Originally Published: 12/02/2016

The Attu website began as a secondary effort to our original “Shemya” website posted in

1996. Once we’d posted our Shemya site we began to receive emails from several WWII (and

Post-WWII) Aleutian veterans who’d served on Attu, who were wondering if we had any

information (or a site) that covered Attu. My initial response was “no, but I would entertain

building such a site if those who were stationed on Attu would get in touch and contribute

material as content. They did! Amongst our first contributors were Rene Thibault and Dan

Lange. You’ll find their material on this website as well as that from many others who were

kind enough to get in touch, contributing a wealth of stories and photos over the ensuing

years. Sadly…we’ve also lost a good number of these new-found friends with the passage of

time. I’m grateful we were able to capture their memories while they were still with us. They

will be missed. And…I’m also very grateful for those contributors who are still with us, and

actively in touch!

Attu gained fame primarily due to its history and involvement during WWII, when Japanese invaders captured Attu (and Kiska), on June 6th of 1942…a blocking maneuver designed to protect the Japanese homeland…and perhaps as a stepping stone to America’s shores…and the subsequent efforts to recapture Attu by the Allied Forces beginning on the 11th of May, 1943. Events and efforts originally hidden from the American public. Attu remained an important part of western-most America due to the establishment of a LORAN station on its shores, operating from the early 1940’s through 2010 when it was finally closed down…GPS had taken over LORAN’s roll as the primarily navigation tool in the Pacific region. We’ve divided our Aleutians presentation into three fundamental sections: Pre-WWII, WWII, and Post-WWII. Our contributor’s material can be found under the appropriate time they’d spent serving in the Aleutians. We’ve also provided extra material relating to Attu’s primary Post-WWII function as a LORAN station. Given that it served as a provider of NAVAIDS both during and after WWII, we’ve created the subject as an independent effort standing on its own. You will also find information relating to LORAN activities posted under individuals who’d served in that function on Attu under their “scrapbook” pages…pages dedicated to individuals who’d contributed material for our website. We hope you enjoy this 2nd incarnation of our Attu website…which we’ve redesigned beginning in September of 2016, using current authoring tools enabling us to present an enhanced, hopefully more appealing, website which deals with a place, time, and activity the majority of Americans living in the “lower 48” were never aware of! George L. Smith, USAF Retired Member of the Shemya Island Contingency 1975-1976

Photo by Kare Lohse