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Battle of Attu

Battle of Attu


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In the Battle of Attu, the main conflict of the Aleutian Islands Campaign during World War II (1939-45), American and Japanese armies fought from May 11 to May 30, 1943, for control of Attu, a small, sparsely inhabited island at the far western end of Alaska’s Aleutian chain in the North Pacific. In June 1942, Japan had seized Attu and its neighbor Kiska, then established garrisons on the remote, U.S.-owned islands. The reason for taking Attu and Kiska, known for their barren, mountainous terrain and harsh weather, might have been to divert U.S. forces during Japan’s attack on Midway Island (June 4-7, 1942) in the central Pacific. It’s also possible the Japanese believed holding the two islands would prevent the U.S. from invading Japan via the Aleutians. Either way, the Japanese occupation was a blow to American morale. In May 1943, U.S. troops finally retook Attu and in August reclaimed Kiska.

Japan Seizes American Soil in the Aleutians

On June 7, 1942, exactly six months after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that drew the U.S. into World War II, the Japanese Northern Army invaded and occupied Attu, a remote, volcanic island in the North Pacific, about 1,200 miles west of the Alaskan Peninsula, at the far western end of the Aleutian Islands chain. The day before, on June 6, the Japanese had seized the island of Kiska, located approximately 200 miles from Attu in the Aleutians, which had belonged to America since its purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.

Many historians believe Japan seized Attu and Kiska primarily to divert the U.S. Pacific Fleet during the Japanese attack on Midway Island (June 4–7, 1942) in the central Pacific. It’s also possible the Japanese believed that holding Attu and Kiska would prevent the U.S. from attempting to invade Japan’s home islands by way of the Aleutians.

Americans were shocked that Japanese troops could take any U.S. soil, no matter how remote or barren. Some Americans also feared that Japan’s occupation of Attu and Kiska might be the first step toward an attack against mainland Alaska or even the U.S. Pacific Northwest. However, at the time of the Japanese army’s occupation of the two islands, the U.S., still reeling from the Pearl Harbor attack, was in the process of building up its forces in the South Pacific and preparing for the war in Europe against Nazi Germany. Although Americans were incensed that Japan had seized U.S. territory, American war planners at first paid relatively little attention to the Japanese garrisons at Attu and Kiska. In fact, in the initial months after Japan occupied the islands, the U.S. military conducted only occasional bombing raids from nearby Aleutian Islands.

Operation Landgrab

That all changed after March 26, 1943, and the Battle of the Komandorski Islands in the Bering Sea, during which the U.S. Navy managed to secure the sea lanes and clear the way for an attack on Attu. Then, on May 11, 1943, in a mission code-named Operation Landgrab, the U.S. military landed 11,000 infantry on the north and south ends of Attu. Because the Japanese commander on Attu, Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki (1891–1943), had moved his greatly outnumbered troops inland to the island’s high ground, the U.S. soldiers at first encountered only light resistance. Still, the island’s harsh weather and rugged terrain proved to be formidable allies for the Japanese.

Attu is a barren, mainly treeless volcanic island with weather that can change quickly from still winds and light fog to raging 100-mile-an-hour gusts and driving rain. Having occupied the island for almost a year, Japanese troops had acclimated to its difficult conditions. However, American soldiers initially found themselves ill-equipped and ill-prepared to navigate the difficult terrain and withstand its snow, fog, rain and mud while inspecting every foxhole and hollow in search of their Japanese enemy.

Because U.S. Army planners had expected the battle to last only a few days and had not anticipated how grueling the conditions would be, American soldiers conducted operations in substandard clothing with inadequate gear. Exposure to the drenching rains and freezing cold inflicted more casualties than enemy fire as hundreds of U.S. troops suffered frostbite, trench foot and gangrene. Equipment failures and food shortages added to their misery as they crisscrossed the barren island fighting mostly small but fierce engagements.

U.S. Troops Corner the Japanese

The Americans were, however, supported by naval and aerial bombardment against Japanese positions, and bolstered by reinforcements and eventually by new supplies. By the end of May, U.S. troops had managed to take the high ground on the island and trap Yamasaki’s troops in a small hillside area where they were quickly running out of food and ammunition. The remaining Japanese soldiers, most of whom adhered to the traditional Bushido code (or “way of the warrior”) forbidding surrender as the ultimate dishonor, began to face the inevitable. On the last day of fighting, Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi (1911–1943), a Japanese surgeon who had been a medical student in California, wrote in his diary: “The last assault is to be carried out.… I am only 33 years old and I am to die…. I took care of all patients [in the field hospital] with a grenade.”

