KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

Attu75

Lisa Hupp/USFWS

 

It’s been 75 years since thousands of young soldiers lost their lives fighting over the westernmost point of the United States. Seventy-five years since the Alaska Native people of Attu were taken from their homes never to return again.

 

This weekend, former Attu residents, as well as veterans of the Aleutian campaign and descendants of the Japanese soldiers joined together to commemorate the tragedy and honor the legacy of those lost.

 

 

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

Seventy-five years after Japan invaded the furthest tip of the Aleutian chain, Attuans are returning home.

In 1942, there were 44 people living on Attu Island, nearly all Alaska Natives. They were taken as captives to Japan, where half of them died. And after the war, the federal government forbade them from returning.

But in August, a group of 11 descendants finally visited their ancestral home for the first time.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The Aleutian Islands served as the battleground for some of the bloodiest conflicts on American soil since the Civil War. But most people have never heard of the Battle of Attu, the invasion of Kiska, or even the Aleutian campaign.

Tadashi Ogawa wants to change that.

The Japanese filmmaker has produced a new documentary on World War II.

Growing up in Yokohama, Tadashi Ogawa learned a bit about the Battle of Attu in school because more than 2,300 Japanese soldiers lost their lives.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

This week, we’re sharing stories from the Battle of Attu and the greater Aleutian campaign of World War II.

The conflict ended in the 1940s, but its legacy is still very much alive — both for the veterans who served and the Unangan people who were forced to leave during the fighting.

Even now, many vets have never spoken to an evacuee, and vice versa.

To commemorate what happened 75 years ago, KUCB invited people on both sides to sit down and reflect together.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

This week, we’re sharing stories from the Battle of Attu and the greater Aleutian campaign of World War II.

The conflict ended in the 1940s, but its legacy is still very much alive — both for the veterans who served and the Unangan people who were forced to leave during the fighting.

Even now, many vets have never spoken to an evacuee, and vice versa.

To commemorate what happened 75 years ago, KUCB invited people on both sides to sit down and reflect together.

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