have fled by then.


    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the various declarations of war, by early 1942, British possessions in the Pacific such as Singapore, Malaya, Borneo and Burma had been invaded or surrendered to the Japanese, as had US possessions such as the Philippine Islands. In June 1942, several outposts in the Aleutian Islands were established by the Japanese, the only invasion of North American soil to occur during the war. Canadian soldiers would go there in 1943 to reclaim the islands along with US forces, though the Japanese garrisons would have fled by then.

    The spring brought campaigning weather to the Eastern Front, where German forces again made incredible gains in territory as their forces turned their attention to the southern oil fields of the Caucasus. By now, five Canadian divisions had been created and sent to Europe but had not yet seen action. The controversial Dieppe Raid was scheduled for June 1942 and launched on 19 August 1942. Demands for British and American action in Europe were intense, both at home and from the Soviet Union who suffered great losses again during the year.

    The Japanese dug in and held the islands until mid-1943, when American and Canadian forces recaptured them in brutal invasions

    • Robert H. Wray says:

      The Canadian civilian pilot and planes helped in the lift of American troops. When the 7th could not take the Island back the Fourth Infantry Regiment did all the fight this is from first hand statements.

      • James LaVerdure says:

        Mr Wray, What do you mean by “The Canadian civilian pilot and planes helped in the lift of Amrican troops”? And you are saying that the 4th did all of the fighting on Attu, and they won the battle for Attu, and this is from first hand statements. Have you read any books about the battle for Attu? Or what you know about the battle is hearsay from veterans of the 4th. From what i have read in books, the 4th didn’t get on the island until Thursday May 20th 1943, thats from the book,”The Thousand-Mile War” by Brian Garfield, other books say the 4th was on the island on the 17th or 18th. The 7th landed on May 11th 1943, with some landing on the northern part and the others landing on the southern part of the island, they met and had the japs surrounded long before the 4th even got on the island. Sure the 4th fought in some difficult battles while on Attu. Here is some info from the book, The “Capture of Attu” stories told by the men who fought there, including some from men who was in the 4th. General Landrum decided to attack Fish Hook Ridge he gave the job to the 17th Regiment, which relieved the 1st Battalion of the 4th on the morning of May 23rd, the 4th was held back for support. On 25th of May the 17th cleaned out a section of the right end of the trench. Co B of the 4th moved up behing the 17th, mopping up, but suffered numerous causualties from enemy snipers. It was until the 28th before everypart of the Fish Hook was in American hands. In the late aftenoon of May 30th, when it become evident that the siuation was again in hand, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 32nd, the 3 battalion of the 17th, and Co A of the 4th occupied Chichagof Harbor, without resistance. I have been in touch with over 30 men, who was in the 7th, including my father, this was a team effort and not just the 4th who claim did all of the fighting on Attu. Mt father was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th Division. On May 16 Co B, led by Lt. Bill Davis, climb a steep cliff, then fought the japs in hand to hand combat. Co B was award the Presidential Unit Citation for this action. My father was knifed 3 times in hand to hnd combat, he took a bullet through his helment, the bullet went around inside of his helmet many times then put a new part in his hair. He also killed a high ranking jap officer in hand to hand combat, after the officer came at my father with his sword, which i have on display, i have a newspaper article about this and letter from his platoon leader, Lt Bill Davis, who i was able to talk to him many years ago. Before my father died in 1995, he talk to me about his time in hell, we share our time in hell, as i’m a Vietnam Veteran.


  49. Jack Jonas says:

    I was informed in December 2011 that members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (fws) will be going to Attu this summer to build an American Memorial. This is so long overdue to not even be funny.

    I have insisted the Memorial be placed on Engineer Hill but so far they have not told me where they intend to build it.

    ENGINEER HILL is the location for our Memorial, period!

    Please email me at if you want to support this location site.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Update: They have postponed going to Attu this summer. They now intend to go next summer (2013). The reason they state is “Budget Restraints”. I guess it gets hard to come up with a few thousand bucks from a 14 Billion dollar budget.

  50. Gary Lee says:

    I won’t even pretend to know as much as anyone on this or any other board.
    Thanks so very much for your helping me out.
    You guys rock.-g

  51. Gary Lee says:

    I retract my earlier statement about the inclusion of forces other than American in the Battle of Attu.
    Do not believe what I had written. Pay attention to James and Jack.
    They are EXPERTS.
    I am really new to this subject and I am fortunate if I can find my way to the site. :-)
    Seriously, these two men are experts on the Aleutians.
    And I am 100% the Engineer Hill site for the Memorium.

  52. Gary Tefft says:

    In the diary my father kept for several months while serving on Adak Island with Battery F of the 216th Coast Artillery – Anti Aircraft, he made reference to the “Amulet force”.

    On January 2, 1943 he wrote: “The Amulet force has got their stuff piled up all around, so as we can hardly move around the area now. I sure pity those boys; they are going to have a harder time then we had, but, one thing they seem to have warm clothes anyway. God, when I think of our first two months here.”

    And on January 7th he wrote: “The Amulet force is nearly all loaded out; good luck boys, we know what you are in for.”

    Based upon those dates, I assume that these were some of the troops who were going to secure Amchitka Island. Can anyone tell me who or what the Amulet force was?

    My dad’s unit spent 18 months in the Aleutians, mostly on Adak Island. Though they didn’t engage in eye-to-eye combat with the Japanese, there were deaths and casualties all around them from the bombing and strafing, not to mention losses of air and ground Air Corps personnel during in-flight combat and crashes. Of course, the weather took its toll on them too, as they were sent there without suitable clothing or footwear.

    • James LaVerdure says:

      1942 – Amchitka Island is occupied by a small American force. The AMULET
      FORCE consisted of 2,000 men under command of Brigadier General Lloyd E.
      Jones. The invasion was covered by the USN’s Task Group 8.6 (TG 8.6)
      consisting of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, light cruisers USS Detroit
      & Raleigh with four destroyers, which patrolled off Amchitka & Kiska
      Islands. The transport group consisted of the transports USS Arthur
      Middleton, USAT Delarof, SS Lakona, cargo ship USS Vega escorted by
      destroyers USS Dewey, Gillespie, Kalk & Worden.
      There is no enemy opposition but a fierce storm hits and continues for two
      weeks. The transport USS Arthur Middleton, manned by a US Coast Guard crew,
      runs aground as it rescues 175 sailors from the destroyer USS Worden. USS
      Worden was guarding the transport USS Arthur Middleton as that transport put
      the preliminary Army security unit on the shores of Constantine Harbor
      Amchitka Island. The destroyer maneuvered into the rock-edged harbor and
      stayed there until the last men had landed and then turned to the ticklish
      business of clearing the harbor. A strong current, however, swept USS Worden
      onto a pinnacle that tore into her hull beneath her engine room and caused a
      complete loss of power. USS Dewey passed a towline to her stricken sister
      and attempted to tow her free, but the cable parted, and the heavy seas
      began moving USS Worden totally without power inexorably toward the rocky
      shore. The destroyer then broached and began breaking up in the surf;
      Commander William G. Pogue, the stricken destroyer’s commanding officer,
      ordered abandon ship, and, as he was directing that effort, was swept
      overboard into the wintry seas by a heavy wave that broke over the ship.
      Commander Pogue was among the fortunate ones, however, because he was
      hauled, unconscious, out of the sea. Fourteen of his crew drowned. USS
      Worden, herself, was a total loss

      • Gary Lee says:

        Gotta say it again. You are the man, James.

      • Gary Tefft says:

        Thank you so much for filling-in the story. What a shame it is that these stories of how these men coped with incredible hardship and peril have not been told more widely.
        Do you know the derivation of the name AMULET?

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi Gary Trefft,

      Amulet means, Something worn on the body because of it’s suppose magic power to protect against injury or evil. Below, is some history of the islands when the Russians came. I don’t know if the Aleuts or Russians name the islands, my guess is the Aleuts. James

      Igadik, an Aleut from Unimak Island, discovers the Pribilof Islands

      The Russian Gvozdev first sights or lands on Alaska

      Chirikov, under Bering’s command, first sights the Aleutian Islands. There were from 16,000 to 20,000 people living there then.

      First of a long series of voyages to the Aleutians by Russian hunters. Aleuts are forced to hunt for them.

      Aleut uprising

      Russians retaliate – begin 20 years of suppression

      Tuberculosis epidemic

      Captain Cook spends three weeks at Unalaska; meets Russians there.

      Ivan Pan’kov born

      First permanent Russian settlement, Kodiak (Three Saints Bay)

      Russians first sight Pribilof Islands; they begin hunting for fur seals more than sea otters. Sea otter trade greatly declined as the animals near extinction.

      mid 1790’s
      Trading post established at Korovinski (Atka)

      First Russian missionaries in the Aleutians

      A group of Aleuts travel to Russia to protest their treatment

      Russian American Company created and given a monopoly in Alaska.

      New Archangel (Sitka) founded by Baranof and made new capital of the territory

      Fur seal population is declining; hunting on Pribilofs is temporarily suspended

      School started on St. Paul Island, primarily for Russian and “creole” (part-Russian) company employees’ children; for religious training

      Epidemic kills many on Unalaska and Atka Islands

      Father Veniaminov in the Aleutians

      Russian Orthodox church dedicated on Unalaska

      Aleut language first written down

      American whalers begin sailing through Aleutian waters

      Smallpox epidemic in the Aleutians

      All Aleuts in Fox district (Veniaminov’s) had some ability to write

      Measles epidemic in the Aleutians

      Height of Boston whaling industry in Alaskan waters

      Aleuts termed “civilized” by Russians

      Aleut population was 4,363 (one quarter of what it had been before the Russians came)

      The United States and Russia made a treaty whereby the U.S. bought Alaska, without consulting the Aleuts. Aleuts and other Alaska Natives were not granted citizenship.

      Foreign languages declared illegal in public schools

      Fur seals near extinction

      U.S. proclaims sealing holiday (5 years) because of alarmingly low levels of fur seals

      Citizenship Act adopted by U.S. Congress by which Native Americans became U.S. citizens.

      World War II, American bases were built, housing 100,000 men. Many Aleuts were relocated to Southeast Alaska to protect them from Japanese invasion. Only half returned to the Aleutians.

      Alaska becomes a state

      Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed by U.S. Congress

      • Jack Jonas says:

        Now I too join with Gary Lee in saying that you are one hell-of-a-great researcher James!

        I knew very little of what you have provided here. Great Job! Thank you for this.

      • Gary Tefft says:

        Thank you, James, for the wealth of information on Alaskan history. The territory and its people weren’t just sitting around waiting for something to happen for the past several hundred years, were they?

        Regarding the word AMULET, as used by the forces that secured Amchitka Island in January 1943, I should have been more clear in my question. What I was wondering was how or why was that name applied to these troops? I know that occasionally a unit will adopt a “nickname”, such as The Iron Brigade or The Red Arrow Division, and often these names will be more recognized than the official unit designation. Usually, these names are adopted in recognition of some particular trait embodied by or emblem displayed by the unit. Was there such a significance to the application of the title AMULET, or was it an acronym for their proper name? (Army Men, Underpaid and Extremely Tired, maybe?)

      • Gary Lee says:

        Hey ya’ all-
        Just thought I would throw this into the mix here. There is an excellent book that was written by Louis LaMour called Sitka.
        It is all about the beginning or settling the Pacific coast from Seattle north to Sitka.
        Anyone who has read any of his work will know that he’d thoroughly researches his books. The novel tells in a fictional character setting much of what was happening up there while the Russians were still involved in the area.
        One particular part talked of how the Russian furriers who would find non-Russian’s trapping or taking fur up there would take the person,
        and strip them naked, stake them out, and let the mosquitoes kill them.
        Very good book.

  53. Jack Jonas says:

    Maybe you know this too James – why was the 7th Infantry Division called the “Hour Glass” Division? I’ve looked but never found the answer.

    • James LaVerdure says:


      The shoulder sleeve insignia was first adopted in October of 1918. It originated from the use of two sevens, one inverted and one upright, to create an hourglass symbol. As a result, the 7th Division was known as the “hourglass division.” A bayonet was added to the distinctive unit insignia as a result of the Division’s participation in the Korean War and symbolizes the fighting spirit of the 7th Infantry.


  54. Gary Lee says:

    How goes it? I have yet to hear from anyone I have sent emails. If I don’t hear from them by Weds. I will write again.
    I wish we had some vets of the 7th to add their voices to this endeavor.

    I have also received a response from a person out of Nashville and he apparently has access to information on the Islands.

    The other email I received was from a soldier I had written to find out what units were in-country on June 42.
    My Father and Mother were married on 5-21-42 in Spokane Wash.
    The email said that there were two army units, one that haven’t been mentioned. 1st Battalion 37th Infantry Regiment.
    I know that Dad was up there for the Battle of Dutch Harbor and I know that the 7th were sent in 43. He was in the Battle of Attu.

    So just a missive to let you know that I am still proceeding.
    Have a great week.-Gary

  55. James LaVerdure says:

    Mr. Mark Wilton,

    I have many books on the battle for Attu, and it’s not mention in any book that Marines fought on Attu. Some Marines might of been at Dutch Harbor, Attu and Kiksa, when the Japs invaded the Aleutians Islands in 1942, but none fought on Attu or Kiska. I do know some Marines were stationed on a few of the islands after the battles. Before the 7th Division, left for Attu, some Marines help train them get off the ship onto landing crafts, this also happen when they were on Adak, before going to Attu. My father was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th Division.

  56. Lee says:

    I read these pages from start to finish, a facinating piece of American history that I had never heard of before. Many brave people on those islands, its funny as a Royal Marine I served in the Falklands and the terrain looks very much the same, so I can appricate the hard slog just in those condidtion alone. A salute to the brave men of the US.

    Also a big thanks for the many interesting posts on the subject aand the research,I hope the memorial is a fitting tribute when it goes in.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Lee – thanks for your interest in the Battle of Attu. I’ve been amazed for years now that so many Americans had never ever heard of a battle which took place on American soil during WWII. I hope my book “The 7th of June” when finally published will get to the heart of many. I intend to cover many more things other than just the battle itself. I only hope and pray I do justice to the men who suffered under the worse conditions imaginable those horrible 19 days.

      • James LaVerdure says:

        Hi Jack,

        Please let us know when the book comes out and how to buy it. My father fought on Attu, he was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th Division. Co B was awarded the Presidenital Unit Citation, for it’s action on Attu. During that small battle he killed a high ranking jap officer in hand to hand combat. I have a newspaper article about it and a letter from his Co Capt. Bill Davis, saying what happen. I had talk to his best buddy, Manuel Toledo, he said, after he killed that jap, he started to crawl back out, and Mr. Toledo ask, where and the hell are you going? My father said, i’m going to get that sword that jap tried to kill me with. I have that sword on display in my basement. My father went on to fight at Kwajalein,Leyte and Okinawa.

      • Wollam says:

        i was just wondering if there were any marine divisions in the Aleutian campaign since you are writing a book i was hoping you could give me an answer

  57. Jack Jonas says:

    I’m not sure Wollam. I know that only the Navy and U.S. Army participated in the Battle of Attu. Hopefully James LaVerdure will post an answer for you. He knows almost everything Aleutian.

    My book has been placed on hold. The U.S. Forest Service just published a book called “Attu Boy” by Nick Golodoff. Nick was but 6 years old when the Japanese stormed his village on 7 June 1942. And this book has made me completely rethink chapter two. “Attu Boy” can be obtained, free of charge, by emailing Janis Kozlowski at (note the underscore between her first and last name in her email address).

    And too, Jim, although your Dad wasn’t mentioned in the book “The Capture of Attu” Captain Davis was (pg 54).

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Wollam, No Marines were in the battle for Attu, the 17th,32nd Regiments, of the 7th Infantry and the 1st Battalion of the 4th Infantry, did all of the fighting. The 4th, didn’t make the landings on the first day, the came a week or so later to help out with the fighting.

      Jack, Co B is mention from page 52-56. I have talk to Capt. a couple of times, he died about 4 years ago.

  58. James LaVerdure says:

    I don’t know if you will be able to open these two vidoes about Attu, buy try anyway.

    United Newsreel: “U.S. Completes Occupation of Attu Island (Audio and video)
    Unedited Combat Footage of the Battle of Attu (no audio)

    • Jack Jonas says:

      As you can see Jim, your post reference did not come out in blue. Maybe if you were to show the web site tool bar location.

  59. lee says:

    I copy and pasted into Goggle and got both if that’s any help

  60. Jack Jonas says:

    Monday is Memorial Day and the month of June has been designated Military Appreciation Month.

    To all of you who have posted comments to this great account about the Battle of Attu, if you were to go to Facebook and search on “Attu” you will find that the Battle of Attu isn’t really over!

    Please drive carefully this weekend!

  61. Gary Lee says:

    As this weekend is fast approaching, I thought I might come on here and share a couple of interesting anecdotes I was told by my father.

    He stated that either on Adak or Attu, they did a late night landing. My dad had his guys set up their tent to get some rest before they started breakfast. It had snowed the afternoon before they landed and there was a lot on the ground. He and his tent went to sleep and they woke up about 2 hours later to a horrible stench. It seemed that the Navy had softened the beach before their landing and there were dead Japanese bodies left. My dad’s tent had set their stove in the corner and it was on the body of a Japanese soldier. It was being cooked.

    He also used to talk of how the Japanese had come up to the chain before the Battle of Dutch Harbor and had stopped on several islands. They let off snipers, and gave them supplies to last them for a while. He always fed the camps before daybreak and so they ate in the dark.
    He said that every now and then they would catch a sniper sneaking through the chow line to get something to eat. Their food had run out, they were starving, and they couldn’t stand the smell of the food cooking. The only thing I wondered is how many times had they done that and nobody caught them.

    Have a great weekend everybody.

  62. […] On May 11th, 1943 American forces invade Attu, an island apart of the Aleutian island chain off of the coast of Alaska. The goal of the American forces was to expel the Japanese forces that had landed on the island unopposed almost a year earlier.  After two weeks of nasty, cold, bitter fighting, the Japanese had been wiped out. For more info on the battle of Attu, click here. […]

  63. Andrew Nelson says:

    I’m researching my father in laws military career. Unfortunately, his memory on specific things was somewhat vague. What I managed to record leaves more questions than answers. Unfortunately dad passed away a few weeks back at the age of 89.

    To top it off, when he returned home from service he packed up his uniforms, medals paperwork and left it at his mothers house, whereby his sisters ultimately tossed it all. In addition, I tried to get records from St. Louis, but they were lost in the fire.

    This is what I know. He served from July 43 – March 44 – 2nd Army, 59th Medical Battalion / Company “D” (KISKA) and then went to the ETO.

    Anyone with information, please contact me.

    • Gary Lee says:

      Great to see you here. There are a couple of experts on the Aleutian Campaign here, James LaVerdure, and Jack Jonas can probably give you a couple of ideas as to where to go to obtain what you are looking for.
      In 1973 a lot of the records that had been stored at the National Archives caught fire and were destroyed. Most of the records were from 1945 and back.
      Like all of us you have started on an interesting and educational journey. You can get lots of support here.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      I’m sorry Andrew but my 4 years of research has been concentrated on the Attu battle history, the plight of the Attuans and the Japanese memorials controversy.

      If anyone can help you, Jim LaVerdure can. Jim is about the best researcher around when it comes to all things Aleutians.

  64. Paul A. Castanedo, CMSgt USAF (Ret) Redlands, CAlif says:

    My dad, 1Sgt Walter N. Castanedo, Regular Army, 75th Field Artillary (105 mm), HQ Battery

    I can vividly recall a few stories my dad told us when we were kids. One was how they were stationed @ Camp Seelley, El Centro, Ca patrolling the Mexican Border on horseback (something we cant do today?). The army took away there horses in June 1942. After patrolling the border in the desert he was sent with the 7th ID to Alaska out of Seattle. He told me many times how the army was not prepared and sent the men in with only summer clothing. They lived underground for some time to avoid the wind and cold & lived like “animals”. He also said that the enemy would not surrender and from his recollectation there were no prisoners, save for a couple Korena woman “called comfort girls”!! Going from horse back field artillary 75mm gun to this was not pleasant. My dad now passed took many photos of ATTU, I can share them if requested.

    Glad I found this site.

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi, Here is a hstory of the 75th FAB. From what i have they were never attach to the 7th Division. You father’s is mention in this. The 75th didn’t fight on Attu, but probably was involved in the invasion of Kiska. James


      * Note: The above silhouette represents a U.S. Army horse-drawn section. The illustrations were originally published in the “The Field Artillery Journal” and created by Mr H.S. Parker, son of Lt. Colonel Edwin P. Parker, FA. (Field Artillery Journal, Jan/Feb 1938, page 78). Source and permission: United States Army Fires Bulletin, Fort Sill, Oklahoma


      31 October 1936 the present 75th Field Artillery Battalion was originally organized at Camp Sheridan, Alabama, in October 1918 as the 75th Field Artillery Regiment. The regiment did not serve overseas during World War 1 and was demobilized at that post December 11, 1918. It was reconstituted and consolidated on October 31, 1936 with the 75th Field Artillery Regiment, which was constituted as an inactive unit, effective October 1, 1933. 21 January 1941, the 75th Field Artillery Regiment was redesigned the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (Horse-Drawn), which was concurrently made active by the transfer thereto of personnel and equipment of the 2nd Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment (Horse-Drawn), Camp Clayton (Fort Ord), California (per S.O. No 13, Hq. 76th F.A.). This regiment is entitled to no battle honors.