Facing defeat, commander Yamasaki gambled on a surprise counterattack. He hoped to seize the Americans’ artillery, turn it against them, and then fade back into the hills to await reinforcements. It was a scheme of desperation, but at least it would give his soldiers the chance for an honorable death on the battlefield, if not a victory.

Banzai Charge on Attu

Before dawn on May 29, 1943, Yamasaki and his remaining troops charged the American position in one of the largest banzai charges (an all-out, often desperate attack) of the Pacific War. Their sudden frontal assault on the Americans cut through U.S. combat posts and penetrated all the way to surprised support troops in the rear of the American camp. Brutal hand-to-hand combat followed until Yamasaki and his men were finally routed by overwhelming firepower. Most of the Japanese who were not killed in the ferocious charge committed suicide, in many cases by detonating hand grenades near their stomachs. Afterward, American soldiers counted more than 2,000 Japanese dead. Of the approximately 2,500 Japanese troops on Attu when the Americans landed, fewer than 30 survived to be taken prisoner. Some 1,000 U.S. troops died in the retaking of Attu.

Aftermath of the Battle

Although the fighting at Attu was largely overshadowed by the concurrent U.S. campaign in the jungles of Guadalcanal, Americans rejoiced when the small, remote U.S. island was finally reclaimed from Japanese troops in May 1943. Three months later, in August, U.S. forces retook Kiska. This time, however, there was no combat involved, as Japanese forces had fled the island under the cover of fog several weeks before the Americans arrived.


From June 3 to 7, 1942, Japanese forces attacked Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, bombing Dutch Harbor on the island of Unalaska and invading the islands of Attu and Kiska. Attu’s radio operator, Charles Foster Jones, died during the invasion and his wife Etta, the island’s schoolteacher, taken prisoner. The Unangax̂ (Aleut) residents of Attu were taken to Japan for the duration of the war. Of the 40 captives, 16 (40%) died from disease and starvation.

In May 1943, after a prolonged air campaign, U.S. troops piled into transport ships to expel invaders from American soil for the first time since 1812. Lasting 18 days, the Battle of Attu was one of the deadliest battles of World War II, but it remains one of the least well-known.


Attu Battlefield and U.S. Army and Navy Airfields National Historic Landmark

Attu Island, Alaska

Japan Takes Attu Island

The Japanese occupation of Attu and the U.S. recapture of the island are significant in the history of World War II in several ways. It is one of eight National Historic Landmarks in Alaska that was designated to commemorate the World War II in Alaska.

Despite significant successes throughout the first half of 1942, the Japanese realized that they could not fight a protracted war against the United States’ industrial might. By destroying the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Midway and establishing bases on Midway and in the Aleutians, along with Fiji, Samoa, and New Caledonia Islands, the Japanese hoped to establish control over the western Pacific. In doing this they hoped to be able to negotiate a peace treaty with the United States. The coordinated attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Midway, along with the Japanese occupation of Attu and Kiska in June 1942 marked the peak of Japan's military expansion in the Pacific. Americans, believing that the occupation of Attu and Kiska Islands was the pretext for an invasion of the United States, were greatly alarmed. For Japan, after suffering a disastrous defeat at Midway, it was the only positive result of their plan.

Recapturing Attu Island

For Americans, the recapture of Attu was an important morale booster because they had little to cheer about at that time. The battle was significant in that it demonstrated the worthiness of the American soldier against his enemy and it illustrated the loyalty of the Japanese soldier to his cause. In terms of numbers engaged, Attu ranks as one of the most costly battles in the Pacific. In terms of Japanese killed, the cost of taking Attu was second only to lwo Jima with only 29 out of 2,250 soldiers surviving the battle. Of nearly 3800 American soldiers, 549 were killed in the battle. Mistakes made and lessons learned in amphibious landings, tactics, and logistical planning made significant contributions to future U.S. Pacific operations. Post-battle bombing raids on Japanese territory from Attu tied up significant numbers of Japanese defense forces and demonstrated that the Home Islands were not safe from air attack and, possibly, invasion from the north.

Attu, Kiska, and much of Adak are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1913.

