KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

WWII

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

 

On Wednesday, Federal officials apologized for their role in the World War II internment of the Unangan people.

Jim Kurth — acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — traveled to St. Paul Island to speak with survivors and descendants.

“As much as we wish, we cannot take back the course of history,” Kurth said. “But what we can do now is heal together. We can work together.”

Berett Wilber/KUCB

It’s been 75 years since the U.S. government removed the Unangax from their homes in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, following a deadly attack by the Japanese.

Hundreds of people gathered in Unalaska last weekend to commemorate the bombing of Dutch Harbor during World War II and hear stories from survivors.

U.S. Navy

This week, the U.S. Navy is searching for World War II-era explosives that may still be hiding in waters around Unalaska.

It’s unclear how much leftover ordnance is lurking offshore, according to Leslie Yuenger of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. But she needs help from Unalaskans to find it.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Seventy-five years ago, almost 900 Unangan people were removed from their homes by the U.S. government and interned in southeast Alaska.

Officials said they were trying to protect Native communities from the Japanese during World War II. But the Unangax were forced to live in crowded camps with little access to food, water, or medical attention.

This week,  we heard from Unalaskan descendants of the evacuees about what that difficult history means to them and why it shouldn't be forgotten.

Janice Krukoff

DMITRI DANE/ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PHOTOGRAPHY & U.S. COAST GUARD

In Unalaska, the U.S. Coast Guard has cleaned up controversial graffiti that was found spray-painted on a World War II bunker last month.

The slogan read: “#722LIFE. MORGENTHUGS,” which led many Unalaskans to suspect crew members of the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau.

The vessel was recently decommissioned after nearly 50 years of service, so the crew of another cutter -- the Mellon -- was assigned to cleanup duty last week.

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