      19 June 1940 by direction of the Secretary of War there are furnished herewith the following blazonry and description of the Coat of Arms for the 75th Field Artillery Battalion approved by letter AG 424.5 Coat of Arms (6-19-40) M, The Adjutant General’s Office, 8 October 1940; amended by letter AG 424.5 Coat of Arms (8-13-40) M, the Adjutant General’s Office, 29 October 1940 and redesignated by letter AG 421.7 75th Field Artillery Battalion (5-10-41) M (Ret), the Adjutant General Office 10 May 1941; also painting of the Coat of Arms.

      Shield – Gules, a lizard statant or.
      Crest – None
      Motto – Paratus facere (Prepared to do)

      The 75th Field Artillery was originally organized at Camp Sheridan, Alabama, in October 1918, and demobilized there December 11, 1918. It was reconstituted and consolidated, October 31, 1936, with the 75th Field Artillery, which had been constituted as an inactive unit of the Regular Army October 1, 1933.

      The shield is Red for artillery, and the gold lizard represents the origin of the 75th Field Artillery in the State of Alabama, Alabama being known as the Lizard State.


      16 December 1940 the personnel and equipment of the 2nd Battalion of the 76th Field Artillery Regiment (Horse-Drawn), were transferred to the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (Horse-Drawn), , pursuant to instructions contained in a letter from the War Department, AG 320.2 (11-15-40), dated 16 December 1940. Such action does not entitle the 75th Field Artillery Battalion to inherit any of the history of the 76th Field Artillery Regiment, but it does inherit the history of the World War I, 75th Field Artillery Regiment. The 75th Field Artillery Battalion is entitled to no battle honors. 1941

      21 January 1941 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (Horse-Drawn), was formed at Fort Ord, California, from the 2nd Battalion of the 76th Field Artillery Regiment. At that time the organization was armed with 75mm guns, and were Horse-Drawn.

      The 75th Field Artillery Battalion was at that time a Field Artillery Battalion, 75mm Gun, Horse-Drawn, with a strength of 30 Officers, 643 enlisted men and 456 animals with permanent station at Fort Ord, California, and assigned to the Seventh Infantry Division, Major General Joseph W. Stillwell “Uncle Joe” Commanding. Service Battery, Truck Drawn was organized at that time by transferring men from the other batteries with strength of three Officers, 60 enlisted men and 16 vehicles.

      22 January 1941 to 14 December 1941, permanent station Fort Ord, California.

      9 April 1941 to January 25, 1942 the following is the amount of men transferred into the 75th Field Artillery Battalion to bring it up to strength:

      9 April 1941 – 34 enlisted men from the 391st Engineers, Fort Ord, California.
      12 May 1941 – 53 enlisted men from the 19th Engineers, Fort Ord, California.
      13 May 1941 – 14 enlisted men from the 391st Engineers, Fort Ord, California.
      13 May 1941 – 11 enlisted men from the 4th Ordinance, Fort Ord, California.
      25 May 1941 – 28 enlisted men from the Q.M.C. Section, CASC No.1943 Ft McArthur,California.
      25 May 1941 – 5 enlisted men from the 19th Engineers, Fort Ord, California.
      27 May 1941 – 32 enlisted men from CASC No. 1968, Fort Douglas, Utah.
      13 Dec. 1941 – 190 enlisted men from FARTC, Camp Roberts, California.
      8 Jan. 1942 – 2 enlisted men from FARTC, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
      10 Jan. 1942 – 31 enlisted men from FARTC, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
      15 Jan. 1942 – 47 enlisted men from FARTC, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
      22 Jan. 1942 – 62 enlisted men from FARTC, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
      25 Jan. 1942 – 5 enlisted men from FARTC, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
      13 Dec, 1941 – 58 animals from Fort Reno, Oklahoma.
      May, 1942 – 22 animals from Fort Reno, Oklahoma.

      14 June 1941 at 0600 the Battalion left Fort Ord, California enroute to Hunter Liggett Military Reservation for 4th Army Maneuvers. Arrived at Dougherty Ranch at 1100. Distance: 16.3 miles.

      15 June 1941 at 0530 left Dougherty Ranch arrived at Soledad, California at 1030. Distance: 20.7 miles.

      16 June 1941 at 0530 left Soledad, California arrived at King City, California at 1030. Distance: 21.7.

      17 June 1941 at 0530 left King City, California and arrived at the Thurman Ranch, California at 0830. Distance: 14.3 miles. 18 June 1941 left Thurman Ranch, California arrived at Hunter Liggett Military Reservation (HLMR) at 1000. Distance: 19.3 miles.

      Total distance of the march (Horse-Drawn): 92.3 miles. Roads: good. Weather: Excellent.

      19 June 1941 to 21 June 1941 usual camp duties (HLMR).

      22 June 1941 to 27 June 1941 4th Army Maneuvers.

      Left Hunter Liggett Military Reservation enroute to Fort Ord arrived at San Lucas, California at 0930. Distance: 20 miles.

      Left San Lucas, California, arrived at Greenfield, California at 0930. Distance: 24.9 miles.

      Left Greenfield, California, arrived at Gonzales, California at 1000. Distance: 24.4 miles.

      Left Gonzales, California, arrived at Fort Ord, California at 0940. Distance of march: 24.4 miles.

      Total distance marched: 93.7 miles. Roads: good. Weather: good.

      8 December 1941 moved to bivouac area, Machine Gun Flats, Fort Ord, California.

      8 December 1941 relieved from attached to the 7th Division and attached to III Army Corps, Machine Flat, Fort Ord, California.

      12 December 1941 per Par. 9, S.O. No. 178, Hq. III Army Corps, Presidio of Monterey, dated 12 Dec. 1941 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion left Fort Ord, California enroute to Seeley, California. Marched to Monterey, California, entrained on troop train. Left Monterey, California at 1945 hours with 24 Officers, 604 enlisted and 450 animals.

      15 December 1941 arrived at Los Angeles, California at 1755 hours, watered and fed the horses.

      16 December 1941 left Los Angeles, California at 0135, arrived at Seeley, California at 1600 hundred hours, marched to Camp Seeley, California and made camp. Total distance on train: 597 miles.


      16 December 1941 to 22 May 1942 permanent station Camp Seeley, California. The Battalion was sent with the same equipment (Horse-drawn) to Camp Seeley, California, a small camp near El Centro where we had the mission of guarding the “All American Canal” in support of the 11th Cavalry. This gave us much time and ideal conditions to train, and under the Command of Lt. Col. (now Brig. Gen. Dec. 1944) L. J. Stewart we passed Battery and Battalion tests with horses on May 1-6, 1942.

      10 April 1942 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion left Camp Seeley, California at 0700 enroute to Calexico, California on the border with Mexico at 1030. Distance marched: 20 miles. Roads: good. Weather: Excellent.

      11 April 1942 left bivouac at 1430, marched to Calexico, California, crossed border at Mexicali, Mexico. Took part in Desert Cavalcade, returned to bivouac.

      12 April 1942 left Calexico, California at 0720 for return march to Camp Seeley, California, arrived: 1045, Distance marched: 20 miles. Roads: good. Weather: Excellent.

      1 May 1942 left Camp Seeley, California at 0400 enroute to Borego, California for G.H.Q. test of a light Field Artillery Battalion. Arrived at Kane Springs, California at 1000 hundred hours. Distance marched: 30.5 miles.

      2 May 1942 left Kane Springs, California at 0400 arrived at Ocotillo, California at 0930. Distance marched: 28.5 miles.

      3 May 1942 left Ocotillo, California at 0200, arrived at Borego, California 0830. Distance marched: 27.2 miles.

      Total distance marched: 86.2 miles. Roads: good. Weather: Excellent. 4-6 May 1942 Borego, California undergoing G.H.Q. Firing Tests. Results: very satisfactory.

      7 May 1942 left Borego, California enroute to Camp Seeley, California at 0200, arrived Ocotillo, California 0900. Distance marched: 28 miles.

      8 May 1942 left Ocotillo, California 0200, arrived Westmoreland, California 0815. Made temporary bivouac, and left Westmoreland, California at 1700. Arrived at Camp Seeley, California 2230. Distance marched: 61.1 miles.

      Total distance marched: 89.1 miles.

      22 May 1942, per S.O. No. 99, Hq. Camp Lockett, California, dated 21 May1942, left Camp Seeley, California 1000 hours enroute by train to Hunter Liggett Military Reservation for temporary change of station.

      23 May 1942 arrived at Bradley, California 1215. Distance traveled by rail: 450 miles.

      24 May 1942 left Bradley, California 0500, marched to Hunter Liggett Military Reservation (HLMR), Jolon, California. Arrived 0900. Distance traveled: 16.2 miles. Roads: good. Weather: Excellent.


      24 May 1942 to 13 June 1942 in the unit was transferred to Jolon, California (temporary station) where we were suddenly ordered to turn in our horses and equipment (75mm guns, limbers, caissons, harness and saddles along with issued horse riding equipment) and reorganized with 75mm guns M-2, Truck Drawn and precede to Seattle, Washington, P.O.E. (Point of Embarkation).

      13 June 1942 at 0100 hours, Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion left HLMR, Jolon, California by motor vehicle per Par. 1, S.O. No. 56 (Secret) Hq. Hunter Liggett Military Reservation, Jolon, California, 1942 as amended by Par. 1, S.O. No. 75, Hq. H.L.M.R., Jolon, California dated 16 July 1942 for Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska, by way of Port of Embarkation, San Francisco, California. The organization was changed from Field Artillery Battalion, 75mm Gun, Horse-Drawn to Field Artillery Battalion, Light, Truck-Drawn 105mm Howitzers.

      13 June 1942 at 1630, Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion arrived at Fort McDowell, Angel Island, California. Distance traveled: 214 miles.

      13 June 1942 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A) left Hunter Liggett Military Reservation, Jolon, California, at 1830 enroute to overseas station by way of Fort Lewis, Washington, per Par. 7, S.O. No. 56, H.L.M.R., Jolon, California dated 12 June 1942 (a permanent change of station) arrived at Bradley, California 1930 hours. Distance marched 16 miles.

      14 June 1942 entrained at Bradley, California 1830 hours enroute to Camp Murray, Washington.

      16 June 1942 arrived at Camp Murray, Washington at 2200 hours. Distance traveled by rail: 1200 miles.


      Click on the below link:

      The Aleutian Islands Campaign

      18 June 1942 at 1600 hours, Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion embarked from Port of Embarkation, Oakland, California aboard the U.S.A.T. MAUI, sailed at 1930 hours to Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska.

      Note: A.P.O. 944 Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska

      21 June 1942 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A) left Camp Murray, Washington at 2130 by motor vehicles enroute to Seattle, Washington, per Par. 3, S.O. No. 146, Hq. Ft. Lewis, Washington, dated 18 June 1942. Arrived at Seattle Port of Embarkation, Washington at 2400 hours. Distance traveled: 42.6 miles.

      22 June 1942 embarked at 0100 on the U.S.A.T. COLOMBIA, sailed enroute to APO No. 948, Seattle, Washington. We embarked and 15 days later we landed at APO 948 (Alaskan Department) where we built and garrisoned what was the most westerly American outpost, under constant threat of enemy attack (which never materialized) and severe weather condition. The outpost grew and housing and facilities were improved and the threat of enemy action declined until APO 948 because during 1943 and 1944 a garrison where activities and training were much the same as any garrison in the United States. We were reorganized 105mm Howitzers M-2, Truck Drawn in September 1942.

      Note: APO 948 (Alaskan Department) Fort Glenn, Umnak Island, Alaska

      Click on the below links:

      Fort Glenn, Umnak Island, Alaska

      Fort Glenn, Umnak Island, Alaska, A.P.O. 948, Images WW2

      25 June 1942 Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion disembarked at Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska at 0400 hours. Distance traveled by water: 2292 miles.

      Note: A.P.O. 944 Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska

      5 July 1942 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A), disembarked at APO 948, Seattle, Washington at 1430. Weather: good. Distance traveled by water 2300 miles.

      5 July 1942 to 22 April 1944 stationed at APO 948, Seattle, Washington (Alaskan Department), permanent station.

      APO No. 948, Seattle, Washington
      August 11, 1942

      Note: APO 948 (Alaskan Department) Fort Glenn, Umnak Island, Alaska

      General Orders No. 15

      1. Under the provisions of Section III, War Department Circular No. 104, April 9, 1942, the following named officers and enlisted men, 75th Field Artillery Battalion and Battery “B” 209th Field Artillery Battalion, who entered upon a period of active Federal service of 12 months or longer and who, in the discharge of such service served at any time between September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941, both dates inclusive, are entitled to the award of the American Defense Medal. Pending the issue of the medal, the wearing of the ribbon is authorized.

      Note: This is not a complete roster of the 75th Field Artillery Battalion only a listed of the men who are entitled to the American Defense Medal.

      Note: 6 July 1942 to 21 April 1944 Alaska Defense Command the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A) manned outposts’ positions at a radius of 25 miles, training and worked on building installations on the island, such as piers, buildings of all types and landing strips. During the winter of 1942-43, Lt. Col. Stewart was transferred and Lt. Col. W. T. Kirn assumed command.

      LeRoy J. Stewart

      William T. Kirn

      Charles A Mauck
      John K. Helferty
      Robert H. Camp
      Albert R. Sewall
      Woodward, Melone
      Edward B. Elliott
      John T. Bacon
      John S. O’Neill Jr.
      John W. Elder
      Paul A. Loop

      Norman E. Holland
      Robert P. Wills
      John E. Murphy
      Leonard W. Golden
      John T. Alstrom Jr.
      Alfred H. Barbour
      Albert P. Hobrecht
      Harold E. Parker
      William D. Nafziger
      Mark S. Edson
      Carl M. Monroe
      Clark Kuppinger
      Paul V. Miller

      Will H. Brown
      Allen Zaring

      Leo F. Jerome



      Don D. Bradford

      Walter N. Castanedo

      Odoss C. Hogan
      Burns B. DuBose
      John O’Brien

      Leslie O. Gragg
      Raymond C. Martin
      Lyle H. Fullerton
      Reuben C. Haas
      Cromwell C. Reeves
      Ray R. Rutledge
      Phillip J. Graber


      Edwin L. McGrath
      Louis I. Johns
      Richard J. Roberts
      James C. Bailey
      William H. Brewer
      Robert R. Rupert
      Rufus J. Huckfeldt

      Warren E. Gillham
      Kenneth F. Berry
      Henry W. Schinhofen Jr.
      Everett McHenry

      T-5 GRADE
      Michael W. Kuntz

      Hawkins Aldridge
      Sodric, Ziko

      Francis R. McKenna
      Charles Rogers

      BATTERY A – 18 June 1942 at 1600 hours, Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion embarked from Port of Embarkation, Oakland, California aboard the U.S.A.T. MAUI, sailed at 1930 hours to Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska. (Reason for not be on this roster)


      Bernhard Fengel

      Isaac V. Dark Jr.
      John A. Gray
      Ruel Marchbanks

      Max L. Breckeridge
      William B. Dixon
      George T. Huey
      Donald C. Lea
      Leslie J. Mendenhall
      Enfield A. Simonton

      T-4 GRADE
      James A. Sherman

      T-5 GRADE
      Richard L. Jones

      William A Hilton
      Thomas W. Kilbury
      James R. Russell
      Ernest Wyttenbach
      Russell Ebardo
      Harold Cole

      Nak Goumer
      Reuben O. Friedrich

      Clifford C. Albertson


      Michael P. Stafford

      Mark R. Aungst
      Irvino W. Levi
      Casper C. Showalter

      Howard E. Bixler
      Charles W. Flemming
      Stanley E. Narusiewicz
      John Rathovich
      Harold M. Walk

      T-4 GRADE
      Clarence B. Eisaman
      Marion P. Moorehead

      Roy H. Appleby
      Charles E. Goff

      T-5 GRADE
      John W. Agnor
      Leo Woicekowski
      Dan M. Stocks

      Levi L. Littlejohn
      Arnold E. Pietz

      Franklin J. Samuels
      Warren Siglor
      Hugh E. McMorris
      Albert M. Ulrich


      Thurman R. Duvall


      Robert W. Brownell TECHNICAL SERGEANT

      J. D. Foster

      Frank W. Driscoll
      William Forsyth
      Jack W. Miller

      Alfred R. Loftin
      Dean F. Renner

      T-4 GRADE
      George T. Keck

      Ross A. Morgan
      Armando Troncoso

      T-5 GRADE
      David B. Holly

      Arthur M. Duncan
      Sylvester G. Oaks

      Thomas M. Bottoms
      Douglas L. Cooper
      Wallace R. Eddinger
      William F. May
      Joseph Nowak


      Note: It appears that the 209th Field Artillery Battalion; Battery B was detached to the 75th Field Artillery Battalion during this period. I have included their roster for those entitled to the award of the American Defense Medal. This is not confirmed.


      Wayne Birdsong
      Julian C. Conroy
      Julius Radke

      T-4 GRADE
      John W. Crum
      Claude H. Reeves

      Kenneth E. Barker
      Harry R. Enlow
      Donald G. Fowler
      Charles E. Hall
      Herbert Harding
      Warren H. Kulthoff
      Marvin S. Lazzello
      Jack W. McKee
      Louis T. Torlinson
      Haldoan A. Warner

      T-5 GRADE
      Robert L. Johnson
      Wilour E. Roberts
      Ulys E. Ward

      Daniel C. Anderson
      Cecil D. Angel
      Calvin L. Belden
      John F. Berry
      Adrain B. Brickey
      William G. Burnett
      John B Clark
      Clarence W. Cox
      Jack K. Embrey
      Leo M. English
      Maurice I. Fallier
      Dale L. Ghramn
      John M. Hager Jr.
      Henry C. Kampschroeder
      William R. Kelly
      Willard H. Kinslow
      August C. Kraupp
      Harold V. Lundine
      Stanley H. Lundine
      Jeryl C. McKinney
      Loren M. Nelson
      Woodrow E. Pickeral
      Clarence C. Ross
      Russell W. Rozell
      William B. Russell
      Carl W. Sleeth
      Joseph E. Whitehead
      Harland C. Wolf

      Clyde W. Anderson
      Leroy E. Barnard
      William Birchard
      Donald L. Close
      Ellis R. Dill
      Eugene E. Elsheimer
      Ross A. Farnsr
      Merlin W. Hieronymus
      John F. Hill
      Raymond S. Holder
      Francis P. Joyce
      Mervin H. Kalchoff
      Emery G. Keck
      Chester L. Kelly
      Fredrick R. Kipper
      Everett E. Masters
      William R. Mayberry
      Michael P. McGuire
      Les K. Myers
      Waylard I. Myers
      Roy I. O’Dell
      Cecil C. Pierce
      Marvin E. Sponseller
      John Thomas

      By order of Lt. Col. Stewart:

      W. T. Kirn
      Major, 75th FA Bn
      Executive Officer


      6 July 1942 to 21 April 1944 Alaska Defense Command the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A) manned outposts’ positions at a radius of 25 miles, training and worked on building installations on the island, such as piers, buildings of all types and landing strips. During the winter of 1942-43, Lt. Col. Stewart was transferred and Lt. Col. W. T. Kirn assumed command.

      13 August 1943 one section Ammunition Train sent on D/S (detachment service) from APO 948, Seattle, Washington to join Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska per radio, Alaska Defense Command, dated 13 August 1943.


      22 April 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A and one section Ammunition Train) embarked at 1500 hours aboard the U.S.S. Christopher Greenup, sailed enroute to Seattle Port of Embarkation; Washington. The 75th Field Artillery Battalion enroute to continental United States from overseas duty (Alaskan Department)

      26 April 1944 Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion and one section Ammunition Train embarked on the S.S. Baranof at Cold Bay, Alaska enroute to enroute to Seattle Port of Embarkation; Washington, per letter Headquarters Alaskan Department, APO 942, Seattle, Washington, file 370.5 dated 6 April 1944, Subject: Movement of 75th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer, Truck-Drawn). Sailed 1700.

      Note: A.P.O. 942 Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska

      1 May 1944 we returned to Seattle with letters of commendation from Commanding General, APO 948 and Commanding General, Alaskan Department and awarded the Battle Steamer for the Aleutian Campaign.

      1 May 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion less Battery A and one section Ammunition Train, disembarked at Seattle Port of Embarkation, Seattle, Washington at 1100 hours. Distance traveled by water: 2300 miles.