Learn More About WWII in Alaska

World War II had a major impact on Alaska. At the height of the War more than 100,000 American and Canadian soldiers were stationed in Alaska. Alaska's infrastructure grew immensely as a result. Roads, ports, and airfields were improved or constructed to facilitate the transportation of troops and supplies. An impact that many people are unaware of is the forced evacuation of the Native population of the Aleutian Islands by Japanese and American forces.


Contents

The name Attu is the Unangan language (Aleut) name for the island. Archaeological research of the large number of archaeological sites on the island suggests an estimated precontact population ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 Unangan (Aleut). [5]

Attu, being the nearest to Kamchatka, was the first of the Aleutian Islands exploited by Russian traders. Russian explorer Aleksei Chirikov called the island Saint Theodore in 1742. [6] Russians stayed on the island several years at a stretch to hunt sea otters. The Russians often clashed with the local Unangan population. After the initial wave of traders, European ships largely overlooked Attu.

World War II Edit

The Aleuts were the primary inhabitants of the island prior to World War II. But, on June 7, 1942, six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 301st Independent Infantry Battalion of the Japanese Northern Army landed on the island without opposition, one day after landing on nearby Kiska, which made Attu the second of the only two invasion sites in North America during the war. Earlier, American territorial authorities had evacuated about 880 Aleuts from villages elsewhere in the Aleutian Islands to civilian camps in the Alaska Panhandle, where about 75 of them died of various infectious diseases over two years.

However, Attu Village had not yet been evacuated when the Japanese invaded. At the time, Attu's population consisted of 45 native Aleuts and two white Americans, Charles Foster Jones (1879–1942), a radio technician, originally from St. Paris, Ohio, and his wife Etta (1879–1965), a schoolteacher, originally from Vineland, New Jersey. [9] The village consisted of several houses around Chichagof Harbor. The 42 Attu inhabitants who survived the Japanese invasion were taken to a prison camp near Otaru, Hokkaidō. Sixteen of them died while they were imprisoned. Mr. Jones, 63, was murdered by the Japanese forces almost immediately after the invasion. Mrs. Jones, 63, was subsequently taken to the Bund Hotel in Yokohama, Japan, which also housed Australian prisoners of war from the 1942 Battle of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. Later, Mrs. Jones and the Australian prisoners were held at the Yokohama Yacht Club from 1942 to 1944, and then at the Totsuka prisoner of war camp until their release in August 1945. Mrs. Jones died in December 1965 at age 86 in Bradenton, Florida. [9]

Before the Attu villagers were returned to the U.S., the American government stated publicly that it was not aware of their status. [10]

According to Gen. Kiichiro Higuchi, the Commander of the Japanese Northern Army, the invasion of Kiska and Attu was part of a threefold objective: [11]

  • To break up any offensives against Japan by way of the Aleutians.
  • To place a barrier between the U.S. and Russia in case Russia decided to join the war against Japan.
  • To make preparation for air bases for future offensive action.

In late September 1942, the Japanese garrison on Attu was transferred to Kiska, and then Attu was essentially left unoccupied, but American forces made no attempt to occupy Attu during this time. On October 29, 1942, the Japanese reestablished a base on Attu at Holtz Bay under the command of Lt. Col. Hiroshi Yanekawa. Initially the garrison was about 500 troops, but through reinforcements, that number reached about 2,300 by March 10, 1943. No more reinforcements arrived after that time, owing mainly to the efforts of the U.S. naval force under Rear Admiral Charles "Soc" McMorris, and U.S. Navy submarines. McMorris had been assigned to interdict the Japanese supply and reinforcement convoys. After the sizable naval Battle of the Komandorski Islands, the Japanese abandoned their attempts to resupply its Aleutian garrisons by surface ships. From then on, only submarines were used for the resupply runs. [11]

On May 11, 1943, the American operation to recapture Attu began. A shortage of landing craft, unsuitable beaches, and equipment that failed to operate in the appalling weather caused great difficulties in projecting any force against the Japanese. Many soldiers suffered from frostbite – because essential supplies could not be landed, or having been landed, could not be moved to where they were needed. Army vehicles would not work on the tundra. The Japanese defenders under Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki did not contest the landings, but rather they dug in on high ground away from the shore. This resulted in bloody fighting: there were 3,929 U.S. casualties: 549 were killed, 1,148 were injured, 1,200 had severe cold injuries, 614 succumbed to infectious diseases, and 318 died of miscellaneous causes – largely from Japanese booby traps and from friendly fire. The Japanese were defeated in Massacre Valley. The death count for the Japanese was 2,035. The Americans then built "Navy Town" near Massacre Bay.

