The Japanese In
The Aleutians

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After the Japanese attacks on Dutch Harbor, Alaska on the 3rd and 4th of June, 1942, six months after the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, the Aleutian islands of Kiska and Attu were captured and garrisoned by the Japanese. Capt. Takeji Ono of the Japanese Imperial Navy and his Japanese No. 3 Special Landing Party and 500 Japanese Marines landed on Narukami-shima (Kiska) a little after 1 a.m. on the 7th of June, 1942. These were followed by another contingency of approximately 1000 Japanese Infantry. Concurrently on the 6th of June 1942, the Japanese 301st Independent Infantry Battalion landed on Attu via Chichagof Harbor.

These pages are about the Japanese as they occupied these islands in the Aleutians during WWII. The pictures have been derived from old WWII-era Japanese photo magazines, newspapers, and even some photos taken from film developed from captured Japanese cameras after the re-capture of the islands from the Japanese.

There are several stories regarding the war's conduct from the perspective of Japanese soldiers stationed on Attu. These stories came from several captured diaries penned by their owners and captured by the Americans at the end of the Battle for Attu. See these links:

Efforts have also been ongoing to return Japanese WWII memorabilia, including "battle flags," to their owners or owner's relatives. These are links to a successful reuniting of a flag by Russ Marvin, with the 2nd link to a Japanese web site that will aid this process immensely, and a 3rd link from a Japanese newspaper showing how difficult this process can be:

We thank Ms. Naomi Tabuchi, Mr. Kiyoshi Nishiha, Mr. Nishiha's daughter Mrs. Megumi Morioka, and Dr. Yasuhiko Kaji for their help providing these links and for putting forth the effort to also bring Japanese memorabilia back home to Japan.

 

Last Updated: 23 January 2014

Originally published 26 August 2005