      1 May 1944 to 9 May 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion less Battery A and one section Ammunition Train, left Seattle Port of Embarkation, Seattle, Washington at 1300 hours by motor vehicles enroute to Fort Lawton, Washington (temporary station). Arrived at Fort Lawton, Washington at 1345. Distance traveled: 12 miles.

      9 May 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A and one section Ammunition Train), left Fort Lawton, Washington, dated 28 April 1944, file SPTAH 370.5 TMD.

      9 May 1944 at 1630 hours Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion and one section Ammunition Train disembarked at Seattle Port of Embarkation, Seattle, Washington. Distance traveled by water: 2292 mile.

      75th Field Artillery Battalion Aleutian Islands Campaign
      1. Aleutian Campaign
      2. 3 June 1942 to 24 August 1943
      3. Secure the Aleutian Islands and Alaska
      4. Western Defend Command and 4th Army

      1. This unit was awarded Battle Honors for the Aleutian Campaign per General Order No. 83 (Confidential) Headquarters Alaskan Department, APO 942, Seattle, Washington, dated 22 April 1944.

      Commanding Officers in important engagements: none

      Losses in action: Officers and men – none

      Photographs of personnel, important scenes or events – none

      Former member who has distinguished himself in action:
      1. Island of Attu, Alaska
      2. Colonel LeRoy J. Stewart, F.A., U.S. Army
      3. For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service
      4. Legion of Merit per Section III, W. D. General Order No. 28, dated 15 November 1943

      This Battalion was given letters of commendation upon departure from APO 948, Seattle, Washington by the Commanding General, Alaskan Department and Commanding General APO 948, Seattle, Washington, copies of which are enclosed.

      14 May 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion (less Battery A and one section Ammunition Train), arrived at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi (permanent station) at 0415 hours. Distance traveled by rail: 3056 miles.

      14 May 1944 at 2125 hours, Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion and one section Ammunition Train entrained at Fort Lawton, Washington enroute to Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi (permanent station) per Par. 18, S.O. No. 133 ASF (FLSA) Fort Lawton, Washington, dated 12 May 1944.

      18 May 1944 at 1630 hours, Battery A, 75th Field Artillery Battalion and one section Ammunition Train detrained at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi and rejoined the Battalion. Distance traveled by rail: 3000 miles.

      14 May 1944 to 20 July 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion once again united were garrisoned at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi (permanent station) and attached to the 214th Field Artillery Group. At this time being spent in furloughs and leaves and what training that could be accomplished. During this time Lt. Col. Kirn was transferred and Major R. H. Camp assumed command and we were reorganized 155mm Howitzers, M-1, Tractor Drawn.

      1 June 1944 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion was reorganized as Field Artillery Battalion, motorized, 155mm Howitzer, Tractor-Drawn per G.O. No. 87, Headquarters Fourth Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, dated 16 May 1944.

      20 July 1944 at 0815, the 75th Field Artillery Battalion left Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi for permanent change of station by rail to Camp Blanding, Florida, per letter 12th Hq. and Hq. Det. Special Troops, Fourth Army, file 370.5 GNMC12E, Subject: Movement of 75th Field Artillery Battalion to Camp Blanding, Florida, dated 18 July 1944.

      22 July 1944 at 0815, the 75th Field Artillery Battalion arrived at Camp Blanding, Florida. Distance traveled by rail: 800 miles. The Battalion was assigned as Replacement and School Command Troops and given the mission of providing overhead firing for the Infantry.

      20 July 1944 to 29 November 1944 stationed at Camp Blanding, Florida, (permanent station) attached to Infantry Replacement Center with the mission of firing an overhead artillery attack problem for the training of troops. This occupied approximately one-third of our time and so we continued POM and training for AGF tests.

      29 November 1944 at 1000 hours the 75th Field Artillery Battalion left Camp Blanding, Florida by rail enroute to Fort Bragg, N. Carolina per letter Hq. AGF, file 370.5/261 (FA) (R) (23 NOV 44) GNGCT, Subject: Transfer of 75th Field Artillery Battalion, dated 23 November 1944.

      30 November 1944 at 1100 hours the 75th Field Artillery Battalion arrived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (permanent station), Distance traveled by rail: 445 miles.

      27-30 November 1944 the Battalion took the AGF Firing Test, which was completed satisfactorily.


      January 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 39 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 519 enlisted men. End of period: 38 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 509 enlisted men.

      February 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 38 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 509 enlisted men. End of period: 37 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 506 enlisted men.

      March 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 37 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 506 enlisted men. End of period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 484 enlisted men.

      19 March 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion left Fort Bragg, North Carolina by troop train (APO designation 18590) shipment 4408-D enroute to Camp Patrick, Va. in preparation for overseas duty.

      20 March 1945 arrived HRPE, (Camp Patrick Henry, Va.) Staging Area.

      26 March 1945 embarked on the USS Wakefield (Shipment HR 280)

      28 March 1945 sailed HRPE (Newport News, Va.) by transport boat, USS Wakefield (Formerly USS Manhattan).

      29 March 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion was assigned to Fifth (5th) Army.

      April 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 484 enlisted men. End of period: 29 Officers, 1 Warrant Officers and 481 enlisted men.

      7 April 1945 Battalion arrives at Naples, Italy.

      8 April 1945 debarked at Naples, Italy and moved by motor convoy to Hq. Staging Area Peninsula Base Section, APO 782, U.S. Army, Bagnoli, Italy (arrived 1335 hours).

      10 April 1945 left Bagnoli, Italy by motor convoy for troop transport. Embarked on the S.S.Sestriere (Formerly the Italian ship S. A. Franco Tosi).

      11 April 1945 disbarked at Livorno (Leghorn) Italy marched by motor convoy to staging area near Pisa, Italy.

      11-21 April 1945 in staging area near Pisa, Italy (Vecchie 4 km west of Pisa) processing and receiving material.

      21 April 1945 the Battalion received orders to move with the 428th Field Artillery Group to the 92nd Infantry Division area near Massa, Italy (attached to the 92nd Infantry Division).

      22 April 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion left Pisa and moved into battle position near Luni, Italy (Battalion CP at coordinates 81.2-06.6). Length of march: 53.8 km. Weather: good. Route of march on Highway 1 thru Pisa, Viareggio, Massa to Luni. Battery B fired registration by use of air OP, 12 rounds. Able and Baker Batteries under moderate enemy fire.

      23 April 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion fired 28 missions, expending 503 rounds from battle positions near Luni, Italy. Fire was entirely unobserved except for registrations, and was directed against mortar and machine gun positions, personnel, and road junctions. Battalion moved from Luni and moved into battle positions at Sarzanello, Italy, south east of Sarzana (Battalion CP at coordinates: 78.60-09.54). Distance of march: 8.0 km. Weather: Good. Route of march along Highway 1.

      24 April 1945 Battalion fired 6 missions, expending 129 rounds from battle position at Sarzanello, Italy. There missions were registration and fire at enemy personnel. Fire observers as effective but results were not reported. The Battalion moved from Sarzanello, Italy to battle positions near Posticciolo, Italy (Battalion CP at coordinates: 74.26-14.09). Distance of march: 7.3 km. Weather: good. Route of march on Highway 1 to Sarzana, Italy and Highway 62 to Posticciolo.

      27 April 1945 Battalion marched from Posticciolo, Italy to Scorcitoli, Italy.

      28 April 1945 the Battalion arrived at Scorcitoli, Italy and occupied battle positions (Bn. CP at coordinates: 74.18-37.28). Length of march from Posticciolo, Italy to Scorcitoli, Italy: 56.2 km over very mountainous country. Route of march via Highway 62 and Highway 1 from Posticciolo thru Sarzana to a point 2.5 km south of Sarzana when Highway 181 intersects Highway 1. thence to Fosdinova on Highway 181; thence to Highway 63 on Highway 180; thence on Highway 63 to Aulla, Italy; thence on Highway 62 to destination. The weather was very poor it rained all night long. Much trouble was experienced by the Battalion in bypassing roadblocks that the Germans had established by the use of demolition.

      29 April 1945 Battery C fired registration from Scorcitoli position using air observation. Observation was very limited due to fog and rain. 14 rounds were expended no other missions were fired.

      May 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 29 Officers, 1 Warrant Officers and 481 enlisted men. End of period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 481 enlisted men.

      1 May 1945 Battalion marched from Scorcitoli to Sarzana and went into night bivouac in a schoolhouse. Length of march: 50.7 km. Route of march for light vehicles same as route of 28 April 1945. Heavy vehicles moved from Aulla to Sarzana via Highway 82. The weather was again bad with rain falling the entire day. Trouble in bypassing German demolitions were again experienced by the heavy columns.

      2 May 1945 the Battalion received orders at Sarzana, Italy at 0807 to have two batteries in firing position near Ponzano Magra by 0830 to support the 370th Infantry in landing on Isola del Tino, Italy. Length of march: 5.5 km. Batteries were in battle position by 0900. Battalion CP was established at coordinates: 74.10-13.10 near Posticciolo, Italy. Mission was completed at 1430 without firing a round. Message received relieving us from attachment to the 92nd Division and ordering Battalion to move to vicinity of Verona, Italy.

      3-4 May 1945 Battalion moved from Ponzano Magra to Isola della Scala via Sarzana, Italy (Highway 62), Fosdinova (Highway 1 and 181), Rometta (Highway 180), Fivizzano and Reggio Nell Emila (Highway 63), Modena (Highway 9) and thru Mirandola and Nogara to Isola della Scala, Italy. A short stop was made at Reggio Nell Emila for food and refueling the vehicles. Length of the march: 237.4 km. Weather: Good.

      5 May 1945 Battalion ordered to guard captured enemy dump in vicinity of Verona and Vicenza, Italy. Battalion Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, Service Battery, C Battery and Medical Detachment remained at Isola della Scala, Italy (F6536). Battery A moved its CP into Verona, Italy, (F648533). The Battery established outposts at captured enemy ordinance, engineer and signal dumps in and around Verona. Battery B moved its CP into Vicenza, Italy, (G084644). The Battery established outposts at captured enemy quartermaster dumps and enemy hospitals in vicinity of Vicenzia, Italy.

      6 May 1945 Service Battery established outpost guard on enemy material dump near Verona (F648533). Headquarters Battery established its CP at Montibelluno, Italy, (G4989) and furnished outpost guard detail at Feltre, Italy (B3816) for the purpose of guarding enemy chemical warfare dumps.

      END OF THE WAR was officially announced by the Supreme Allied Commander effective 0001 9 May 1945.

      9 May 1945 Battery C established CP at Trento, Italy (A7923). Outpost was established in the vicinity of Rovereto, Italy, (A7103).

      11 May 1945 Service Battery relieved of assignment in vicinity of Verona and returned to Base Camp at Isola della Scala, Italy.

      12 May 1945 Headquarters Battery established outpost at San Martino, Italy, (B3144) to guard enemy medical supplies at that point.

      13 May 1945 Battery A relieved of guard assignments in the vicinity of Verona and entire Battery moved into vicinity of Bressanone, Italy, (B2294). Headquarters Battery relieved of guard duties at San Martino and Feltre, Italy. Battery returned to Base Camp at Isola della Scala, Italy.

      14 May 1945 Battalion CP moved to Lasize, Italy, (F4562). CP established on grounds of Countess Bereninni. Camp located on edge of Lake Garda. Swimming beach and shower was unit available to entire command. Headquarters Battery, Service Battery and Medical Detachment in bivouac at Battalion CP. Battery B relieved of guard assignments at Vicenza and moved to Merano, Italy, (A8391). Battery received billet in hotel in Merano.

      15 May 1945 Battery A assigned guard duty of captured enemy engineer dumps in vicinity of Bressanone, Italy. Battery B assigned guard duty of captured enemy engineer dumps near Merano and captured signal dumps near Glorenza, Italy, (A355946).

      18 May 1945 the CP of Battery C, moved to Bolzano, Italy, (A9772). Battery relieved of guard assignment at Trento and assigned guard assignments in the vicinity of Bolzano.

      18-30 May 1945 75th Field Artillery Battalion CP remained at Lasize, Italy. Headquarters Battery, Service Battery and Medical Detachment stayed with Battalion CP. Battery A remained at Bressanone, Battery B at Merano and Battery C at Bolzano, Italy, all guarding captured enemy dumps.

      June 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 481 enlisted men. End of period: 30 Officers, 3 Warrant Officers and 530 enlisted men.

      June 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion was charged with the responsibility of guarding captured enemy dumps in or near the Italian towns of Coldrano (A5786), Laces (A5985), Naturno (A7388), Merano (A8391), Postal (A8584), Vipiana (A8779), Bagni (V8408), S. Leonardo (V9006), Colle Isarco (W0720), Vipiteno (W0416), Campo di Trens (W0813), Sciaves (W2201), Varna (B2197), Bolzano (A9772), Appiano (A8867), Laives (A9662), Dermulo (A7454) and Lavis (A7532).

      The Battalion was also charged with guarding the Brenner Pass into Austria. The guard post for Benner Pass was located in the town of Passo d Brennero, Italy (W1127).

      During part of this same period the 75th Field Artillery Battalion also was charged with guarding Prisoners of War (German) at the towns of Bressanone, Merano, and Bolzano. All prisoners of war in Northern Italy were eventually congregated at Bolzano and were motor convoyed from Bolzano to Gheidi, Italy (F0852) where the Battalion turned the prisoners over to Prisoner of War Stockade. All POW motor convoys were made up of German vehicles driven by German drivers. An Officer of this Battalion was motor convoy Officer and an enlisted man of this unit rode in the cab of each truck.

      July 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 30 Officers, 3 Warrant Officers and 530 enlisted men. End of period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 484 enlisted men.

      1-15 July 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion was guarding captured German dumps in Northern Italy. Unit History was submitting 14 July 1945 from APO 464 c/o Postmaster, New York, NY.

      16 July 1945 Orders received from Hq. 5th Army stating that the 75th Field Artillery Battalion would report to Montecatini Redeployment Training Area on 18 July 1945 for indirect redeployment to the Pacific Area. (Bn. placed in category 2b, which meant return to the U.S. for 30-day leaves and furloughs before going to Pacific Area). See Secret Letter, Hq. 428th Gp. 20 June 1945, Attached.

      17 July 1945 Batteries A, B, C, were relieved of guard duty and returned to Battalion CP at Lazise, Italy. Battery A moved from Bressanone to Lazise. Distance: 216.3 km. Battery B moved from Merano to Lazise. Distance: 208.5 km. Battery C moved from Bolzano to Lazise. Distance: 168.5 km.

      18 July 1945 Entire 75th Field Artillery Battalion moved from Lazise, Italy to Montecatini Redeployment Training Area, Montecatini, Italy. Distance traveled: 243 km. Route of march: Lazise to Peschiera via Hwy. 11, to Modena via Hwy. 12, to near Bologna via Hwy. 9 to Junction Hwys. 943 and 6423, to via Hwy. 943, to junction 6423 and 64 via Hwy. 6423, to Pistoia via Hwy. 64, to Montecatini via Hwy. 6627. Weather and travel conditions: Excellent. Since Battalion was required to turn in nearly all two and half ton trucks, German vehicles with German drivers were used to supplement organic transportation. See Outgoing Message, Hq. 5th Army, 12 July 1945.

      19-27 July 1945 period used for processing Battalion for return to United States. During this period this unit was designated to travel to the U.S. with elements of the 10th Mountain Division.

      24 July 1945 an advance party from this Battalion, consisting of three Officers and eight enlisted men departed from Italy with the advance party from the 10th Mountain Division for the U.S. (This advance party, 75th FA Bn will herein be called the “Advance Party from Italy” for the sake of clarity).

      28 July 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion less Battery B moved by motor convoy furnished by the Montecatini Redeployment Training Area (MRTA) to the Port of Embarkation, Leghorn (Livorno, west of Florence, Italy). Distance traveled: 75 km. Battalion less Battery B boarded ship, USS Blue Ridge Victory and sailed from Leghorn at 1740 this date. Battery B was moved by Montecatini Redeployment Training Area (MRTA) from Montecatini to Staging Area, Pisa, Italy to await call from Port of Embarkation, Leghorn. Distance traveled: approximately 50 km.

      29 July 1945 Battalion, less Battery B a board the USS Blue Ridge Victory ship bound for POE, Hampton Roads, Va., U.S.A.

      29 July to 14 August 1945 Battery B remained at Staging Area, Pisa, Italy waiting “call” to port.

      30 July 1945 Battalion less Battery B arrives at Oran, Africa.

      31 July to 8 August 1945 Battalion less Battery B departed Oran, Africa bound for U.S. aboard the USS Blue Ridge Victory Ship.

      August 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 484 enlisted men. End of period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 484 enlisted men.

      1 August 1945 advance party from Italy arrives at Miami, Florida via Army air.

      2 August 1945 advance party from Italy arrives at Camp Blanding, Florida for purpose of receiving 30 day TDY, plus travel time.

      9 August 1945 Battalion, less Battery B arrived POE, Hampton Roads, Va.

      Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia
      August 9, 1945

      SPTAK/CPH 370.5

      Subject: Movement Orders (Reception Station Personnel) 75th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med)

      To: All Concerned

      1. The personnel on the attached Transfer Lists, which are part of this order, 75th FA Bn (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med) arrived at Hampton Roads, Port of Embarkation (HRPE), Newport News, Va., on 9 August 1945, have been organized into reception station groups, as indicated, and WP, by rail c/a 10 August 1945 to their proper reception stations on TDY for the purpose of being ordered to desired places of recuperation, rehabilitation, and recovery, for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days, plus travel time, upon completion of which each individual will return to the reception station for further movement, in groups, to the assembly station Camp Carson, Colo. Personnel will not be ordered to a redistribution station. Each individual is a member of the 75th FA Bn (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med) and Camp Carson, Colorado in the new station:

      Group: 75th FA Bn (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med)
      1. Reception Station – Ft. Devons, Mass – 1 Officers, 10 enlisted – TTG TO – Ft. Devon, Mass
      2. Reception Station – Ft Dix, N.J. – 2 Officers, 47 enlisted men – TTG TO – Ft Dix, N.J.
      3. Reception Station – Ft Goo G. Meade, MD – 1 Officers, 20 enlisted men – TTG TO – Ft Goo G. Meade, MD
      4. Reception Station – Ft. Bragg, N.C. – 0 Officers, 11 enlisted men – TTG TO – Ft. Bragg, N.C.
      5. Reception Station – Cp Shelby, Miss. – 2 Officers, 7 enlisted men – TTG TO – Cp Shelby, Miss.
      6. Reception Station – Cp Atterbury, Ind. – 0 Officers, 56 enlisted men – TTG TO – Cp Atterbury, Ind.
      7. Reception Station – Camp Grant, Ill – 2 Officers, 58 enlisted men – TTG TO – Camp Grant, Ill.
      8. Reception Station – Ft Logan, Colo – 1 Officers, 4 enlisted men – TTG TO – Denver, Colorado
      9. Reception Station – Jefferson Bks, Mo. – 0 Officers, 15 enlisted men – TTG TO – Jefferson Bks, Mo.
      10. Reception Station – Ft. Sam Houston, Tex – 0 Officers, 13 enlisted men – TTG TO – Ft. Sam Houston, Tex.
      11. Reception Station – Ft. Bliss, Texas – 1 Officers, 6 enlisted men – TTG TO – Ft Worth, Texas 12. Reception Station – Ft Douglas, Utah – 0 Officers, 6 enlisted men – TTG TO – Salt Lake City, Utah
      13. Reception Station – Ft. Lewis, Wash. – 3 Officers, 9 enlisted men – TTG TO – Ft. Lewis, Wash.
      14. Reception Station – Camp Boalo, Calif. – 0 Officers, 12 enlisted men – TTG TO – Camp Boalo, Calif.
      15. Reception Station – Ft. McPherson, Ga. – 0 Officers, 8 enlisted men – TTG TO – Atlanta, Ga.
      16. Reception Station – Camp McCoy, Wisc. – 0 Officers, 28 enlisted men – TTG TO – Camp McCoy, Wisc.
      17. Reception Station – Ft. Leavenworth, Kans. – 3 Officers, 10 enlisted men – TTG TO – Kansas City, Mo.
      18. Reception Station – Cp Chaffee, Ark. – 1 Officers, 11 enlisted men – TTG TO – Monett, Mo.
      19. Reception Station – Cp Blanding, Fla. – 0 Officers, 7 enlisted men – TTG TO – Cp Blanding, Fla.
      20. Reception Station – Ft MacArthur, Calif. – 2 Officers, 8 enlisted men – TTG TO – San Pedro, California.
      21. Reception Station – Indiantown Gap, Pa. – 2 Officers, 27 enlisted men – TTG TO – Indiantown Gap, Pa.
      22. Reception Station – Camp Gordon, Ga. – 0 Officers, 1 enlisted men – TTG TO – Grovoton, Ga.