On May 29, the last of the Japanese forces suddenly attacked near Massacre Bay in one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific campaign. The charge, led by Colonel Yamasaki, penetrated U.S. lines far enough to encounter shocked rear-echelon units of the American force. After furious, brutal, close-quarter, and often hand-to-hand combat, the Japanese force was killed almost to the last man: only 28 prisoners were taken, none of them officers. U.S. burial teams counted 2,351 Japanese dead, but it was presumed that hundreds more had been buried by naval, air, and artillery bombardments over the course of the battle.

The Japanese Navy, realizing that their position was now untenable, evacuated Kiska three months later.

The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) built a larger airfield, the Alexai Point Army Airfield, and then used it on July 10, 1943, as the base for an air attack on the Japanese-held Kurile Islands, now a part of Russia. This was the first air attack on the Japanese "homelands" since the famous Doolittle Raid in 1942. Other attacks followed. [3]

On April 11, 1945, in a period of only two hours, at least nine Japanese incendiary balloons sent to start forest fires in the United States West Coast were intercepted and shot down near Attu by USAAF P-38 Lightning aircraft. [12]

Postwar Edit

After the war, the survivors of the Otaru prison camp were shipped to other Aleutian islands or to the mainland of Alaska, as there were not enough survivors to sustain their old village at Attu. The United States government decided to construct a LORAN station on the southern tip of Attu, at Theodore Point. This installation was manned by a crew of about twenty members of the United States Coast Guard. The equipment to build the station came out of Holtz Bay and was ferried on barges and landing craft to Baxter Cove, about one mile east of the station. Bulldozers were used to cut a road from Baxter Cove to Theodore Point.

In 1954, the station was moved to Casco Cove, near the former Navy Base at Massacre Bay. In 1960, it was moved to Massacre Bay.

The island previously had scheduled airline service to and from Anchorage (ANC) flown by Reeve Aleutian Airways (RAA) which in 1976 was operating two direct flights a week between ANC and Attu with Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft via an en route stop either at Adak Airport or Shemya in the Aleutian Islands. [13] At the time, the airport on Attu was the westernmost airfield located in the U.S. to have scheduled passenger airline service.

In 1984, the "392" exchange in the 907 area code, which includes Attu (and whose rate center is on nearby Shemya Island), became the last telephone exchange in the United States to be upgraded to dial service. Prior to that, all telephone calls placed to and from that exchange could only be placed with the assistance of an operator.

The battlefield area and subsequent military sites were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985. [3] [8] The battlefield is now part of Aleutian Islands World War II National Monument.

In 1987, with the approval of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the government of Japan placed a monument on Engineer Hill, site of the hand-to-hand finale of the battle against the Japanese. An inscription, in Japanese and English, reads: "In memory of all those who sacrificed their lives in the islands and seas of the North Pacific during World War II and in dedication to world peace."

In July 2007, the boots and foot bones of a Japanese soldier were found on the island, and on May 23, 2008, the remains of two more Japanese soldiers were discovered by U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Brahm, a public affairs specialist who was a documentarian for the remains recovery team. [14] More remains were located at the burial site, but were left untouched with plans to return at a later time and have them exhumed properly. [15] [16] [17]

On August 1, 2010, the United States Coast Guard LORAN station on Attu permanently ceased operation. On August 27, 2010, the station was decommissioned and the Coast Guard personnel left, leaving the island with no resident population. [2]

On June 7, 2012, the 70th anniversary of the Japanese invasion, Senator Lisa Murkowski and United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo dedicated a memorial to Attu Village, its residents who died in Japanese captivity, and the survivors who were unable to return. [18]

In 2015, Attu Island was visited by pilot and world circumnavigator Michael Smith. The island was a crucial refueling stop for Michael as he made his way from Adak island in the Aleutian Islands to Japan. As the island is uninhabited, he had to first fly containers of fuel there and then return as part of the journey from Adak to Japan. [19] He was advised against staying overnight as there are large rats on the island. [20]

After three months of efforts in digging up and removing contaminated soil from the island in the summer of 2016 via funding from the Formerly Used Defense Sites program, it was expected that further efforts would be required to finish the environmental clean up of the island. [21]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880107
1890101 −5.6%
193029
194044 51.7%
198029
200020
201021 5.0%
2017 (est.)0 [22] −100.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [23]

