Discovering Alaska’s World War II Historical Sites

November 8, 2013 | By More
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World War II historical sites in Alaska

Alaska is the most northern US state, and just like New York has become a part of the American dream. Many travelers are not aware however of the important role Alaska played during World War II. We offer you a short list of the places that are worth exploring and are  some of the most important historical sites in the state, thanks to the World War II.

  • The Aleutian Islands

Aleutian Islands Alaksa

These islands have the most important historical sites in Alaska that are associated with the World War II. During the World War II some of the outer Aleutian Islands – Attu, Kiska and Agatu – were occupied by Japanese soldiers. This part of the state is actually the only US territory that was ever occupied during the war.

Attu Island is situated in the western end of the Aleutian Islands, and is the easternmost point in the United States of America. The distance from the island to the rest of the civilization is about 1,770 km. The nature views and landscapes there are a bit hard to describe, because there are volcanoes, valleys and low lands, and the climate is quite variable throughout the whole year. Attu island is one of the most desolate and deserted islands, because there live only about 20 people. The uniqueness of the island hides the fact that it is actually the only place in the territory of the United States of America where there were any battles during the World War II.

Kiska Island also takes part in the hostilities during the war, as it has been put under fire in the beginning of August 1943, but later, the actions are directed to Attu Island, because the local American commanders decided it was better to occupy the westernmost of the Aleutian chain of islands.

  • Adak Army Base and Adak Naval Operating Base

Adak Army Base and Adak Naval Operating Base are part of a military base that was made in Alaska during the World War II. There were also an American attack launching pad, which was used during the occupation of the Attu and Kiska islands.

  • Attu Battlefield; U.S. Army and Navy Airfields on Attu

WWII Soldiers in Attu

The Attu Battlefield is one of the most famous World War II historical sites in Alaska. This is the place where the only battle on American ground was held during the War, and a skull place of more than 2,000 Japanese soldiers.

Attu Peace Monument

At Adak Army Base and Adak Naval Operating Base only ruins remain, so these places can be visited by travelers.  Attu Battlefield; U.S. Army and Navy Airfields on Attu – can be visited as well (picture)

  • Anchorage

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, located on the southern coast in the central part of the state. This is probably the northernmost major city in the United States of America. The city occupies a strip of low land along the coast and extends to the lower alpine slopes of the Chugach Mountains.

In the 1930s, the city is drawn away from its concentrated railway development, and became a centre of air transport and warfare. This is the place where an air base and fort called Richardson were built to support the war effort.

  • Sitka Naval Operating Base

Sitka Naval Operatin Base was the place responsible for protecting the North Pacific during the World War II. There used to be a Naval Air Station, but it was transformed into a Naval Operating Base in 1942.  Today this site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

  • Dutch Harbour Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears

Dutch Harbor Alaska WWII Bunker

The place is known as a previous home to the fortification of the U.S. army located in the Aleutian Islands. The Durtch Harbour Naval Operating Base was attacked in the middle of 1943 by the Japanese Navy.  The Dutch Harbour Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears can be reached by air, with the best months to visit being between May and October.  Several of the Army barracks remain, but are in poor condition and are not used for military purposes today.

  • Japanese Occupation Site on the Kiska Island

This is exactly where the Japanese occupation of the Kiska Island happened. This is the only place in America occupied by enemy forces during the World War II.

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About The Author:  Jack Sheamus is passionate blogger, traveller and writer. He currently works as a manager of  Shiny London  (a London cleaning service) and thanks to that he has the opportunity to travel a lot.
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Photo Source:  Google Commons

 

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Category: Alaska Travel Tips, Featured, Unique Vacations

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