      2. This is a PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION with TDY enroute at a reception station.

      3. Individual equipment and clothing necessary for appearance and comfort in traveling to reception stations and during period of recuperation will be taken. All other equipment, clothing and records not needed by the reception stations, will accompany the detachment to the assembly station. All personnel will be carried on the Morning Report of the detachment as on TDY.

      4. The TO, QMC and Camp Mess Officer, will furnish necessary T, kitchen car facilities, meal tickets, box lunches, and troop training rations, sufficient to cover the number of personnel indicated in Par. 1 above for length of journey. TDN. 601-31 P 431-02-07-08 A 212/60425 S 99-999; 601-31 P433-02-03-07-08 A 212/60425 S99-999. (Auth: Ltr WD TAG AG 370.5 (22 July1945) CB-S-E-SPMCT-M subject: Movement Orders, 10th Mountain Division and Components Units dated 24 July 1945).

      By order of Colonel Fountain

      J. J. Hanculak
      1st Lt, TC
      Asst Adjutant

      Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia
      August 9, 1945

      SPTAK/CPH 370.5

      Subject: Movement Orders 75th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med)

      To: All Concerned

      1. The 75th FA Bn (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med), having arrived at HRPE, Newport News, Va., on 9 August 1945, by rail c/a 10 August 1945, from this station to Camp Carson, Colorado, reporting upon arrival thereat to the Commanding Officer for assignment to the AGF and Fourth Army

      2. This is a PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. EDCMR (Effective date of change on morning report) will be the date of arrival at new station.

      3. A Detachment, 75th FA Bn (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med), consisting of the following named officer (s) and EM (enlisted men), is organized for the purpose of accompanying the unit records, personnel records not needed by the reception stations, and any individual equipment not needed by other personnel for travel to reception stations. All organizational equipment arriving with unit will be shipped separately to the assembly station Camp Carson, Colo. Equipment arriving subsequently for the unit will be shipped to the assembly station. Detachment as follows:

      Major LeRoy C Land, 75th FA Bn
      Captain George D. Gabriel, 75th FA Bn
      Tech. Sgt. Glen F. Reich, 75th FA Bn
      Cpl. Milton J. Loop, 75th FA Bn

      4. Upon arrival of the detachment at the assembly station and upon establishment of personnel and supply administration, the Commanding Officer thereof will process the detachment and will grant recuperation to all individuals for a period of not to exceed thirty (30) days, plus travel time, for the purpose of recuperation, rehabilitation and recovery, upon completion of which each individual will return to the assembly station.

      5. Major LeRoy C. Land, FA is designated as Detachment Commander. He will take charge of and conduct the detachment to destination.

      6. All Morning Reports prepared up to and including the day prior to departure, will be forwarded to the MRU, HRPE, through the Director of Personnel, this station. All personnel of the 75th FA Bn (155mm HOW, TRAC DR) (W/Atchd Med), will be carried by the detachment from date of departure from this station to date of arrival at new station. Morning Reports for the day of departure and those originating enroute (special attention is invited to Sec. III, AR345-400) will be forwarded to the MRU servicing the organization at its new location.

      7. TCNT and meal tickets for number of EM indicated in Par. 3 above, for such time as length of journey requires. TDN. 601-31 P 431-02-03-07-08 A 212/60425 S99-999. (Auth: Ltr WD TAG 370.5 (22 July 1945) OB-S-E-SPMOT-M. Subject: Movement Orders, 10th Mountain Division and Component Units Dtd 24 July 1945).

      By order of Colonel Fountain:

      J. J. Hanculak
      1st Lt., TC
      Asst. Adjutant

      10 August 1945 the day spent in processing all personnel except POE advance party from Italy. Battalion less Battery B and POE advance party departed for Reception Centers and eventual 30 days TDY, plus travel time.

      11 August 1945 POE advance party departed Camp Patrick Henry, Va. for Camp Carson, Colorado for purpose of transporting Battalion records to new station.

      14 August 1945 POE advance party arrived at Camp Carson, Colorado.

      15 August 1945 Battery B departed Staging Area, Pisa, Italy for Piambino, Italy. Distance traveled 50 km. Boarded USS Athos II approximately 1100 hours. Sailed for Livorno, Italy approximately 1700 hours.

      16 August 1945 POE advance party departed Camp Carson, Colorado for period of 30 days TDY, plus time traveled. Battery B departed Livorno, Italy 1600 bound for U.S.A.

      17-28 August 1945 Battery B aboard USS Athos II bound for U.S.A.

      75th Field Artillery Battalion, Italy 1945 Campaign:

      1. Name: Po Valley Campaign (Letter MTOUSA, AG 200.6/040 P-O, 26 May 1945, subject: “Battle Participation Awards”.

      2. Duration: 5 April 1945 to 8 May 1945

      3. Purpose of the Po Valley Campaign was to drive the Germans from the industrial sections of Northern Italy and into the mountainous country of the Alps. The campaign resulted in the surrender of the German Army Force in Italy on 2 May 1945.

      Battles: None designed

      4. Combat Zone: Italy an adjacent waters north of the line; Pietrasanta-San Marcello-Riola-Castiglione-Brisinghella-Ravenna (all inclusive) Commanding Officers in important engagements:

      1. Engagement: Po Valley Campaign

      2. Name: Lt. Col. Robert H. Camp

      Losses in Action: None

      Commanding Officer June 1945: Lt. Col. Robert H. Camp

      17 August to 7 September 1945 Battalion records were maintained by Hq. 33rd Special Troops, 4th Army, Camp Carson, Colorado. No personnel from Battalion were physically present during this time.

      29 August 1945 Battery B arrived New York POE approximately 0900. Entire Battery moved to Camp Shanks, N.Y. via train.

      30 August 1945 Battery B, Officers and enlisted men departed for various Reception Centers for purpose of obtaining TDY.

      31 August 1945 Battery B advance party departed Camp Shanks, N.Y. for assembly area, Camp Carson, Colorado for purpose of transporting Battery records to new station.

      September 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 484 enlisted men. End of period: 28 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 413 enlisted men. Commanding Officer during the period 1945: Lt. Col. Robert H. Camp

      3 September 1945 advance party Battery B arrived at Camp Carson, Colorado.

      5 September 1945 Battery B advance party departed Camp Carson, Colorado for purpose of 30 days TDY plus travel time.

      8 September 1945 initial advance party from Italy arrived Camp Carson, Colorado.

      9 September to 31 October usual garrison duties and reorganization due to loss of approximately 90 percent of former Officer and enlisted personnel.

      October 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 27 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 409 enlisted men. End of period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 499 enlisted men. Commanding Officer during the period 1945: Lt. Col. Robert H. Camp. Present station, Camp Carson, Colorado.

      November 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 29 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 521 enlisted men. End of period: 28 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 305 enlisted men. Commanding Officer during the period 1945: Lt. Col. Robert H. Camp. Present station, Camp Carson, Colorado.

      December 1945 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 24 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 305 enlisted men. End of period: 26 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 344 enlisted men. Commanding Officer during the period 1945: Lt. Col. Robert H. Camp. Present station, Camp Carson, Colorado.

      20 December 1945 the 75th Field Artillery Battalion received written orders to transfer from Camp Carson, Colorado to Fort Ord, California: 370.5/4293(20 Dec 45) GNGCT-52 – It is desired that Commanding General, Second Army, issue necessary instructions to transfer 75th Field Artillery Battalion and 317th Ordinance Medium Maintenance Company from Camp Carson, Colorado to Fort Ord, California. Movements will be made at earliest practicable date after 10 January 1946. Movement of the 75th Field Artillery Battalion is a Permanent change of station. Upon arrival at Fort Ord, California, these units are released from assignment to the Second Army and assigned to VII Corps. Effective date of change on morning report will be date units arrive at new station. Notify Commanding General, VII Corps, of probable date of arrival of units. Detail of movement will be governed by Section IV, Circular No.358, WD, 1944, and letter, Hq. AGF, 370.5/4282 (20 Nov. 45) GNGCT-52, 20 November 1945, Subject: “Instruction Governing Domestic Troop Movements”. Transportation of dependents and authorized baggage belonging to personnel of the 75th Field Artillery Battalion will be in accordance with the provisions of Section X, Circular No. 287, WD, 1945, as amended.

      By Command of General Devers

      S. R. Knight
      Lt. Col., AGD
      Asst. Ground Adjutant General

      29 December 1945 from 33D Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second army, Camp Carson, Colorado. Memorandum: To: C.O. 75th Field Artillery Battalion, Camp Carson, Colorado:

      The following TWX from Headquarters, Second Army, GNMBD 1384, dated 28 December 1945 is quoted for your information:



      Clyde T. McKinney
      1st Lt., AGD
      Actg Adj General


      January 1946 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 22 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 287 enlisted men. End of period: 24 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 242 enlisted men. Present station, Fort Hood, Texas

      7 January 1946 From: Headquarters Second Army, Office of Commanding General, Memphis 15, Tennessee, (370.5 GNMBD). To: Commanding Officer, 33d Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army, Camp Carson, Colorado. Subject: Transfer of 75th Field Artillery Battalion and 317th Ordinance Medium Maintenance Company:

      In compliance with letter, Headquarters Army Ground Forces, dated 4 January 1946, file 370.5/4301 (4 Jan. 1946) GNGCT-52, Subject: “Transfer of Certain Units from Camp Carson, Colorado” issue necessary orders to move the 75th Field Artillery Battalion from Camp Carson, Colorado to Camp Hood, Texas for permanent change of station, and the 317th Ordinance Medium Maintenance Company from Camp Carson, Colorado to Fort Ord, California, for intermediate change of station. The 317th Ordinance Medium Maintenance Company is scheduled for movement from Fort Ord, California to a new permanent station to be designated about 1 April 1946.

      Upon arrival at Camp Hood, Texas, the 75th Field Artillery Battalion is released from assignment to Second Army and attachment to 33d Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army, and is assigned to Fourth Army. Effective date of change on morning report will be date unit arrives at new station. Notify Commanding General, Fourth Army of probable date of arrival. Transportation of dependents and authorized baggage belonging to personnel of the 75th Field Artillery Battalion will be in accordance with the provisions of Section X, Circular No. 287, WD, 1945, as amended.

      1-15 January 1946 Orders received from Hqs, Second Army, stating that 75th Field Artillery Battalion would move to Camp Hood, Texas, for a permanent change of station. See, Letter file 370.5 (GNMCD) dated 7 Jan. 1946, Hqs. Second Army, Subject: Transfer of the 75th FA Bn and 317th Ord. MM Co. and letter File AG 370.5 GNMWC, dated 15 Jan. 1946, 33rd Hqs and Hqs Det, Sp Trps, Second Army, Subject: Movement Orders, attached.

      15 January 1946 From: 33d Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army, Camp Carson, Colorado. To: C.O. 75th Field Artillery Battalion, Camp Carson, Colorado. Subject: Movement Orders:

      In compliance with letter, Headquarters Army Ground Forces, dated 4 January 1946, file 370.5/4301 (4 Jan. 1946) GNGCT-52, Subject:” Transfer of Certain units from Camp Carson, Colorado”, and letter, Headquarter Second Army, dated 7 January 1946, file 370.5 (GNMBD), Subject: “Transfer 75th Field Artillery Battalion”. The 75th Field Artillery Battalion this station will proceed to Camp Hood, Texas, departing no later the 20 January 1946 for a permanent change of station. Upon arrival at Camp Hood, Texas, unit will be released from assignment to Second Army and attachment to 33d Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army and is assigned to Fourth Army. Effective date of change of morning report will be date of arrival of unit at new station. Movement will be made by rail in accordance with the provisions of Circular No. 106, Headquarters Second Army, 25 October 1945, as amended by Circular No. 128, Headquarters Second Army, 29 November 1945.

      16-19 January 1946 period used to prepare Battalion for movement to Camp Hood, Texas. All equipment was turned in with the exception of minimum essential equipment.

      18 January 1946 From 33d Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army, Camp Carson, Colorado. To: C.O. 75th Field Artillery Battalion, Camp Carson, Colorado. Subject: Amendment Number 1 to Movement Orders:

      1. So much of paragraph 7, Letter, 33d Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army, Camp Carson, Colorado, File AG 370.5 GNMWC, Dated 15 January 1946 as pertains to permanent change of station of 75th Field Artillery Battalion, Camp Carson, Colorado as reads: “QMC will furnish rations for three hundred (300) men two days journey” is amended to read: “QMC will furnish rations for one hundred ninety-two (192) men two days journey”.

      Clyde T. McKinney
      1st Lt., AGD
      Actg Adj General

      19-20 January 1946 the 764th Field Artillery Battalion moved from Camp Carson, Colorado to Camp Hood, Texas, leaving Camp Carson at 1000 hours 19 January, and arriving Camp Hood at 2330 hours 20 January 1946. Travel was made in day coaches. Upon arrival at Camp Hood, the Battalion was assigned to the 429th FA Group under control of 11th Hqs and Hqs Det, Sp Trps, Fourth Army.

      20 to 31 January 1946 period were used to draw equipment and organization of Battalion and area. Training was resumed and the Bn settled down to usual garrison duties.

      1 February to 10 February 1946 Organization Strength 75th Field Artillery Battalion – Beginning of the period: 22 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers and 287 enlisted men. End of period: 0 Officers, 0 Warrant Officers and 0 enlisted men. 75th Field Artillery Battalion: inactivated February 10, 1946. Present station inactivated, Fort Hood, Texas.

      1-4 February 1946 usual garrison duties.

      4 February 1946 verbal order was received from Commanding General, 11th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Fourth Army, to inactivate the Battalion by 10 February 1946.

      5-7 February 1946 period used to turn in all equipment in preparation for inactivation.

      7 February 1946 From: 11th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Special Troops, Fourth Army, Camp Hood, Texas:

      General Orders No. 5:

      Subject: Inactivation of Surplus Units:

      1. Pursuant to authority contained in letter, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, file 321/162 (R) (8 October 1945) GNGCT-42, 4 January 1946 as amended by letter, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, same subject and file, 30 January 1946 and 1st Indorsement, Headquarters Fourth Army, file AG 321 GNMDC (30 January 1946), 4 February 1946, the following unit will be inactivated at this station on 10 February 1946:

      429th Field Artillery Group, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery
      558th Field Artillery Battalion
      75th Field Artillery Battalion
      764th Field Artillery Battalion
      767th Field Artillery Battalion
      661st Field Artillery Battalion
      661st Tank Destroyer Battalion
      135th Ordinance Medium Maintenance Company
      16th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
      7th Field Artillery Observation Battalion

      2.Separate instructions:
      a. Separate instruction will be issued by this Headquarters on disposition of personnel.
      b. Personnel on whom court-martial charges are pending, will be reported to this headquarters for disposition and the charges referred in accordance with letter, this headquarters, file 321 GNMC11, 24 October 1945, subject: “Standing Operating Procedure on Administration of Units Inactivating, Disbanding, or Discontinuing”.
      c. No enlisted man will be reduced in grade as a direct result of any action ordered herein.
      3. Items of equipment will be turned in to post supply agencies as provided by letter, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, file 400.703/400 (11 January 1946) GNGBS, 11 January 1946, subject: a “Disposition of Equipment”, and st Indorsement, Headquarters, Fourth Army, file AG 475 GNMDC-C, 23 January 1946.
      4. Equipment, unit funds, fund properties and unit records of inactivated units will be disposed of in accordance with applicable provisions of War Department RR 1-6, current series.
      5. Records will be disposed of and reported in accordance with AR 15-15, and as prescribed in Section VIII, RR 1-6.
      6. The provisions of letters, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, 380.01/251 (12 September 1945) GNGBI, 12 September 1945, Subject; “Intelligence and Security Procedure during Inactivation of Units”, will be complied with.
      8-10 February 1946 remainder of equipment was turned in, personnel transferred, all records and documents prepared for storage, and the Battalion was completely inactivated on 10 February 1946.

      (Left) March 16, 1941 – Gas is no respecter of men or beasts, and so the 75th Field Artillery provides gas masks for its horses before going through maneuvers at Fort Ord, including a simulated gas attack. The horses don’t seem to like the idea much.

      (Right) Not an elephant, just a horse wearing a gas mask, that weird animal out front, bearing a Fort Ord soldier of the 75th Field Artillery, one of the few horse-drawn battalions in the Regular Army. Gunners and horses alike wear the gas masks.

      • Gary Tefft says:

        To: James LaVerdure
        Thank you for providing this detailed history of the75th Field Artillery Battalion. Where does one go to find such records for other units? My father served in Battery F; 216th Coast Artillery – Anti Aircraft on Adak Island from September 1942 until April 1944. He later served with Company C, 381st Engineers Combat Battalion in Holland, Belgium and Germany between February through September 1945.

        I’d love to be able to find such records for those units, as I’m sure many other vets and their descendents would for their units. Are such records commonly available?

  65. Jack Jonas says:

    Any new photos are always welcome. Send to

  66. Troy says:

    Contact your Congress person to have this Jap monument at Attu Removed!

  67. Chad Randolph says:

    This is American property. NOT Japanese property. Remove the memorial now.

    • Jack Jonas says:

      Troy and Chad:

      We intend to petition the U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, Wash, DC, the current stewards of Attu, as soon as we obtain 1,000 signatures on our petition at

      If you want to help us relocate the Japanese memorial on Attu, please go to this Facebook web site and sign the petition. Thank You.

      And to all veterans everywhere – this is a Call to Arms! We need your help! Email me at for more details.

  68. Gary Lee says:

    How is the petition going?

    • Jack Jonas says:

      As of this morning we have obtained 368 signatures. Our goal is 1,000 or more. Thanks to you Gary and Jim LaVerdure and patriots throughout the country for their support! We have a long way to go however.

  69. lee says:

    Please don,t attack me for this as I am just asking a question, does the Japanese memorial have to be removed, can it not be moved and a better US memorial be placed in a more prominent place and given presidency.

    I must admit the one at the moment seems pretty poor considering the sacrifices made by so many.

    I know many veterans are still very bitter about the actions of the Japanese forces and rightly so, many commonwealth veterans think the same way.

    Just an honest question,

    • Eric L Lucas says:

      It certainly can be moved and that is a viable option. It is, in fact, a compromise position, which gives it merit. In Europe, at a major US Military cemetery (I don’t remember which one), if you duck through some shrubs behind the US memorial, you’ll find a modest German memorial to all the German boys who did their duty on the Coast of France. It isn’t in-your-face, like the Japanese memorial on Attu is. It is reasonable, proportional, and nicely positioned. Germans lost a lot of soldiers who heeded the call to arms and did their duty. Shame it was against us. I think the Americans should erect a couple of memorials in Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and in Tokyo. We lost a lot of boys fire-bombing and nuclear-bombing those towns and I think if the Japanese can have a memorial to their people in Attu, we can have a massive memorial to our fly-boys in those three cities. Think about that for a minute…if the Japanese would be offended by that, and I bet they would be, then surely they can understand how we are offended by the Japanese memorial at Attu. Take it away!

  70. Jack Jonas says:

    Our cause is to simply have the memorial removed from sanctified “Hallowed Ground” and relocated to a spot on Attu having no battlefield significance what-so-ever. To petition to have it removed completely from the island would to be to ignore history. But it doesn’t belong right smack dab in the middle of a major battlefield either (Engineer Hill). Our request to have it relocated is fair, just and simply the right thing to do!

  71. lee says:

    Hi Jack,

    Thank you for that explanation, yes I agree it is a fair request having read the history of the campaign, sitting it where an atrocity was committed was insensitive of who ever commissioned it.

    I tried to sign the petition, however it will not allow non US content/signatories. but good luck in your endeavour

    • Jack Jonas says:

      I want to thank you Lee for your interest in all of this. I would be willing to bet that fewer than 5% of Americans even know that a major battle took place during WWII on American sovereign soil. This article is one of very few ever to be posted to the internet.

      I think the reason why it is a hard thing to get Americans to stand up and be counted for a just cause such as this; they probably think we will ask for money donations. We don’t need anyone’s money, only their patriotism.

      There is a way you can help Lee – email me at and I’d be glad to let you know how.

  72. Richard J Kidd says:

    This is American property. NOT Japanese property. Remove the memorial now.

    • Eric L Lucas says:

      I understand the Japanese are a proud people, and that’s fine, so are Americans. Putting a memorial on Engineer Hill is a well intentioned act, but highly inappropriate. A plaque on the beach area might be more tolerable, but that huge memorial on Engineer Hill is in very poor taste. It would be a nice gesture if the Japanese removed it.

      • Jack Jonas says:

        Eric – I know that the Japanese are a proud people too. And just as important, they are one of our better friends to where they were our worst enemy at one time.

        Their Memorial in the middle of Engineer Hill is an inappropriate location and the Dept of the Interior should never have permitted this to happen. It’s that simple. Let’s get it relocated to a more appropriate location. Please go to and sign the petition. Please. The petition speaks for itself.