Attu first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Aleut village of "Attoo", [24] which at the time consisted of the village on western Chichagof Harbor. It had 107 residents, consisting of 74 Aleuts, 32 "Creoles" (mixed Russian and Native) and 1 White resident. [25] In 1890, it appeared as Attu. [26] It did not return again on the census until 1930. [27] It appeared on the 1940 census, [28] two years before the Japanese invasion of the village and island. It did not return again until 1980, when it consisted of the naval station residents at Massacre Bay, and was made a census-designated place (CDP). [29] It did not return on the 1990 census. [30] The name was changed to Attu Naval Station and redesignated a CDP in 2000. [31] It last appeared on the 2010 census, [32] just before the closure of the station in August that year and the departure of its remaining residents.

The weather on Attu is typically cloudy, rainy, and foggy. High winds occur occasionally. Five or six days a week are likely to be rainy, and there are only about eight to ten clear days a year. The rest of the time, even if rain is not falling, fog of varying density is the rule rather than the exception. There are 39–49 inches (990–1,240 mm) of annual rainfall and other precipitation, with the heaviest rains in the autumn and early winter. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Attu has a subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) closely bordering on a tundra climate (ET). For its latitude the climate is exceptionally chilly, with daytime maximum temperatures averaging in the mid-50s (°F) in summer.

Climate data for Attu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 49
(9)
51
(11)
49
(9)
50
(10)
59
(15)
64
(18)
77
(25)
77
(25)
68
(20)
61
(16)
54
(12)
49
(9)
77
(25)
Average high °F (°C) 34.4
(1.3)
34
(1)
35.3
(1.8)
38.5
(3.6)
42.7
(5.9)
48.4
(9.1)
52.6
(11.4)
55.1
(12.8)
52.2
(11.2)
46.8
(8.2)
40
(4)
35.7
(2.1)
43
(6)
Daily mean °F (°C) 30.4
(−0.9)
30.2
(−1.0)
31.5
(−0.3)
34.8
(1.6)
38.9
(3.8)
43.9
(6.6)
48.4
(9.1)
50.5
(10.3)
47.8
(8.8)
42.1
(5.6)
35.5
(1.9)
31.9
(−0.1)
38.8
(3.8)
Average low °F (°C) 26.3
(−3.2)
26.4
(−3.1)
27.6
(−2.4)
31
(−1)
35.1
(1.7)
39.4
(4.1)
44.2
(6.8)
45.8
(7.7)
43.3
(6.3)
37.4
(3.0)
31
(−1)
28.1
(−2.2)
34.6
(1.4)
Record low °F (°C) 5
(−15)
7
(−14)
5
(−15)
10
(−12)
15
(−9)
19
(−7)
24
(−4)
28
(−2)
20
(−7)
21
(−6)
15
(−9)
2
(−17)
2
(−17)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.81
(97)
3.61
(92)
3.27
(83)
3.79
(96)
2.86
(73)
2.94
(75)
4.23
(107)
6.02
(153)
6.32
(161)
6.63
(168)
4.55
(116)
4.61
(117)
52.64
(1,337)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 16.2
(41)
16.9
(43)
15
(38)
6.5
(17)
1.1
(2.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.6
(1.5)
7.1
(18)
13
(33)
76.3
(194)
Average precipitation days 19 17 18 16 13 11 13 15 17 19 20 19 197
Source: [33]

Attu was an important location in the world of competitive birding, whose goal is to see or hear the largest possible number of bird species within a specific geographic area during a specific time period. Because it is so physically remote from other parts of North America, there are a number of bird species likely to be found on Attu that are not seen anywhere else on the continent. John Fitchen called the island "the Holy Grail of North American birding". [34]

During his record-setting big year of 1998, in which he identified a record 745 species (later revised to 748), Sandy Komito spent 29 days (May 10 – June 7) on the island. [35] Since the closure of Attu Station by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2010, access to the island by birders has been greatly restricted. [ clarification needed ] In a 2010 interview on the subject, Al Levantin (one of Komito's competitors during the 1998 season) singled out inaccessibility of Attu as the factor that would make it nearly impossible to break Komito's record. [36] However, Neil Hayward did break the record, by one species, in 2013 without visiting Attu. [37]

Birding tours can still reach Attu but only by boat, following a multi-day trip from Adak Island.