  73. Jim Sabean says:

    On this 4th of July, please remember the soldiers who gave their lives defending our sovereign soil.

    Please see our FaceBook page ( and group ( and petition ( to have the Japanese memorial relocated off of hallowed ground, and an American memorial erected in its place. Thank you!

  74. Eric L Lucas says:

    Hi: My wife’s uncle Joe Baluka, was buried in Adak Post Cemetery #2 in the 1943 time frame. His body was disinterred and returned home in October 1948. He rests now next to his parents in Great Falls, Montana.

    He is listed in the US Roster of World War II Dead (section B, page 134), but interestingly enough, he was a civilian. The family says he couldn’t talk about what he did for the Army.

    Does anyone have any idea what role a civilian might have played in the Battle for Attu? We assume he was wounded on Attu and evacuated to the hospital at Adak, where he died of his wounds.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.


    • Jack Jonas says:

      I know that there were at least 3 AP civilian reporters that were with our boys during the entire time on Attu. They filed reports back to their newspapers but many never made the news.

      In my research, I’ve never came across any information about civilians except for the AP reporters I’ve mentioned above.

      Just hang on, if anyone knows the answer to your question, it will be James LaVerdure. Jim is probably one of the best Attu Historians around. If he knows the answer he’ll post it.

      Ironic – I’m a born native of Montana (Billings) – spent a year’s tour of duty at Malstrom AFB, Great Falls, Mt – 1963.

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi Eric, I did see the roster that listed Joe Baluka. I did find two Joe Baluka, that i found on was born about 1878, and married to a Elizabeth, they had four children, William,Julia,Thomas and Lillain. I did find some old Great Falls, City Directories, it showed he work in the mines, as a driver,smelter and labor, it also gave the addresses where he lived. Also found a Joe Baluka, married to a Elaine, i going to research this one more. The first Joe B, would of been about 63 years old when he was on Attu. If you would like for me to send you what i have found on please get back with me


      • DONALD L. COOK says:


  75. Larry Weathers says:

    My father, Wesley O. Weathers served in the Aleutian Islands in WWII and I have a copy of a letter that he send to his sister on 8/17/1943 from there. The return address has him in Co G 2nd Bn 58th Infantry. I have not been able to find much information about his unit and their role in the Aleutian’s. As is the case with many others his records were lost in the St. Louis fire. If anyone has information on his unit I sure would appreciate it. I do know that after he left the Aleutian’s he was sent to Germany. I do have some pictures that he brought back from the Aleutian’s.

    • James LaVerdure says:

      Hi, Here is a little info about the 58th. This article mention the 58th participated in the retaking of Attu, i have many books on the battle for Attu, and not one book says anything about the 58th being in the battle for Attu. The 17th and 32nd Regiments of the 7th Division, and one Battalion of the 4th Infantry fought on Attu, and no other units fought on Attu, during the battle that started on May 11th 1943 and ended on May 31th 1943. Like i said, i have books and many articles on the battle for Attu, and i have not read where the 58th fought on Attu.


      2-58th Infantry Battalion

      The 58th Infantry Regiment was reconstituted and reactivated in April of 1942, and participated in the retaking of the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska from the Japanese during the period May through August of 1943. These were the only battles with the Japanese on U.S. North American soil. The 58th also fought in Europe as a part of the 8th Armored Division in the Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. The 58th Infantry thus had units fight both the Japanese and Germans.

    • James LaVerdure says:

      I found this article on a Attu site.

      A couple of requests for information regarding the 58th Infantry Regiment’s involvement in the Aleutian Islands during WWII found me with no answers. I searched through two dozen books and the Internet at length looking for information about the 58th Infantry with no luck. Ardon Smith (WWII Attu) came through with this description of the 58th’s history in the Aleutians:
      Here is the scoop on the 58th Infantry Regiment (Separate) in WWII per Order of Battle:

      24 Apr 42: activated at Ft Lewis Washington State.

      May 1942: Staged at Cp Murray Washington State, arriving at Ft Glenn, Alaska, late May 42.

      June 1942: transferred to Dutch Harbor Alaska.

      26 Jan 1944: 58th Infantry Regiment Headquarters disbanded.

      26 Jan 1944: the 58th Infantry Regiment’s 1st and 2nd Battalions re-designated 203rd & 204th Infantry Battalions.

      10 Feb 1944: the 58th’s 3rd Battalion was re-designated as the 205th Infantry Battalion.

      16 Dec 1944: The 203rd Battalion debarked at Seattle Port of Embarkation, arrived Cp Shelby MS 2 Mar 45.

      4 Jan 1945: The 204th Battalion debarked at Seattle Port of Embarkation, arrived at Cp Shelby MS on 8 Mar 45.

      7 Aug 1944: The 205th Battalion arrived Attu Alaska, arrived Seattle Port of Embarkation 10 Jan 45, arrived Cp Shelby, MS on 8 Mar 45.

      26 Jan 1944: The 198th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, activated in Alaska with personnel and equipment from the 1st Battalion, 71st Infantry Regiment and employed to garrison Aleutian Islands, was re-designated as the 206th Infantry Battalion.

      No distinctive Insignia authorized for the 58th Infantry Regt, 198 Infantry Regiment, 203rd, 204th, or 205th Infantry Battalions.

      15 Feb 1945: the 206th Infantry Battalion debarked at Seattle Port of Embarkation on 15 Feb 45, arrived Cp Shelby, MS 9 May 45.

  76. Lance Cordill says:

    PERHAPS, the reason the Japanese government was able to secure a monument in the Aleution Islands is that the way in which we Americans have been inculcated as to how World War 2 ended (ie, the two atomic bombs in August and Japanese surrender in September, 1945) is a distortion (at the least) to pure fabrication (at its extreme). I obviously wasn’t around during the time frame of World War 2 (1930′-40’s). But, I have been around long enough to know that history gets written, rewritten and rewritten by those who control our economies and banking system. Before I get snapped at, please go back and re-read the first word of this posting. Thank you.

    • Eric L Lucas says:

      While your proposal may be true, I think a simpler answer is more probable. Donald P. Hodel was the Secretary of the Interior who approved the installation of the memorial, at a time when President Reagan was trying to shore up relations with Japan. I think the installation of this memorial was done to further Foreign Policy at a time when Japan seemed to have us over a barrel, economically. In the end, regardless of whether it was installed as part of a fine-tuning of history (which I have no doubt happens) or as a short-term Foreign Policy expedient, it was done in error and needs to be moved to a less prominent, less sacred position. The more I think about it, the more I’d like to see those memorials to the fly-boys who died stick-bombing Japanese cities installed in the town square of those cities. :-)

      • Jack Jonas says:

        This makes sense Eric. However, in 2007 I obtained 24 official documents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, and amazingly, of these documents you’ll not find one reference, nor one document with Hodel’s name on it nor one reference or document with President Reagan’s name on it. I suspect that neither had any knowledge of what was going on unless they were briefed by phone only and no memo of record was ever created to document such conversations; if in fact they ever occurred.

  77. Jack Jonas says:

    Your absolutely right Lance in your assumption that the it was an act of appeasement on the part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the Japanese memorial on Attu and more importantly the location they permitted the Japanese Government to place it on Engineer Hill.

    No one will disagree that the fire bombings by Curtis LeMay of 60 Japanese cities were immoral. But when it comes to the decision to have dropped the two Atomic Bombs, it was either this or it meant a blockade of Japan for 6 months to a year in an effort to starve them into submission to surrender. What would have been worse – you decide.

    Everyone always seems to forget – we didn’t start this war! And once it was started, look here to see the atrocities that followed:

    Not once, in all these years, has a Japanese Government Official ever announced a sincere apology for what they did – not once! Rather, it has been turned completely around and in their minds, we were the “bad guys” in the whole affair. Those ugly Americans – they dropped the bombs on our old men, women, children and babies. In my mind, dying instantly or dying a slow agonizing death from starvation, the bombs were more humane. And at the end of the day, they saved the lives of countless U.S. Servicemen in the end. To all Americans – this had to be the most important thing of all.

  78. Gary Lee says:

    During WW 2, the Japanese were still living under some aspects of the Samurai Caste system. This political spectrum was very interesting in that they held very strict boundaries on inclusion with other persons who were not part of your social clique.
    The pure Samurai system held that the two social groups were the Samurai and the peasant. The Samurai owned the land, and the peasant owned and cared for the crops. In this way if the Samurai became abusive the peasant population could cut off the supply of food. If the peasants became rebellious, the Samurai could withhold permission for their use of the land. In addition, the Samurai was the only group allowed to own weapons.They served the head of the caste in their area.
    The military spirit that this produced was one in which duty to the superior was sacrosanct.
    As the Bushido code diminished in relevance due to exposure of other cultures during exploration, one of the things that remained ever untouchable was complete loyalty and obedience to the Emperor and his representatives.
    It was this kind of thought that led the Japanese to believe that they were destined to be “Lords of all the earth”.
    If you were not Japanese you were less than the lowest of animals and your life depended on the mercies of the Military overlords where they would conquer.
    When a person reads the history of the Japanese forces in WW 2 one is appalled at the barbarism with which they carried out battle and destruction of other cultures.
    To understand the extent of their cruelty and depravity one needs to read “The Rape of Nanking” or investigate the medical research captured combatants held at their hands.
    It came out after the war that they had gone into Korea and every girl under a given age were kidnapped and designated a prostitute. They were then sent to the Japanese in their current locations and forced to service the soldiers.
    In the Rape of Nanking, the leading general drew a map around the whole city and declared that every woman inside of it was a prostitute.
    Their code of honor would not tolerate rape, but if the woman was a prostitute it wasn’t rape.
    There is a lot of concern over the use of the nuclear weapons in Japan.
    I would ask you to think of the hundreds of thousands of people who were the victims of their cruelty and savagery.
    To erect a monument to the Japanese, whatever the reason, on a battlefield where they were holding American soil and trying to kill every soldier they encountered, combined with the atrocities of their armies, is abominable.
    Why not just go to Arlington and dance on the graves.

  79. Gary Lee says:

    I should have also added to the above that the Japanese believed their emperor to be God. This lent credence to their belief that at some point they would rule the earth.

  80. Jack Jonas says:



    If you believe that it is wrong to allow a foreign government to place four of their memorials right smack dab in the middle of a WWII battlefield, American sovereign soil, or

    If you believe that it is wrong, even under the slightest possibility, they were placed at the exact spot where one or more of our young men had laid dead or dying, or

    If you believe that such a battlefield location to be “Hallowed Ground” to never be desecrated in any way, then help me have these foreign government icons relocated to another location not having any battlefield significance what-so-ever. Where they are currently located is reprehensible, appalling, and inappropriate from a standpoint of military tradition!

    In the early morning hours of 29 May 1943, one of the largest Japanese Bonsai charges of the war took place on the island of Attu, Alaska at a place called Engineer Hill. Nearly 1,000 Japanese soldiers overran a company of Army Engineers, shooting and bayoneting as many as 250 of our boys to include 24 wounded and helpless GI’s as they lay inside 2 of 3 medical aid station tents; men of the 7th Infantry Division and of the fighting 4th Infantry Regiment of the Alaska Defense Force, slaughtered without mercy!

    When the Japanese realized the battle was lost, nearly 500 committed suicide by placing a grenade to their head or belly. Afterwards, Japanese body parts lay intermingled with our dead or dying.

    On 1 July 1987, carefully selected agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior (in secret and without our knowledge) allowed the Japanese government to place 4 of their memorials on Engineer Hill. But this despicable and misguided act was not discovered until 2003 when S/Sgt William “Bill” Jones, veteran of the Battle of Attu, 11-29 May 1943, returned to the island to participate in the making of a documentary titled: Red, White, Black and Blue. Bill was one of the 12 wounded in medical tent 3 that through an act of shear luck his life and the lives of the others were spared that day.

    So appalled and outraged, he spent the next 7 years trying to have these Japanese icons removed completely from the island. Bill passed away at 2305 hours, Sunday, 29 August 2010; his patriotism lost, his love of country shattered. I offered my help and support to Bill in January 2008 after seeing the documentary on PBS, Veterans Day, 2007. And I swore an oath, one veteran to another, that if it took the rest of my life, I would get these foreign icons removed off Engineer Hill.

    It took a man like Bill to realize that the very fiber of military honor and remembrance had been spat upon by our government. And I feel exactly the same way.

    If we, as veterans and Americans, do not stand up and be counted on behalf of the 549 U.S. Servicemen that were killed in action on Attu – then who will!! The honor of these men of valor must be restored!

    Please click on and sign the petition today.

    Contact me at if you have further questions (I don’t need your money, only your help and support to correct a situation that I consider a “National Disgrace”!

    John E. Jonas, TSgt, USAF (Ret)
    Chairman, Project VICtory

    Note: Don’t trust Facebook with your personal information? Well, neither do I. That’s why your personal data applicable to the petition will be stored on a secure Google.doc spread sheet application. Only Jim Sebean, the site creator and myself have access to it.

    President Kennedy once said that not only was it our right to correct government mistakes, it was our responsibility as well.

    “We the People”

  81. Robert H. Wray says:

    Few people know that Japanese forces invaded and occupied American soil during World War II, resulting in a series of battles that claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers.

    Mack Collings, a Hesperia resident and a veteran of the Battle of Attu, wants to change that by telling as many people as he can about his experience and stressing the importance of those battles to the American people.

    “The important part is that the government did not let the people of the United States know that we had enemies on American soil,” Collings said. “To this day they have never admitted we had enemies on American soil since the War of 1812. That’s what upsets me.”

    In what is now called “The Forgotten Battle,” the Aleutian Islands Campaign began in June 1942 when the Japanese occupied the arctic islands of Attu and Kiska, part of the chain of islands extending southwest from what was then the U.S.-controlled Territory of Alaska. It took U.S. forces nearly a year to remove the Japanese.

    Collings, who was 23 at the time, played the trumpet as a member of the 4th Infantry Regiment Band. Collings did not actually fight in the Battle of Attu, as he didn’t have a battlefield ranking because he was a member of the signal corps, but said he still saw combat firsthand.

    He said he would run supplies and messages across the snow- and ice-covered battlefield between the commanders and his comrades as well as helping medics transport wounded soldiers off the field.

    “The generals said the battle would only take three days,” Collings said. The Battle of Attu actually lasted more than two weeks and many U.S. and Allied troops died not only from enemy fire but from friendly fire, diseases and the bitter cold.

    The U.S. forces were not as prepared or equipped as the Japanese. Collings said his regiment had been trained for desert warfare, not for arctic conditions, and that they initially didn’t even know why they were being shipped to Attu.

    Collings said the 14th Infantry Regiment had crude tents and trenches, and every morning they woke up with everything submerged under six inches of water.

    Collings said it is important for the American public to realize that a foreign enemy invaded America’s backyard.

    “I would like someone in the government to tell me why no one has talked about Attu,” Collings said. “I’ve pushed a lot over the years. It isn’t just here in Hesperia. I’ve pushed it for years, but nobody can give me an answer. It’s something that I just can’t get over.”

    The Battle of Attu ended in May 1943 when Japanese forces attacked near Massacre Bay in one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific Campaign. In the brutal fight, most of which was hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, only 28 Japanese soldiers survived out of more than 2,000.

    Shortly after in August 1943, Allied forces invaded Kiska for almost three weeks only to find that the Japanese had abandoned the island before the Allied forces even landed. Despite there being no enemy force present, 313 Allied soldiers died from friendly fire, booby traps, disease and frostbite.

    While the Aleutian Islands Campaign kept enemy forces from invading farther into U.S. soil, it is still basked in obscurity and plagued by many preventable U.S. and Allied deaths.

    “There’s more to the story than you can possibly realize, and nobody in America knows of it,” Collings said. “That’s what I want to change.”

  82. Robert H. Wray says:

    “The Fourth Infantry Comes
    To The Rescue”

    By Pfc Charlie E. Harris
    Co. C
    4th Infantry Regiment

    We were on the Isle of Adak one summer day
    The Seventh called for help, and they took us away
    We boarded a boat, and sailed the blue
    For an Island known as Attu.

    The Japs were here, and very much alive
    The Seventh was glad to see us arrive
    For five days they had struggled desperately
    To drive the Japs back from the sea.

    And they had fought them round and round
    and had failed to gain but little ground
    Here in the valley dug in deep,
    couldn’t take the hills, too damn steep.

    We looked at the mountains capped with snow
    and listened to the Seventh’s tales of woe
    To us they didn’t look so very big
    For we were hardened with fatigue.

    The 32nd was exhausted from lack of sleep
    Were wet and cold, and had frozen feet.
    We said, boys move to the rear and have no fear
    the 4th will take it on from here.

    To get at the Japs we could not wait
    They said when we were through we’d go to the States
    The 32nd said they too would go
    They had to get back to the U.S.O.

    So with that in mind, we started to fight
    we battled them desperately day and night.
    Though many of our buddies by the wayside fell
    we busted the Jap lines all to hell.

    The weather was bad, it snowed and hailed
    but we took ground, where the 32nd failed.
    They’d say to us “Get that machine gun nest”
    so we can move up and get some rest.

    We’d moved up and take the place
    then for our foxholes they would madly race.
    They would say “That’s fine,
    now move up and establish another new line!”

    We didn’t mind that so bad
    them taking all the credit is what makes us mad.
    Though tired and sick we were from lack of rest
    To whip the Japs we did our best.

    Over rock hills covered with snow
    we took places they didn’t think we’d go.
    Though many days of freezing cold
    we had at last reached our goal.

    The battle was over, we had won
    We’d killed every Jap son-of-a-gun.
    Now on the way down we remembered well
    they said we’d go to the States, sure as hell.

    But now it is over, our job is through
    They leave us here to rot, on Attu.

    And now the Japs are dead in their grave
    the 32nd talks mighty brave.
    but for all we care, they can have the glory of the strife
    What we want is some U.S.O. life!

    but all we can do is sit in silent bliss
    and listen to each other piss
    O God before we’re called before the Pearly Gates
    Please take us back to the United States!

    • Jack Jonas says:

      I made the mistake once of only mentioning the 17th and the 32d Infantry Regiments of the 7th Infantry Division. But did I get my butt chewed out royally!

      The fighting 4th Infantry Regiment of the Alaska Defense Force

      Never made the same mistake again.

      Great poem Robert!

  83. Gary Lee says:

    I just recently purchased a book from Amazon called “Ghosts in the Fog”. The author is a woman who is from the San Diego area. Her name is Samantha Seiple.
    It’s a book mainly written for teens to help them grasp what happened up there and why. Pretty decent writing.

    She has written several books on the campaign.

  84. Gary Lee says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I always kind of get a tickle out of the “sudden discovery” of the war up there by people who have never known of the action.
    For my family it was considered old hat, yet when I mention to people I know today that my father fought in the campaign they are awed by the fact that the Japanese took and held US land for a year.

  85. Ray Younger says:

    Asking for a brief summation of Aleutian service, few ever admit to any pleasant memories. It had been a learning experience for the US military. The Aleutians largely remain as the site of a forgotten campaign in WW II. The first instance of US/Canadian cooperation, which has long lasting effects. Many Americans did not know the Japanese occupied North American territory. As more memories fade, let us not forget those units: Canada Brigade, FSSF, RCAF, RCN, 7th Inf Division, Alaska Scouts, Arkansas Nat’l Guard, Engineers, Sea Bees, service troops, NORPAC ships and submarines, the 11th Air Force, and displaced civilians. Where this campaign saw many hallmarks for warfare to come in the sense of close air support, special operations, radar navigation, search/rescue, and intelligence to merely suggest a few innovations. A brutal campaign that gave the US it’s first vicitory and many, many died in the process.

  86. Jack Jonas says:

    Attention to all readers of this web site.

    James Sabean has completely revised the Attu Memorial Web Site.

    Please review it in it’s entirety and then, please, as American Patriots interested in seeing that justice is finally done, open and sign the petition.

    New site:

    Thank you on behalf of all those who fought, suffered and died in WWII.

  87. Brian Daub says:

    My Grandfather was on Attu in 1942 and was wondering how I could find out any info on him or his unit. Robert A. Daub is his name. He passed away in 2001.

    If you go to YouTube there is a great documentary on Attu called Red, White, Black and Blue. Also on Netflix if you have that.

  88. Gary Lee says:

    On approx June 6, 1942 the Japanese invaded the Island of Attu and Kiska. They held both Islands until the late spring of 1943.
    Unless your grandfather was a native, it is highly unlikely that he was on Attu in 1942. The Japanese began hostile actions on the 3rd of June 1942 with two days of bombing Dutch Harbor, Unalaska. From that time on the US took the Aleutian Island chain back one island at a time.
    What is far more likely is that your grandfather was in the 7th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of Attu. This took place from 11 May 43-31 May 43. He could have been in the 1st battalion 4th infantry regiment.
    The problem lies in that all of military service records are kept in the National Archives. In 1973 they had a pretty bad fire and almost all of the records from WW2 back were destroyed.
    There is a 7th Infantry Division web site that allows contact and they might be able to help.
    Also, if your granddad had a wound his records will be with the VA.
    Contact James Laverdure and Jack Jonas. Both are experts on the campaign. All the best in your search.

    • Brian Daub says:

      Yes, it was ‘Attu 43’ on his license plate, how could I be so forgetful. I think in my head I remember it rhyming. Either way, thank you for the info.

  89. Gary Lee says:

    Hey Jack-\
    I sent you an email. But I thought I would post this here.

    Originally Posted by Guitarzan View Post
    It doesn’t say the same thing in all languages?
    Bingo: Classical Chinese, Japanese, and English, from top to bottom.

    The Chinese on top is a simplified rendering of the same content sans the small script in the Japanese and English versions, saying just North Pacific War Victims(or Dead)’ Tombstone. The last clause of the Japanese sentence one is a tad more drawn out, explaining “this was placed/established here for the purpose of…” (to compliment the English’ In Memory of) and the small print under that says the same thing in Japanese and English.

    Notice the use of ? (pronounced bee/bi in Korean) in both Chinese and Japanese scripts there, which is a traditional memorial stone/tombstone you’ll see all over East Asia at graves and/or memorial sites (where the tomb may or may not be present), either exposed or under a permanent tiled roof, enclosed in a wooden “cage”, which acts as a shrine of sorts. The Western connotation of a tombstone doesn’t quite feel the same, and they look quite different as well.

  90. Gary Lee says:

    Hey Jack-\
    I sent you an email. But I thought I would post this here.

    Originally Posted by Guitarzan View Post
    It doesn’t say the same thing in all languages?
    Bingo: Classical Chinese, Japanese, and English, from top to bottom.

    The Chinese on top is a simplified rendering of the same content sans the small script in the Japanese and English versions, saying just North Pacific War Victims(or Dead)’ Tombstone. The last clause of the Japanese sentence one is a tad more drawn out, explaining “this was placed/established here for the purpose of…” (to compliment the English’ In Memory of) and the small print under that says the same thing in Japanese and English.

    Notice the use of ? (pronounced bee/bi in Korean) in both Chinese and Japanese scripts there, which is a traditional memorial stone/tombstone you’ll see all over East Asia at graves and/or memorial sites (where the tomb may or may not be present), either exposed or under a permanent tiled roof, enclosed in a wooden “cage”, which acts as a shrine of sorts. The Western connotation of a tombstone doesn’t quite feel the same, and they look quite different as well.

  91. DONALD COOK says:


  92. Jack Jonas says:

    it is my fervent belief than when:

    Imperial Japan invaded our homeland and made non-combatant American citizens prisoners of war; shipped them off to Japan like cattle where they suffered and died from starvation and disease, including little tiny babies, and

    When they murdered in cold blood Charles Foster Jones, an American non-combatant, then later beheaded his body in front of his wife, and

    When they then shipped his wife Etta off to Japan as a prisoner of war where she languished there for 3 years, and

    When they slaughtered , without mercy, 24 American GI’s while they lay wounded and helpless inside medical aid station tents and later setting fire to these tents burning alive the remaining wounded, and

    When they committed mass suicide on American sovereign soil,

    the government of Japan and its people should have walked away from Attu Island, Alaska to never return ever again!

    Now the Japanese intend to send a film crew to Attu later this month to make a film; it’s intent and purpose are unknown at this time. But personally I believe nothing good will come from this exploitation of the Battle of Attu 11-29 May 1943.

    When will the reprehensible insult to the men who fought, died or were wounded ever end!

    Visit to find out what this is all about. Then, please, sign our petition.

  93. […] War II.  To clear a mountain pass, Pvt. Joseph P. Martinez charged into enemy fire at the bloody Battle of Attu, on the westernmost point of North America; he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor. Next […]

  94. Josh Arterburn says:

    My grandfather Delbert E. Arterburn served in Battery G of the 78th Coast Artillery Regiment and made the initial landings on Attu. After the battle he stayed on the island for another 19 months. Leaving in November of 1944. Unfortunately he never spoke to anyone in the family about his time on Attu. The only things I have to go on about his experiences are the items he left behind. Including a 200+ picture photo album of his training at Camp Callan, and of him on Attu. I have been researching him for over 2 years now, and have learned allot considering I knew next to nothing when I started. I am always looking for new information. Especially concerning the 78th Coast Artillery Regiment. If anyone reading this has any info on the 78th, or the role of Anti Aircraft Artillery in the battle for Attu. I would greatly appreciate their help. My email address is

  95. Jimmy Smith says:

    My step-father, William Ray Stalder, from Atchison, Kansas, joined the Army 11/2/1942, and became part of the 7th Infantry Signal Corp, trained at Fort Ord. He went on to Attu, Alaska, Marshall Islands, Leyte, and Okinawa. He didn’t talk too much about those campaigns but they haunted him until his death in 2002. He loved the military. After the war, from 1947-1965, he was in the Army Reserves. There is a great photo of the Signal Corp at: My step-father is the one standing in the center of the photo. Does anyone recognize him and have stories about him to share? Any comments would be welcome. Please reply to

  96. Bob Siddens says:

    My uncle Lt Col Jack Siddens was killed in his tent in the surprise attack 29 May. I understand he played a major role earlier when we retook Attu.I assume Siddens Valley was named in his honor and I understand he led Company I to close in on the enemy with Company M which brought about the enemy collapse I would welcome any pictures Bob Siddens

  97. James LaVerdure says:

    Hi Bob, I have some info about the 17th Regiment 7th Infantry Division, that I would like to share with you. Training at Fort Ord and the battle for Attu. I can send some by email and by snail mail. My father was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th ID. If you are interested in what I have, please get back with me at

    James LaVerdure

  98. Ed LaFleur says:

    My Uncle Arthur LaFleur was KIA on Attu…17May43. He was a Machine Gunner. Arthur LaFleur….7th Inf. Div. ….32nd Inf Reg. …2nd Battalion…Co. G 4th Platoon. I’d like to find out where he & his Platoon were located on the day he was KIA. (if possible) I realize this might be an impossible request. Any information where his Battalion, Company & or Platoon were on this day, would be most helpful. Thanks for all you do & God Bless you. Ed LaFleur….His wife kept all of the Newspaper articles about Attu & even after he was KIA, she followed the progress of the 7th Inf Div….through out the war. I was given Arthur’s personal affects, from his wifes, son. Thanks again.

  99. Steve De Hart says:

    My father served in company M 17 Regiment from the Aleutians to Leyte where he was injured (from friendly artillery). I have been searching for any information regarding the activities of his company but have only found one link so far that actually described the actions in Leyte. If you have any info or pictures from Company M and their activites from the Aleutians, Northern Solomons, and Leyte please let me know. Here is the link from the Leyte operation:

  100. James LaVerdure says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have some books and info that I would like to share with you. My father was in Co B 17th, was in all of the battles, Attu,Kiska,Kwajalein,Leyte and Okinawa. If you are interested, please get back with me at


  101. Ed Nielsen says:

    Steve De Hart
    My dad was also in the 17thregiment; Company F, 2nd Batt. Participated in the same capaings as your father. Go to this website: I have alot more pix and info on the 17th regiment. Drop me an email at:

  102. Lorri Stanislav says:

    My mother-in-law’s young uncle, George Milton Hime, was KIA at Attu. The family was notified that he was killed on May 29th (7th/32nd Infantry – company L).
    He was later awarded Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but when applying for a Veteran’s plaque for his grave… The V.A. crossed out the date on the application and wrote May 19th, 1943. Does anyone know of a way to find out which date he was killed?

    Thank you!

  103. James LaVerdure says:

    Lorri, I check on and I found the application for Headstone or marker, and it shows May 29th 1943. On Find a Grave, burial was at the Graceland Cemetery in Iowa, it shows May 29th 1943, the VA might of made a mistake when they wrote May 19th 1943. I have a form that I can mail to you, you or another family member can fill it out then send it in, it will say how,when and where he died. If your uncle was in the 17th regiment 7th Div, I would be able to tell when he died, as I have a list of men of men with the date they died. Your uncle did his training at Fort Ord, CA. I have some articles and pictures of the 7th, for the Battle for Attu, and I would be more than happy to share with you. My father was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th Div.

    If you are interested in what I have, please get back with me at

    James LaVerdure

  104. James LaVerdure says:

    Lorri, Please read this article, it’s very possible that Mr. Hime, might of been one of the wounded in the field hospital when the japs attack and killed everybody in the tents. I say this because by May 29th, most of the fighting was over with.

    Banzai Attack on Attu!: US Army Combat Engineers in the Aleutian Campaign
    by Del Kostka

    Attu rises like a jagged stone from the churning waters of the North Pacific. Barren, wind-swept, and shrouded in perpetual fog, the island has little relevance to a world that is barely aware of its existence. Yet in 1943, this obscure wilderness was the scene of an epic battle between resilient Japanese occupiers and an American invasion force who were equally determined to possess the island. It was a battle fought as much against the elements as with an enemy, and where a small and ill-equipped band of US Army combat engineers found themselves squarely in the path of one of the largest Japanese Banzai attacks of World War Two.[1]

    The Japanese seized Attu on June 7th, 1942.[2] The attack was part of a diversionary operation for the Midway campaign that included the carrier-based bombing of Dutch Harbor and the occupation of Attu and Kiska, the western-most islands in Alaska’s Aleutian chain.[3] The Aleutian outposts were coveted by the Japanese for their unique strategic location. Positioned midway between Japan and the Pacific Northwest, an airstrip in the Aleutians would provide a convenient base of operations from which to stage air reconnaissance missions to patrol the northern perimeter of Japan’s territorial expansion.[4] The Japanese occupation force, under the command of Col. Yasuyo Yamasaki, included 2650 soldiers of the 303rd Independent Infantry Battalion who spent the majority of their time trying to scratch a landing strip from the frozen, rocky soil along the northeast shore of Attu.[5]

    To counter the Japanese occupation, the US Army planned an amphibious assault of Attu for the spring of 1943. The task was assigned to the Army’s 7th Division under the overall command of Major General Albert E. Brown. Brown’s plan was to make simultaneous landings on the northern and easternmost shores of Attu, then push inland in perpendicular thrusts to effectively trap the Japanese on the northeast corner of the island.[6] Brown’s 16,000-strong assault force included three regiments of infantry, four battalions of artillery, and the 7th Division’s own 13th Combat Engineer Battalion. The 50th Combat Engineer Battalion was also assigned to the 7th Division to effect the landing and movement of supplies inland from the beaches.[7]

    The 7th Division was not experienced at conducting amphibious operations. Prior to the invasion they had limited amphibious training at Ft. Ord, California, but the relatively warm and tranquil waters of Monterey Bay were a poor substitute for the cold, angry waves of the North Pacific.[8] Security was tight in the months prior to the invasion. Only a few senior planners knew where the 7th Division was headed. Most of the assault force was convinced that their ultimate destination was the South Pacific. This opinion was reinforced by the prominent requisitioning of mosquito netting and summer weight uniforms by logisticians who greatly underestimated the hostile Aleutian weather.[9]

    The invasion force departed San Francisco on April 24th, 1943. The initial two week voyage to Dutch Harbor was quiet and without incident, but the journey quickly deteriorated when the task force veered west towards the Aleutians. A cold and damp fog seemed to seep into everything, and the convoy pitched relentlessly in the turbulent Bering Sea. Below deck, chilled infantrymen, who had spent their entire lives on dry land, lay on their bunks and perspired as an epidemic of sea sickness swept through the transport vessels. Those who sought fresh air and solitude above deck were driven back by a dangerous film of ice that encrusted railings, hatches and deck plating.[10] Finally, on May 10 the task force arrived off the shores of Attu. The wobbly legged infantry were relieved to man the landing craft and move towards dry land, but the rough sea voyage had served warning that this invasion would not unfold as the strategists had planned.

    On paper the invasion of Attu did not appear difficult, but the operation bogged down almost immediately due to the weather, the terrain and a very shrewd Japanese strategy. The American force had prepared for an intense coastal defense by the Japanese occupiers followed by a brief mop-up period once a beachhead had been established. What they found instead were abandoned shores, as the Japanese pulled back from the coast to await the invasion force in the higher, rocky terrain.[11] The unopposed landing was welcome news to American troops already dealing with churning seas and 25 degree temperatures[12], but it did not bode well for an advance to the island interior which now faced murderous mortar and machine gun fire from the higher ridges.

    The snow covered peaks surrounding the landing zones tower 3000 ft above the beaches of Attu. Yamasaki deployed his troops in small groups of snipers and mortar teams who used the island’s natural network of caves, crevasses and ridge lines for protection and concealment.[13] Naval and artillery bombardment were ineffective due to the thick fog. The fog also provided an ideal backdrop for Japanese snipers who kept watch on the few accessible slopes to the upper elevations and cut down US infantry as they appeared above the fog line.[14] The guerilla tactics forced the GIs to conduct time consuming and costly search and destroy missions. By May 16th Army Command had grown impatient with the slow pace of operations. Maj. Gen. Brown was relieved of command and replaced by Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum.[15]

    While the Battle of Attu raged in the hills surrounding the beachhead, the combat engineers set about their logistical task of keeping an army supplied with food, fresh water, medical supplies and ammunition. On Attu the engineers would fight a very personal battle with a tundra ground cover called muskeg, a thick, wet and spongy mat of grass and weeds that blankets the Aleutian lowlands.[16] The task force had brought a small fleet of trucks and caterpillar tractors to construct roads and supply lines, but the heavy vehicles became mired in the muskeg the instant they moved off the pebble covered beach.[17] The muskeg was an enormous and unanticipated obstacle given the necessity to move artillery and supplies to the island’s interior.

    Realizing the importance of moving the heavy guns and equipment off the beaches, the engineers seized upon a brilliant solution. They proposed using a gravel-bottomed stream that flowed through an interior valley as a roadway. The 13th Engineers improved the creek bed by widening sections and redistributing gravel deposits.[18] Within hours, a steady stream of tractors were towing artillery and ammunition wagons along the improvised supply route. A series of cables were constructed from the stream to the lower ridge lines in order to winch the guns to a suitable emplacement, but the problem of sustaining the infantry in the towering combat zone was another matter. With the terrain too steep and treacherous for motorized vehicles, the engineers would have to move supplies and replenish ammunition using backpacks and pull carts.[19]

    Pulling heavy wooden crates up the snow covered slopes was backbreaking work and the engineer’s light weight clothing was no match for the cold arctic wind. Frostbite and exhaustion were a constant concern. The grueling climb compelled the engineers to establish a base camp midway along their supply route. A primary supply dump had been placed on the crown of a gradually sloped hill that looked across a low, flat valley.[20] The position also offered an ideal artillery placement from which to shell the Japanese-held high ground that lay hidden beyond the fog covered lowland. The 50th Engineers placed their camp at the very crest of this ridge and designated the position “Engineer Hill,” little realizing the carnage that would soon be associated with the name.

    For seventeen long days the 7th Division drove forward with determined pressure to displace the Japanese from their high ground fortress. The Japanese tenaciously defended every ridge and stronghold, but the numbers and elements were against them. As fresh American troops and supplies flowed freely through the open beachhead, the Japanese continued to expend their resources in a futile battle of attrition. By May 28th the Japanese situation had grown critical. Of the remaining 1400 Japanese soldiers, fewer than 800 were in fighting condition. Food, ammunition and medical supplies had grown scarce.[21] In desperation, Col. Yamasaki prepared a bold plan. He would use his entire force to sweep across the valley floor and capture the American artillery position and supply dump at the crest of Engineer Hill. With the artillery, supplies and strategic high ground in Japanese hands, Yamasaki hoped to hold the position until reinforcements arrived by sea.[22]

    On the evening of May 28th, an American reconnaissance patrol crept towards a Japanese encampment to investigate an uncharacteristic noise. As they silently peered over the final ridge, the patrol was astonished to see a large assemblage of Japanese soldiers, many of whom were jumping in place, screaming at the top of their lungs and guzzling bottles of sake.[23] The comical impression soon faded as the patrol realized the enormity of what they were seeing. The frenzied Japanese soldiers were helping their wounded commit ritual suicide, either through morphine injections or self-inflicted gun shots.[24] It was the portent of an abrupt and horrific conclusion to the Battle of Attu.

    In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 29th, every Japanese soldier who was still able to walk set off in the dense fog on a silent trek across the valley floor. At 3:15 the Japanese force reached the American front lines and quickly overpowered three sentry outposts. At 3:25 they reached a slight rise in the terrain which indicated the beginning of the half-mile slope to the crest of Engineer Hill. At the base of the hill sat an American rear area and field hospital where several infantry units had assembled for morning breakfast. With a scream of “Banzai” the Japanese horde swarmed out of the fog and easily overran the unprepared American position.[25]

    While most of the astonished infantry fled into the fog, the Japanese paused to ransack the clearing station. Central to the rear area were three large hospital tents, each clearly marked with the International Red Cross symbol. The Japanese swept through two of the tents, viciously bayoneting the unarmed medical personnel and wounded Americans as they lay helpless in their bunks.[26] The inhabitants of the third tent managed to survive by lying motionless as the Japanese assembled outside their tent for the ascent of Engineer Hill.[27]

    At the crest of the hill, the 50th Engineers woke to the sound of distant gunfire and eerie screams. Most stumbled half-asleep to the edge of the ridge, peered down into the thick fog and listened keenly to the confusing sounds. Suddenly, a terrified infantryman broke out of the fog screaming “the Japs are coming…thousands of em!”[28] The engineers stood for a brief moment in disbelief, then turned and made a furious dash to their tents to gather their M-1’s and helmets. Within moments the engineers had taken shoulder-to-shoulder positions across the crest of the ridge and were staring intently into the 30-foot visibility of the dawn fog.[29] All thoughts of the bone-chilling cold had vanished. There were excited shouts of encouragement and nervous, whispered prayers.

    With great discipline the engineers held their fire as still more dazed infantrymen and medics came scrambling to the top of the ridge. Then from deep in the fog came a high-pitched scream, followed by 800 manic Japanese soldiers charging forward with fixed bayonets. The speed of the Japanese attack allowed very little time to accurately select and fix a target. Most of the engineers managed to fire one or two rounds before the Japanese were upon them.[30] Rather than retreat and abandon their critical position, however, the engineers sprang to their feet and met the onrushing Japanese with fists, rifle butts and bayonets.[31] Fueled by adrenaline and the knowledge that they were fighting for their lives, the outnumbered engineers somehow managed to beat back the frenzied attackers. After a brief but savage hand-to-hand melee, the Japanese attack withered and fell back into the fog.

    As the shaken engineers gathered their breath, the exhausted Japanese fell back to the captured American field hospital.[32] Any thoughts of pursuing the Japanese were discouraged by the still dense fog that provided a perfect screen for their retreat. After a brief rest and with no other option except unthinkable surrender, Col. Yamasaki led one last desperate charge against the engineer position. This time, knowing the source of the frenzied scream and reinforced by displaced infantry and members of the 13th Engineers who had rushed to join the fray from their base camp on the opposite side of the ridge[33], the engineers opened up with their full firepower before the Japanese ever broke out of the fog. Few Japanese soldiers would reach the crest on this final charge. Col. Yamasaki was killed while waving his sword over his head and urging his men forward.[34]

    The Japanese survivors staggered back to the base of Engineer Hill. Several small groups made their way back to the caves and rain washes of the high ground, where they were eventually cornered and eliminated by American search teams.[35] Most simply clutched a hand grenade to their chest and scattered themselves across the cold Aleutian tundra. As the fog lifted, the morning sun revealed a grisly sight. Over 500 Japanese bodies lay horribly mutilated at the foot of Engineer Hill.[36] Several hundred more bodies, American and Japanese alike, were littered across the crest and down the long slope of the ridge.[37]

    The Battle of Engineer Hill ended the Japanese occupation of Attu, but the price of victory had been very high. Of the approximately 16,000 troops engaged on Attu, the American invasion force suffered 3829 casualties, including 549 killed in action.[38] In proportion to the number of troops engaged, the victory on Attu was second only to Iwo Jima as the most costly American battle of the Second World War.[39] The Japanese cost was higher. Official US records show 2351 dead out of 2378 engaged, although hundreds more are thought to be buried in unmarked graves throughout the desolate hills of Attu.[40]

    US Army Combat Engineers played a critical role in the invasion of Attu, facing adversity, hardships and obstacles far beyond the scope of their training. With the fighting on Attu over, the 13th Engineers followed the 7th Division to the South Pacific, where it employed its amphibious assault experience in several more island campaigns.[41] By contrast, the 50th Engineer’s had only begun their battle against the harsh Aleutian elements. The battalion would spend the next seven months in the bitter cold, wind and fog of Attu constructing an airfield and coastal defenses.[42] For their action on Engineer Hill, the 50th Engineer Combat Battalion received the Joint Meritorious Unit Presidential Citation.[43] Alexie Airfield, the 50th Engineers final Aleutian legacy, eventually provided a secure base from which American B-24 and PV-1 bombers launched their devastating raids against northern Japanese possessions and helped eliminate Japanese influence in the North Pacific.[44]

    • Jack Jonas says:


      This is the most descriptive version I have ever read. Thank you sir for your devotion to the history of the Battle of Attu.