In the pre-World War II period, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) operated the sole school on the island. At the time of Attu's capture, the school had a single teacher who was a White American woman. [38] As of 2017 [update] , the uninhabited island is physically within the Aleutian Region School District. [39]


Why Didn’t the U.S. Respond?

The Japanese attacks on Kiska and Attu occurred just six months after their attack on Pearl Harbor. U.S. forces were still reacting to the devastation and were trying to build up defenses in the Southern Pacific while simultaneously dealing with the European conflicts.

The U.S. did fly from other nearby Aleutian Islands to conduct minor bombing raids, but they didn’t have the ability to bring in ground troops until their victory in March of 1943 in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands in the Bering Sea.

That battle opened the sea lanes enough to finally respond to the Japanese invasion of Kiska and Attu.


7 The Harsh Climate Claimed The Lives Of Many Soldiers

Kiska and Attu&rsquos location in the far north of the Pacific Ocean results in brutal weather conditions. These conditions were felt by both the occupying Japanese and the liberating Americans. The Battle of Attu was originally expected to last a few days, so the Americans only brought gear with them to last that long.

As a result, the gear wore out quickly. Because of this, many soldiers developed frostbite, gangrene, and trench foot. [4] In addition, there were food shortages, which added to the difficulties of the liberating soldiers.


What We Learned from the Battle of Attu

On June 7, 1942, Major Matsutoshi Hozumi led some 1,200 men of the Japanese Army North Seas Detachment ashore on barren and perpetually fogbound Attu, the westernmost of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. It was the first enemy force to occupy U.S. soil since the War of 1812. That unopposed landing and a similar sortie a day earlier against Kiska, 200 miles to the east, threatened the sea routes over which American aid flowed to Russia and secured Japan bases from which to advance on mainland Alaska or the U.S. West Coast. The Japanese landings also ultimately provoked one of the bloodiest and most challenging American military offensives of World War II.

While the speedy recapture of Attu and Kiska was of great psychological importance with regard to American public opinion, the United States was not able to consider reconquest of the Aleutians until the spring of 1943. Even then, preparations for Operation Sandcrab were uncoordinated. Planners focused on Attu, which they believed to be less heavily defended than Kiska. Tapped to undertake the assault was Maj. Gen. Albert E. Brown’s 7th Infantry Division, despite the fact it had spent months training for mechanized desert warfare. Even after being chosen, the division received minimal amphibious training and was unable to coordinate its training with supporting Navy and Army Air Forces units.

Logistical support also proved problematic. Troops and equipment embarking in San Francisco were packed haphazardly aboard too-small cargo vessels, and the absence of coherent load plans resulted in vital materiel being left behind. In what amounted to criminally poor judgment, planners decided troops would not need winter clothing for a mission expected to last just 36 hours American soldiers were, therefore, sent to fight in subzero temperatures wearing thin leather boots and summer-weight uniforms.

The recapture of Attu commenced on May 11 with landings at Holtz Bay on the island’s north side and at Massacre Bay to the south. The Americans didn’t mount a preinvasion bombardment, yet the initial assault went uncontested by Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki’s garrison of 2,300-plus men.

The initial lack of resistance was a godsend, as U.S. troops ran into difficulty from the outset. Inaccurate maps and foul weather played havoc with the amphibious operations troops landed in the wrong places with the wrong equipment vehicles bogged down or couldn’t climb the steep terrain and the inadequate clothing quickly led to frostbite and trench-foot casualties.

When the Japanese did finally engage the advancing Americans, things went from bad to worse. Combat was fierce and often hand to hand, as defenders fought for every inch of ground. The slow pace of the American advance prompted Brown’s superiors to replace him on May 16 with Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum, who fared only marginally better. Not until May 29 could Landrum order a final offensive against the remaining Japanese, who pre-empted the American assault by launching one of the first mass banzai charges of World War II.

By the time fighting on Attu ended on May 31, all but 29 of the Japanese defenders were dead. On the American side, 549 soldiers were killed, 1,148 were wounded and more than 2,000 were incapacitated by cold and disease. American casualties might well have been higher in an invasion of Kiska, but Japanese forces abandoned that island in mid-July.

■ Move quickly. The 14 months that elapsed between the Japanese occupation and the American landings gave the defenders time to dig in, resulting in higher U.S. casualties.

■ Know the terrain. Inaccurate maps and inadequate reconnaissance hampered the landings and confused the troops, who were unprepared for Attu’s rugged landscape.

■ Train with your friends. Scant preinvasion joint training led to confusion on the loading piers and landing beaches.