      • Woody says:

        It was just cut and pasted from Wiki…which may or may not be completely true. Wiki is edited by anyone…just so ya know…but in this case its real close to correct…

    • Del Kostka says:

      Thank you to everyone for keeping an important part of our history alive through this forum. My Dad served with the 50th Combat Engineers on Attu, and I had the honor of meeting so many of his friends and fellow engineers down through the years at their bi-annual reunions. Dad is 93 years old now and one of the few who remain from that wonderful bunch of guys. I wrote the preceding article in their honor. I’ve attached my bibliography below for anyone who is interested in doing further research on the battle:

      [1]. Robert J. Mitchell, The Capture of Attu (Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2000) xviii.

      [2]. D. Colt Denfeld, Builders and Fighters, US Army Engineers in World War 2 (US Army Corps of Engineers, 2005) 367.

      [3]. Ibid, 367

      [4]. Brian Garfield, The Thousand Mile War (Fairbanks: The University of Alaska Press, 1969) 118.

      [5]. Ibid., 271

      [6]. Mitchell, 6.

      [7]. Denfeld, 370.

      [8]. Lee F. Bartoletti, Battle of the Aleutian Islands, Recapturing Attu, World War II, (Nov 2003).

      [9]. Robert E. Burks, Logistics Problems on Attu, Army Logistician, (May-June 2003).

      [10]. Donald E. Kostka, Co D. 50th Engineer Combat Battalion, interview by author, Fargo, North Dakota, 23 Dec 2009.

      [11]. Garfield, 272

      [12]. Ibid, 274.

      [13]. “Battle of the Aleutians,” Military Review, Vol 25, April 1945: 32.

      [14]. Mitchell, 40.

      [15]. Garfield, 305.

      [16]. Burks,

      [17]. Ibid

      [18]. Denfield, 373

      [19]. Burks,

      [20]. Denfield, 375

      [21]. Garfield, 327

      [22]. Ibid, 328

      [23]. Bartoletti,

      [24]. Ibid,

      [25]. Garfield, 329

      [26]. William S. Jones, The Battle of Attu, World War Two Chronicles, (Issue XXXVIII, Spring 2007)

      [27]. Mitchell, 110

      [28]. Kostka interview, 23 Dec 2009.

      [29]. Kostka interview, 23 Dec 2009.

      [30]. Kostka interview, 23 Dec 2009.

      [31]. Garfield, 331

      [32]. Ibid, 331

      [33]. Denfield, 376

      [34]. Garfield, 331

      [35]. Bartoletti,

      [36]. Garfield, 332

      [37]. Kostka interview, 23 Dec 2009.

      [38]. Garfield, 333

      [39]. Ibid, 333

      [40]. Ibid, 333

      [41]. 7th Infantry Division Combat Chronicle, World War Two Archive Foundation,

      [42]. Kostka interview, 23 Dec 2009.

      [43]. Department of the Army Pamplet 672-1, Unit Citation and Campaign Participation Register, HQ Dept of Army, July 1961: 109.

      [44]. Ralph Wetterhahn, Fire and Ice, Air and Space Magazine, (1 March 2006)

      • Gary Lee says:

        Hey Del-
        It is surprising how little most people know of the campaign that was carried out in 42-43. Most citizens have no idea that the Japanese had actually taken American land.
        I have a favor to ask of you. My father was there for the full campaign. He landed at Dutch Harbor on 02-06-42 and left in 09-43. I have been trying to find out which unit he was with. The Archives had a fire in 73 and almost all of the older records were destroyed. So if it would be possible, maybe you might ask your father if he remembers which unit was in charge of the mess. My father’s job was to oversee the kitchens and I would like to add his actions here to the family history.
        Like most veterans, he would never talk much about the war. I know that he was on Engineer Hill at Attu when the charge took place.

        Anyway, if you could help that would be outstanding. Thank your Dad for his service for me. The men that were up there were tough old birds.

    • Del Kostka says:

      Hi Gary,
      I did indeed ask my dad if he had any recollection about the other units that were on Engineer Hill, but he did not. I don’t have any insight myself, but here is a possible clue from the book The Capture of Attu by Lt. Robert J. Mitchell. Referring to Engineer Hill, Corporal Virgil F. Montgomery of the 1st Platoon, 14th Field Hospital writes; “The 2nd Battalion of the 32nd Infantry had established a kitchen and a supply dump in a draw to the left of our draw, maybe 400 yards, and the first we heard of anything wrong was a lot of shouting and some shooting coming from over there.” Could this be the field kitchen your dad set up?

      Del K.

      • Gary Lee says:

        My father was up there for the whole campaign, and after the islands had been secured almost all of the men that were up there were sent
        to the lower 48 and regrafted into Patton’s 3rd Army.
        They left for the Battle of the Bulge. My dad said that out of a unit of 10000 only 300 came out fit.

        You can be very proud of your Grandfather. From what my father told me about that last banzai it was bloody beyond belief.

      • Gary Lee says:

        Thank you so much. I am certain now that he was in the 32nd. Believe it or not, when I got my first computer I checked out stuff on the Aleutians. I had on floppy disk the entire force that went up there, and now I can’t find it. Not that it would matter cause floppy disc’s are like Victrola’s now. There were 2 32nd Infantry in WW2. One registered the other honorary for the war. So when the war ended so did that version of the 32 and that was the one that served in Alaska.
        I would sure love to talk to your dad. I know of only a very very few men that are still around from that particular battle.
        When I was a kid I thought going to the Aleutians was like going to do duty at a fort somewhere. Easy duty. It was a shock to know what both your dad and my dad went through.
        Anyhow, thanks again, and keep in touch.-g

  105. Christina Engelbart says:

    My grandfather Lt. Col. James Fish fought in the Battle of Attu with the 7th Infantry Division’s 17th Infantry Regiment from Fort Ord. He was killed during the banzai surprise attack by the Japanese 29 May 1943, buried in Little Falls Cemetary, and later reinterned at Arlington Cemetary. Chichagof Valley was subsequently renamed Jim Fish Valley in his honor ( I am eager for more day-by-day details, ship names and dates, photos, and footage. Especially any photos or vignettes of my grandfather. Originally from the SF Bay Area, he had at various times been stationed in Hawaii (with Gen. Patton), Ft. Benning, Ft. Hamilton, and Minnesota.

  106. James LaVerdure says:

    Hi Christina,

    I have a lot of info about the 17th Regiment 7th Division, videos, pictures, newspaper articles and books that I would like to share with you by email and getting a package together so I could mail it to you. I have some info stored in my computer and a lot of info on paper. I have a 7th Division yearbook that’s from the spring of 1941, you gf picture might be in it. I have seen Lt Col Fish name in many of of books that I have, one book is called, \Bridge to Victory\ by Howard Handleman, your gf is mention on 15 different pages. Another book is called,\The Capture of Att\ by Mitchell,Tyng and Drummond. The other book I have is, \The History of the 7th Division during WWll\ by Love. The last two books I mention, you can get on ebay, the book \Bridge to Victory\ might be hard to get as it’s very rare, I have only seen it on ebay only once. If you don’t want to purchase these books, I’m pretty sure I made copies of them before I retired. The book \The History of the 7th Division during WWll\ cost about $40, I can send you the chapter about Attu I would think that your gf is mention in. The book \Bridge to Victory\ is just about the 7th Regiment, my father is also mention in this book, as he was in Co B 1st Battalion 17th Regiment. If you are interested in what I have please do get back with me at


  107. James LaVerdure says:

    Gary, The 32nd Infantry that you mention that fought on Attu, was really the 32nd Regiment 7th Infantry Division, the only other units that fought on Attu, where the 17th Regiment 7th Infantry Division and a Battalion from the 4th Infantry, the 4th then went to Europe to fight. The 17th and 32nd Regiments of the 7th Infantry Division, went onto Kwajalein, Leyte and Okinawa.


  108. Gary Lee says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I have a couple of questions for you.
    First. I have a picture that is of my dad in a ship hold and none of them except one is wearing any kind of patch.
    It took me years but the picture of the patch is very bleary and I now have it figured out. It is a patch with either a Moose, a deer, or a Caribou on it. I was wondering if you might now which Military and branch would have a patch with one of these on them?
    Also, a large group of men from the Aleuts went to Europe after the campaign. Do you know which ones? They were assigned to the 3rd army. Thanks bro.-g

  109. g. lake says:

    don’t kid yourself–I have made shots that were over 1 mile–and my brother made a deer kill almost 2 miles!

  110. Ray Younger says:

    I’ve been working on a complete Order of Battle for US/Canadian forces in/around the Aleutian Island Campaign. Not all inclusive and not all complete. Anyone with ideas or threads please let me know. Here’s what I have so far for both Attu and Kiska, to start. I am unclear if the Canadian Royal Air Force participated in either fighter/bomber cover or supply sorties on either Kiska or Attu. (Does anyone know?)

    6th Canadian Infantry Division

    August 1943 at Kiska
    9th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment
    19th Field Regiment
    20th Field Regiment (shared with the 7th Canadian Infantry Division)
    21st Field Regiment
    24th Field Regiment (shared with the 7th Canadian Infantry Division)
    25th Field Regiment
    13th Canadian Infantry Brigade The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
    The Winnipeg Grenadiers
    The Rocky Mountain Rangers
    Le Régiment de Hull
    24th Field Regiment, RCA
    46th Light AA Battery, RCA
    24th Field Company, RCE
    1 Company, St. John Fusiliers M-G[2]

    November 1943
    No. 6 Defence and Employment Platoon (Lorne Scots)
    31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment 15th, 25th, 26th Field Companies, RCE

    13th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group 24th Field Regiment, RCA
    46th Light AA Battery, RCA
    The Canadian Fusiliers
    The Winnipeg Grenadiers
    The Rocky Mountain Rangers
    Le Regiment de Hull
    1 Company, St. John Fusiliers M-G
    24th Field Company, RCE
    No. 13 Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

    14th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group 25th Field Regiment, RCA
    48th Light AA Battery, RCA
    The Winnipeg Light Infantry
    Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke
    The Oxford Rifles
    The Prince of Wales’s Own Rangers
    1 Company, St. John Fusiliers M-G
    No. 14 Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

    15th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group 20th Field Regiment, RCA
    25th Light AA Battery, RCA
    The Prince Albert Volunteers
    Les Fusiliers du St. Laurent
    Prince Edward Island Highlanders
    The Royal Rifles of Canada
    No. 15 Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)
    1 Company, St. John Fusiliers M-G[2]

    November 1944
    No. 6 Defence and Employment Platoon (Lorne Scots)
    31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment St. John Fusiliers M-G
    20th, 24th, 25th Field Regiments, RCA
    22nd Heavy AA Battery (Mobile), RCA
    25th, 46th, 48th Light AA Batteries, RCA
    15th, 24th, 25th, 26th Field Companies, RCE

    14th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group The Winnipeg Light Infantry
    Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke
    The Oxford Rifles
    No. 14 Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

    15th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group The Prince Albert Volunteers
    Les Fusiliers du St. Laurent
    Prince Edward Island Highlanders
    No. 15 Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

    16th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group The Midland Regiment
    The Royal Rifles of Canada
    The Prince of Wales’s Own Rangers

    US Order of Battle

    Alaska Defense Command
    -Alaska Scouts
    -4th Inf Rgt (Sep)
    -260th Trans Bn
    206th CA Rgt AR NG
    153rd Inf Rgt AR NG
    250th CA Rgt
    2/58th Inf Rgt
    Eskimo Scouts
    203rd AAA Rgt MO NG
    37th Inf Rgt (Sep)
    87th Mtn Combat Team (87th Inf)
    First Special Service Force
    74th Inf Bn (474th Inf)
    4170th QM Co
    First Special Service Force (inclusive 474th Inf Rgt)

    Medical Support for the Aleutians Campaign as a whole. The 3 Hospitalization Platoons and/or Headquarters Sections were broken down into 4 independent units to better fit the Battalion Landing Groups (BLG) causing quite some confusion, as frequent changes occurred prior to the landing:

    179th Station Hospital – Adak Island
    Fort Glenn Station Hospital – Umnak Island
    Fort Mears Station Hospital – Unalaska Island
    Fort Randall Station Hospital – Cold Bay, Alaskan Peninsula
    Naknek Post Station Hospital, Alaskan Peninsula
    Fort Greeley Station Hospital – Kodiak Island

    28th Field Hospital which grouped:

    Headquarters Section – 28th Field Hospital
    Second Hospitalization Platoon – 28th Field Hospital
    Third Hospitalization Platoon – 28th Field Hospital
    First Hospitalization Platoon – 29th Field Hospital

    29th Field Hospital comprising:

    Headquarters Section – 29th Field Hospital
    Second Hospitalization Platoon – 29th Field Hospital
    Third Hospitalization Platoon – 29th Field Hospital
    First Hospitalization Platoon – 28th Field Hospital

    7th Inf Div
    -20th Field HQ
    -32nd Inf Rgt
    -17th Inf Rgt
    -50th Eng Bn (Cbt)
    -13th Eng Bn (Cbt)
    -21st Eng Bn (Cbt)
    -184th Inf Rgt
    -159th Inf Rgt
    -58th Inf Rgt
    –203rd INf Bn
    –204th Inf Bn
    –205th Inf Bn (Attu)
    -198th Inf Rgt
    –1st Bn/71st Inf = 206th Inf B
    -48th FA Bn
    -49th FA Bn
    -57th FA Bn
    -7th Cav Recon Troop
    -7th Med Bn

    813th Eng Bn (Aviation) WA NG
    515th Eng Co/428th Eng Co (Truck)
    807th Eng Group
    176th Eng Bn TX NG
    18th Eng Bn (Aviation) (Shemya)
    Army Harbor Craft Det (TC)

    11th Air Force
    -11th Pursuit Sqdn
    -18th Fighter Sqdn
    -54th Fighter Sqdn
    -344th Fighter Sqdn
    -54th Fighter Grp
    –42nd Fighter Sqdn
    –56th Fighter Sqdn
    –57th Fighter Sqdn
    -73rd Bomb Sqdn
    -77th Bomb Sqdn
    -36th Bomb Sqdn
    -21st Bomb Sqdn (Heavy)
    -42nd Fighter Sqdn
    -42nd Trans Sqdn (Troop Carrier)
    -54th Trans Sqdn (Troop Carrier)
    -404th Bomb Sqdn (Heavy)
    -406th Bomb Sqdn (Medium)
    -407th Bomb Sqdn (Medium)
    -10th Rescue Boat Sqdn

    US Navy

    68th Naval Constr Bn (CeeBee)
    8th Naval Constr Bn

    VP-43 PBY
    Air Search Unit, Patrol Squadrons 41, 43, 51, 62 (11 PBY flying boats, 20 PBY-5A amphibious flying boats)

    Patrol Wing-4 (PV1)
    PC-487 (Sub Chaser)

    PT Boat Sqdn-1

    More Navy order of battle to follow under the various task forces.

    The ground commander was Commanding General 7th US Infantry Division…forces assigned Navy are by designated task forces KING and ROGER; however, there were other TF in/around the islands providing something of support, cover, or protection. Huge navy footprint nonetheless.

    Army forces, assault, reserve, and initial occupation troops as follows: Assault on Attu, 7th Division Combat Team, consisting
    17th Infantry, one battalion field artillery, one battalion engineers for shore parties, one battery AA automatic weapons, three detachments 75th Special Signal Company, one company 7th Division Organic Combat Engineers, one medical collecting company, 7th Division. One platoon 7th Division Medical Clearing Company, Detachment Headquarters 7th Division Battalion, detachment 7th Division Quartermaster Battalion, detachment 7th Division Organic Signal Company.
    -18th Combat Engineers from Adak,
    – 4th Infantry Composite Regiment from Adak.
    -32nd Infantry Regiment with reinforcements similar to those for the 17th Infantry indicated above.

    The garrisons for Attu and the selected site in the Near Islands are to be designated by the Commanding General Western Defense Command includes the 17th Infantry Combat Team, 32nd Infantry Combat Team, 78th Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft (CAAA) & 2nd Battalion 51st CAAA.

    Task Force King, Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid. (a) Shore-Based Air Group, Maj. Gen. William O. Butler: (1) Air Striking Unit, Maj. Gen. William O. Butler: 24 heavy bombers, 30 medium bombers, 128 fighters.
    (2) Air Search Unit, CAPT Leslie E. Gehres: 24 PV-1s, 30 PBY-5As, 5 seaplane tenders

    (b) Alaska Sector Escort and Supply Group, Rear Admiral John W. Reeves, Jr.:
    1 DD, 1 DMS, 1 DM, 2 DEs (Canadian), 1 PG, 3 AMs, 1 ATF, 4 LSTs, 8 LCT(5)s, miscellaneous small craft.

    (c) Motor Torpedo Boat Group: 11 MTBs.

    (d) Submarine Group

    (e) Southern Covering Group, Rear Admiral Charles H. McMorris:
    3 Light Cruisers (CL):
    USS Detroit, CAPT Ellis H. Geiselman.
    USS Richmond, CAPT Theodore M. Waldschmidt.
    USS Santa Fe, CAPT Russell S. Berkey.

    5 Destroyers (DD):
    USS Bancroft, CDR John L. Melgaard.
    USS Caldwell, Lt. CDR Horatio A. Lincoln.
    USS Coghlan, CDR Benjamin F. Tompkins.
    USS Frazier, Lt. CDR Frank Virden.
    USS Gansevoort, Lt. CDR Montgomery L. McCullough, Jr.

    (f) Northern Covering Group, Rear Admiral Robert C. Giffen

    3 Heavy Cruisers (CA):
    USS Louisville, CAPT Charles T. Joy
    USS San Francisco, CAPT Albert F. France
    USS Wichita, (F), CAPT John J. Mahoney

    4 DD:
    USS Balch, CDR Harold H. Tiemroth
    USS Hughes, Lt. CDR Herbert H. Marable
    USS Morris, Lt. CDR Edward S. Burns
    USS Mustin, Lt. CDR Earl T. Schreiber

    (g) Attu Reinforcement Group, CAPT Charles L. Hutton, USN:
    32nd Infantry Regiment, less one battalion, embarked in 1 AP, 4 XAPs, 3 XAKs.

    (h) Tanker and Service Group:

    6 Ammunition Oilers (AO):
    USS Brazos, CDR Richard P. Glass
    USS Cuyama, CAPT Paul R. Coloney
    USS Guadalupe, CDR Herbert A. Anderson
    USS Neches, CDR Campbell D. Emory
    USS Platte, CDR Harry Keeler, Jr.
    USS Tippecanoe, CDR Ralph O. Myers

    2 ADs:
    USS Black Hawk, CDR Edward H. McMenemy
    USS Markab (AD-21), CAPT Allen D. Brown

    (i) Shemya Occupation Group, Brig. Gen. John E. Copeland:
    4th Infantry Regiment, 18th Engineer Regiment, to be transported in 1 AP, 1 XAP, 3 XAPc’s, 1 XAK.

    Task Force ROGER (Attack Force),32 Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell
    (j) Support Group
    3 Battleships (BB), Rear Admiral Howard F. Klingman:
    USS Pennsylvania (Flag Ship or F), CAPT William A. Corn.
    USS Idaho (F), CAPT Horace D. Clarke.
    USS Nevada, CAPT William A. Kitts, III.

    1 ACV:
    USS Nassau, CAPT Austin K. Doyle

    7 DDs:
    USS Aylwin, Lt. CDR Ray E. Malpass.
    USS Edwards, Lt. CDR Paul G. Osler.
    USS Hull, Lt. CDR Andrew L. Young, Jr.
    USS MacDonough, Lt. CDR Erle V.E. Dennett.
    USS Meade, CDR Raymond S. Lamb.
    USS Monaghan, Lt. CDR Peter H. Horn.
    USS Phelps, Lt. CDR John E. Edwards (F, CAPT Ruthven E. Libby, ComDesRon One and Commander Screening Group).

    (k) Transport Group, CAPT Pat Buchanan:

    4 Attack Transport (APA):
    USS J. Franklin Bell, CDR John B. McGovern.
    USS Harris, CDR Albert M. Van Eaton.
    USS Heywood, CAPT Herbert B. Knowles.
    USS Zeilin, (F), CDR Thomas B. Fitzpatrick.
    1 XAP: USS Perida
    1 APD: USS Kane, Lt. CDR Freeman D. Miller

    3 DDs:
    USS Dale, Lt. CDR Charles W. Aldrich
    USS Dewey, Lt. CDR Joseph P. Canty
    USS Farragut, CDR Henry D. Rozendal

    1 AVD: USS Williamson, Lieut. James A. Pridmore.

    2 DMs:
    USS Sicard, Lt. CDR William J. Richter
    USS Pruitt, Lt. CDR Richard C. Williams, Jr. (l)

    Minesweeper Group.

    2 Destroyer Minesweepers (DM), Lt. CDR Bernhart A.
    USS Fuetsch: Chandler, Lt. CDR Harry L. Thompson
    USS Long, (F), Lt. CDR Paul F. Heerbrandt

    22 July Kiska Two task groups were involved.

    Task Group GEORGE Rear Admiral Robert C. Giffen.

    Three heavy cruisers:
    USS Louisville, CAPT Alexander S. Wotherspoon
    USS San Francisco, CAPT Albert F. France
    USS Wichita, (F), CAPT John J. Mahoney
    One light cruiser: USS Santa Fe, Russell S. Berkey

    Five destroyers:
    USS Aylwin, Lt. CDR Ray E. Malpass
    USS Bache, CDR Frank M. Adamson
    USS Hughes, Lt. CDR Herbert H. Marable
    USS Morris, Lt. CDR Edward S. Burns
    USS Mustin, Lt. CDR Earl T. Schreiber

    Task Group Gilbert, Rear Admiral Robert M. Griffin

    Two battleships:
    USS Mississippi, CAPT Lunsford L. Hunter
    USS New Mexico, (F) CAPT Oliver L. Downes

    One heavy cruiser: USS Portland, CAPT Arthur D. Burhans

    Four destroyers:
    USS Abner Read, CDR Thomas Burrowes (Commander Screen)
    USS Farragut, (F), CDR George R. Cooper, ComDesDiv Two), Lt. CDR Edward F. Ferguson
    USS Monaghan, Lt. CDR Peter H. Horn
    USS Perry, Lt. CDR Bernhart A. Fuetsch

    2 August, Task Group Baker (Rear Admiral Wilder D. Baker) and Task Group King (Rear Admiral Howard F. Kingman) carried out a combined bombardment, the former from the south, the latter from the north. The groups were organized as follows:

    Task Group BAKER

    Two heavy cruisers:
    USS Salt Lake City, CAPT Bertram J. Rodgers
    USS Indianapolis, CAPT Einar R. Johnson

    Three light cruisers:
    USS Richmond, CAPT William A.S. Macklin
    USS Detroit, CAPT Ellis H. Geiselman
    USS Raleigh, CAPT Albert T. Sprague, Jr.

    Five destroyers, CAPT Wyatt Craig, ComDesRon 14:
    USS Edwards, Lt. CDR Paul G. Osler
    USS Farragut, Lt. CDR Edward F. Ferguson
    USS Frazier, Lt. CDR Elliott M. Brown
    USS Gansevoort, Lt. CDR Montgomery L. McCullough, Jr.
    USS Meade, Lt. CDR John Munholland

    Task Group KING

    Two battleships:
    USS Idaho, CAPT Horace D. Clarke
    USS Tennessee, (F), CAPT Robert S. Haggart

    Four destroyers, CAPT Ruthven E. Libby:
    USS Anderson, Lt. CDR John G. Tennent, III
    USS Aylwin, Lt. CDR Ray E. Malpass
    USS Dale, Lt. CDR Charles WS. Aldrich
    USS Phelps, Lt. CDR John E. Edwards

    The Invasion of Kiska
    15 August 1943

    Canadian Forces Kiska

    Major General Harry Wickwire Foster was commander of the Canadian forces except those under the FSSF. In 1941, he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, Foster assumed command of 4th Reconnaissance Regiment–4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, the recently activated scout formation assigned to 1st Canadian Infantry Division in England. Then in 1942, he was appointed CO, Highland Light Infantry of Canada. (See Angelo N. Caravaggio \Commanding the Green Centre Line in Normandy: A Case Study of Division Command in the Second World War\, Wilfrid Laurier University p. 351. Retrieved 9 August 2012.)

    He led Canadian troops in the Kiska campaign in 1943, for which he was awarded the American Legion of Merit. Foster commented in his diary “I feel bloody silly coming all this way for nothing.” (See \Canada’s Unknown War\ retrieved 9 August 2012's Unknown War.htm) Canadian involvement in the war in the Pacific was minimal.

    Canadian troops remained on Kiska for more than three months, building roads and piers. Casualties were four killed by enemy booby traps or accidental explosions. Overall the Greenlight force had taken 313 fatal casualties. The Canadian Army expected to participate fully in the war against Japan once Germany had been defeated. To gain experience and an idea of conditions there, nearly 100 officers were sent to the Pacific and Southeast Asia theatres as observers, attached to the American, British, Australian and New Zealand armies. In 1943, he was promoted Brigadier and commanding the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade/3rd Canadian Division, which landed on Juno beach 6 June 1944, D-Day.

    Plans for the Assault

    Although the occupation of Kiska was achieved without enemy opposition, it nevertheless was conducted under combat conditions until the landing was well underway.

    Considerably larger forces were allotted to the assault on Kiska than had been used at Attu, since the garrison of the former island was known to have been several times as large as Attu’s. The landing force consisted of 34,426 troops, 5,300 of whom were Canadian. Ships involved were three battleships, one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser, nineteen destroyers, five attack transports, one attack cargo vessel, ten transports, three cargo vessels, one fast transport, fourteen LSTs, nine LCI(L)s, nineteen LCT(5)s, two light minelayers, three fast minesweepers, two tugs, one harbor tug, and one surveying ship. Potential air strength was 24 heavy bombers, 44 medium bombers, 28 dive bombers, 60 fighters, and 12 patrol bombers. Command of the attack force was vested in Admiral Rockwell, while Maj. Gen. C.H. Corlett was to command the landing force. Supreme command was again in the hands of VAdm Thomas C. Kinkaid, who had been promoted.

    As soon as success at Attu was assured, plans for the attack on Kiska were placed in work. In this case it was possible for shore party and fire control party personnel with experience at Attu to be sent to California for training exercises. The troops eventually employed consisted of the 17th Infantry, 53rd Infantry, 87th Mountain Infantry, 184th Infantry, First Special Service Force, 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, and headquarters troops. The 17th Infantry was to be returned to Adak from Attu, where the 159th would replace it. The 53rd Infantry was a composite group organized in Alaska. The 87th Mountain Infantry reported atFort Ord on 19 June. The 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade assembled on Vancouver Island between 1 and 15 June.

    With the exception of the 17th Infantry, most of these units had had no significant amphibious training. The First Special Service Force, however, consisted of about 1,800 men especially trained in commando tactics, rubber boat handling, and parachuting. While the majority of the men involved were to receive preliminary training outside the Alaskan area, experience at Attu had shown that it was essential for troops unfamiliar with the Aleutian terrain to have at least two weeks’ training in the area itself.

    Task Organization for the Assault on Kiska, 15 August 1943

    Attack Force Command Group
    One battleship: USS Pennsylvania, (F, Rear Admiral Rockwell), CAPT William A. Corn
    One destroyer: USS Ammen, Lt. CDR Henry Williams, Jr.

    Support Group

    Two battleships:
    USS Idaho, CAPT Horace D. Clarke
    USS Tennessee, (F, Rear Admiral Kingman), CAPT Robert S. Haggart
    One heavy cruiser: USS Portland, CAPT Arthur D. Burhans
    One light cruiser: USS Santa Fe, CAPT Russell S. Berkey

    Six destroyers:
    USS Abner Read, CDR Thomas Burrowes
    USS Bache, CDR Frank M. Adamson
    USS Beale, CDR Joe B. Cochran
    USS Brownson, CDR Joseph B. Maher
    USS Hutchins, Lt. CDR Edwin W. Herron
    USS Phelps (F, CAPT Ruthven E. Libby), Lt. CDR John E. Edwards

    Transport Group

    Five attack transports:
    USS Zeilin, CDR Thomas B. Fitzpatrick
    USS Doyen, CDR Paul F. Dugan
    USS Harris, CDR Albert M. Van Eaton
    USS Heywood, CAPT Herbert B. Knowles
    USS J. Franklin Bell, CAPT John B. McGovern

    One attack cargo vessel: USS Thuban, CDR James C. Campbell
    Two transports:
    USNS St. Mihiel, CDR Edward B. Rogers
    USNS U.S. Grant, CAPT Charles L. Hutton

    Two fast transports:
    USS Kane, Lt. CDR Freeman D. Miller
    1 LST.

    Eight merchant ships used as transports:
    USNS Richard March Hoe
    USNS George Flavel
    USS Perida
    USNS Chirikof
    USNS David W. Branch
    USNA Tjisadane
    USNS President Fillmore
    USNS Henry Failing

    Three merchant ships used as cargo vessels:
    SS Sacajawea
    SS George W. Julian
    SS Josiah D. Whitney

    Nine screening destroyers:
    USS Farragut, Lt. CDR Edward F. Ferguson
    USS Aylwin, Lt. CDR Ray E. Malpass
    USS Monaghan, Lt. CDR Peter H. Horn
    USS Dewey, Lt. CDR Joseph P. Canty
    USS Hull, Lt. CDR Andrew L. Young, Jr.
    USS Dale, Lt. CDR Charles W. Aldrich
    USS Bush, Lt. CDR Thurmond A. Smith
    USS Daly, CDR Richard G. Visser
    USS Mullany, CDR Baron J. Mullaney

    Control unit – two light minelayers:
    USS Pruitt, Lt. CDR Richard C. Williams
    USS Sicard, Lt. CDR William J. Richter

    Salvage unit – two tugs: USS Cree, Lieut. Percy Bond & USS Ute, Lieut. William F. Lewis.

    Landing Ship Group

    Three destroyers:
    USS Bancroft, Lt. CDR Ray M. Pitts
    USS Caldwell, Lt. CDR Horatio A. Lincoln
    USS Coghlan, Lt. CDR Benjamin B. Cheatham.
    13 LSTs.
    9 LCI(L)s.
    19 LCT(5)s.
    1 harbor tug: USNS Woban

    Minesweeper Group

    Three destroyer minesweepers:
    USS Chandler, Lt. CDR Harry L. Thompson
    USS Long, Lt. CDR Paul F. Heerbrandt
    USS Perry, Lt. CDR Bernhart A. Feitsch

    As of 1 August 1943, the complete organization of Task Force Tare was as follows:

    Task Force TARE, Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald
    Air Group, Brig. Gen. William O. Butler, USA

    Air Striking Unit: Bombardment: 28th Composite Group, 30th Bombardment Group (11 heavy bombers, 23 medium bombers).

    Reconnaissance: 406th Bombardment Squadron; 8th Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (21 medium bombers).

    Fighters: 11th, 18th, 42nd, 54th, 57th Fighter Squadrons; 111th Fighter Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (98 fighters)

    Air Search Unit, CAPT Leslie E. Gehres:

    Patrol Squadrons 41, 43, 51, 62 (11 PBY flying boats, 20 PBY-5A amphibious flying boats) & Sea Plane Tenders:
    USS Avocet, Lt. CDR William C. Jonson, Jr.
    USS Casco, CDR Thomas S. Combs
    USS Gillis, Lt. CDR Norman F. Garton
    USS Hulbert, Lt. CDR James M. Lane
    USS Teal, Lt. CDR Albert S. Major, Jr.

    Escort: USS Kane, Lt. CDR John J. Greytak

    Escort and Patrol Group, Rear Admiral John W. Reeves, Jr.
    1 gunboat:
    USS Charleston, CDR Gordon B. Sherwood
    1 minesweeper: USS Oriole, Mellish M. Lindsay, Jr.
    5 over-age destroyers:
    USS Dent, Lt. CDR Paul H. Tobelman
    USS Gilmer, Lt. CDR Herman O. Parish
    USS Humphreys, Lt. CDR John K. Wells
    USS Sands, Lt. CDR John T. Bowers, Jr.
    USS Talbot, Lt. CDR Edward A. McFall
    Coast Guard vessels.

    Patrol vessels

    Submarine Group, CDR Oswald S. Colclough.
    5 submarines:
    USS Finback, CDR Jesse L. Hull
    USS Grunion, Lt. CDR Mannert L. Abele
    USS Trigger, Lt. CDR Jack H. Lewis
    USS Triton, Lt. CDR Charles C. Kirkpatrick
    USS Tuna, Lt. CDR John L. DeTar

    Main Body, Rear Admiral William W. Smith

    2 heavy cruisers:
    USS Indianapolis (F), CAPT Morton L. Deyo
    USS Louisville, CAPT Elliott B. Nixon

    3 light cruisers:
    USS Honolulu, CAPT Harold Dodd (Relieved 3 August 1942 by CAPT Robert W. Hayler)
    USS Nashville, CAPT Francis S. Craven
    USS St. Louis, CAPT George A. Rood

    4 destroyers:
    USS Case (F, CDR Wyatt Craig, ComDesDiv 6), CDR Robert W. Bedilion
    USS Gridley (F, CDR Frederick Moosbrugger, ComDesDiv 11), Lt. CDR Fred R. Stickney
    USS McCall, Lt. CDR William S. Veeder
    USS Reid, CDR Harold F. Pullen

    1 fast minesweeper: USS Elliot, Lt. CDR Daniel J. Wagner.

    Tanker Group
    1 Oiler: Ramapo, CDR Harold A. Carlisle

    2 over-age destroyers:
    USS USS Brooks, Lt. CDR Charles T. Singleton, Jr.
    USS King, Lt. CDR Kenneth M. Gentry

    • Del Kostka says:

      This is outstanding, Ray. I have never seen a comprehensive OOB on the Aleutians campaign before, so your effort is much appreciated. Yes, I believe the Canadian air force did participate throughout the campaign. If you check out Garfield’s “Thousand Mile War”, he makes reference to the RCAF’s little-publicized Aleutian contribution on the bottom of page 377. Very little detail provided beyond “four air squadrons” – would probably have to be researched through Canadian archives.

    • Ephriam D. Dickson III says:

      Thank you, Ray, for this great Order of Battle. I am working on a piece about the Signal Corps on the recapture of Attu in 1943. Would be interested in any additional details you may have about their organization and duties. Thanks!

  111. Ray Younger says:

    Not as complete. The US Navy has been pretty good giving up OB, but that might not be all inclusive. The conglomeration of Canadian and US forces makes it difficult getting more details on their movements, changes in unit designation, &tc. I have records of a man who was in the Signal Corps, specifically a Radio Intelligence unit. They were sailing for the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearly Harbor thus returned to California. They subsequently were rerouted to Alaska and suffered submarine attacks by the Japanese enroute to Juneau. Stuff you really don’t hear about. He was in the attack on Dutch Harbor and then moved off to the Islands for the ensuing campaign. Really, really neat. So there’s much more to the history, the story of this campaign. Remarkable. Notice the National Guard units!

  112. Jim Massey says:

    My father, Lt. Richard Massey was in the Canadian forces, but \attached\ to the US forces. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Asiatic-Pacific medal. I believe this was from his service in the Aleutians but cannot find any official record. As he was not a US soldier St-Louis have not been able to help. He was in Photographic Intelligence and had many large scale photos of the Islands, now sadly lost, so I am sure he served there. Having found this site in my researches, I was wondering if any one could help shed light on his time there?

  113. Kar Tio says:

    Greetings, I’m doing a historical research for the battle of Attu for a project I might start working on soon. I’m especially interested in the uniforms and small arms used in the battle and landscape, defenses like buildings that were on the island back then etc. If anyone has pictures, videos or info about those I would gladly take a look at them, feel free to send an email to thekartio(at)

  114. Christian Gallardo says:

    Hello Doran,

    My fathers name is Anthony (Tony) Gallardo. He lived in the Bronx and raised us in Red Bank. He served on the Guadalcanal and was in the Navy from 1969-1973.

    I know I’m not much help but I’m curious if you’ve gotten any more information?
    Christian Gallardo

  115. Julie Wood says:

    My father, Jack Benton Wood was in the Navy and his discharge date was 22 Dec., 1945. He was a radioman on aircraft. I have his photo album with pictures of him and his buddies while on one of the Aleutian Islands. We used to have his jacket, gloves, boots and hat all lined with lambs wool. He never spoke of his days in the Navy so I don’t have much to go on. Pictures weren’t labeled either. I would like to know more about his life in the Navy and would appreciate any help. I would be happy to share pictures from his album as well. Thank you for any information and thank you for your honored service to this country.
    Julie Wood,
    proud daughter of a WWII Veteran

  116. Roger Weston says:

    Hi Kar,

    I wrote a novel called The Golden Catch that is set on Kiska. I spent a lot of time researching the airbase there, the tunnel systems, and the various shipwrecks. It was a lot of fun. I think you’ll enjoy doing research on Attu for your project. You might try your local library for books on the Pacific campaign. Better yet, ask a reference librarian. They come up with some surprising resources. Have fun with it.

    Roger Weston

    • Kar Tio says:

      Hi, the project is actually a custom map inspired by the battle of Attu, for a PC game called Rising Storm. I’m not doing a 100% historical recreation of the battle though but a tactical and exciting map based of it. The map will be called “Fishhook Ridge” and I’ll hopefully finish it later this year. The map will feature the american team attacking japanese team’s positions such as pillboxes, caves and a harbor.

      Since I live in Finland I don’t think that I’ll find many books oriented especially to the aleutians campaign but many internet sites such as this have been helpful. Thanks for the tips though :)

  117. george lake says:

    im looking for anyone that has info regarding GEORGE EDWARD LAKE that was in the 7th division–i have a few photos from when he was on kiska and attu–some of this photos are of soldiers that lost their lives there, and some lost their lives in later campaigns. He didnt talk about his service and i didnt know anything until he died, and then i got a shoe box full of these photos.

  118. James LaVerdure says:

    Hi George, Would you please get back with me at I have some info about the 7th Division, that I would like to share with you, like pictures of Fort Ord, where they did there training, info about the battles Attu. Kiska, Kwajalein, Leyte and Okinawa. Do you know what Regiment your father was in? The main ones where the 17th, 32nd and 184th, plus a few artillery units. The pictures that you have, do they have any names? I have a list of men that died on Attu, and a list of men from the 17th that where KIA during all of the battles. My father was in Co B 17th Regiment 7th Division, he was in all of the battles.

    James LaVerdure

  119. george lake says:

    My Dad was buried on Memorial Day 2002. The honor guard from the parade in Hartford WI continued to the cemetary to give my Dad a 21-gun salute. He served in 3 campaigns in the Pacific and was seriously injured just before his unit was sent to Iwo Jima. He was Known as Hoboken Joe on Atttu in the Aleutian Islands. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my Dad and to all the other soilders who fought for US.

    He was on Attu and Kiska. He never talked much at all about the war. Dad did serve with friends but it was extremely hard on him when a good friend he grew up with was killed in the Marshall Islands.

  120. Ray Younger says:

    Jim, there’s help/support through the Canadian veterans organizations and government. They have records. Remember, too, that the First Special Service Force was both US/Canadian soldiers. Was your father in that unit?

    There is a Lieut Massey with those awards at this page: Looks like your posting, so this probably doesn’t help much.

  121. Jim Massey says:

    Thanks Ray,

    Yes that was me who posted the info on the Canadian Officers Unit Histories site.

    I have since discovered Dad was with the Rocky Mountain Rangers in Kiska.

    Posted to A16 C.I.T.C 2/Lieut. Canada 21.5.43
    att. 3rd Bn Edmonton Fusiliers Lieut Canada 21.6.43
    posted 1st Bn Rocky Mountain Rangers Lieut Canada 3.7.43
    Special Duty A.T.F #9 (US Army) Lieut Alaska 12.7.43
    Returned to Canada from Special Duty Lieut Canada 25.1.44
    Posted to A34 S.O.T.C Lieut Canada 13.3.44
    Embarked for UK Lieut Canada 4.5.44

    At this point his UK records start, landing in Normandy on 11.6.44.

    So he was definitely with ATF#9 for Kiska and wintered there before heading to France. I am waiting for a copy of his Canadian Service Records, which may shed more light on this. St Louis can’t help due to a fire and they wanted his SSN for the computer search which we don’t have. I’m getting great help from RUSI as the link given to their site earlier is no longer valid.

  122. Ray Younger says:

    Jim, let’s say he rec’d awards while in the Aleutian Campaign. That means within the Research Groups (RG) at the US National Archives, his orders will be there for award of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Asiatic-Pacific medal will be recorded as issued. Unless he rec’d those awards in Normandy. Did your dad come ashore on JUNO or SWORD? OR still LNO with US Forces? Hopefully the procedures are like today, that the US Army issued the awards, award paperwork was forwarded to the Canadian MOD/Army so that he could have them annotated into his service record. Seems like there’s a paper trail. Same as today, I think. I had written awards for Canadian members of JTF2 when in Afghanistan.I can’t think of the RGs for the Aleutians, but I’ll try and dig some up.–Ray

  123. Amaranta says:

    Just what I was looking for. I am sure there are many people who are faced with the same problems I recently had. I couldn’t find BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a DA 4856, I found a blank fillable form here

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