■ Look to the skies. Better weather forecasting would have allowed more effective Allied air and naval gunfire support.

■ Use the right force. Trained for desert warfare, the U.S. 7th Infantry Division wasn’t prepared for arctic combat.

■ Logistics matter. Inadequate clothing and disorganized supply operations degraded American combat effectiveness.

■ Expect the worst. American units unprepared for the May 29 banzai charge suffered needless casualties.

Originally published in the March 2009 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.


What We Learned from the Battle of Attu

On June 7, 1942, Major Matsutoshi Hozumi led some 1,200 men of the Japanese Army North Seas Detachment ashore on barren and perpetually fogbound Attu, the westernmost of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. It was the first enemy force to occupy U.S. soil since the War of 1812. That unopposed landing and a similar sortie a day earlier against Kiska, 200 miles to the east, threatened the sea routes over which American aid flowed to Russia and secured Japan bases from which to advance on mainland Alaska or the U.S. West Coast. The Japanese landings also ultimately provoked one of the bloodiest and most challenging American military offensives of World War II.

While the speedy recapture of Attu and Kiska was of great psychological importance with regard to American public opinion, the United States was not able to consider reconquest of the Aleutians until the spring of 1943. Even then, preparations for Operation Sandcrab were uncoordinated. Planners focused on Attu, which they believed to be less heavily defended than Kiska. Tapped to undertake the assault was Maj. Gen. Albert E. Brown’s 7th Infantry Division, despite the fact it had spent months training for mechanized desert warfare. Even after being chosen, the division received minimal amphibious training and was unable to coordinate its training with supporting Navy and Army Air Forces units.

Logistical support also proved problematic. Troops and equipment embarking in San Francisco were packed haphazardly aboard too-small cargo vessels, and the absence of coherent load plans resulted in vital materiel being left behind. In what amounted to criminally poor judgment, planners decided troops would not need winter clothing for a mission expected to last just 36 hours American soldiers were, therefore, sent to fight in subzero temperatures wearing thin leather boots and summer-weight uniforms.

The recapture of Attu commenced on May 11 with landings at Holtz Bay on the island’s north side and at Massacre Bay to the south. The Americans didn’t mount a preinvasion bombardment, yet the initial assault went uncontested by Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki’s garrison of 2,300-plus men.

The initial lack of resistance was a godsend, as U.S. troops ran into difficulty from the outset. Inaccurate maps and foul weather played havoc with the amphibious operations troops landed in the wrong places with the wrong equipment vehicles bogged down or couldn’t climb the steep terrain and the inadequate clothing quickly led to frostbite and trench-foot casualties.

When the Japanese did finally engage the advancing Americans, things went from bad to worse. Combat was fierce and often hand to hand, as defenders fought for every inch of ground. The slow pace of the American advance prompted Brown’s superiors to replace him on May 16 with Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum, who fared only marginally better. Not until May 29 could Landrum order a final offensive against the remaining Japanese, who pre-empted the American assault by launching one of the first mass banzai charges of World War II.

By the time fighting on Attu ended on May 31, all but 29 of the Japanese defenders were dead. On the American side, 549 soldiers were killed, 1,148 were wounded and more than 2,000 were incapacitated by cold and disease. American casualties might well have been higher in an invasion of Kiska, but Japanese forces abandoned that island in mid-July.

■ Move quickly. The 14 months that elapsed between the Japanese occupation and the American landings gave the defenders time to dig in, resulting in higher U.S. casualties.

■ Know the terrain. Inaccurate maps and inadequate reconnaissance hampered the landings and confused the troops, who were unprepared for Attu’s rugged landscape.

■ Train with your friends. Scant preinvasion joint training led to confusion on the loading piers and landing beaches.

■ Look to the skies. Better weather forecasting would have allowed more effective Allied air and naval gunfire support.

■ Use the right force. Trained for desert warfare, the U.S. 7th Infantry Division wasn’t prepared for arctic combat.

■ Logistics matter. Inadequate clothing and disorganized supply operations degraded American combat effectiveness.

■ Expect the worst. American units unprepared for the May 29 banzai charge suffered needless casualties.

Originally published in the March 2009 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.


Contents

Before Japan entered World War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy had gathered extensive information about the Aleutians but had no up-to-date information regarding military developments on the islands. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto provided the Japanese Northern Area Fleet, commanded by Vice-Admiral Boshiro Hosogaya, with a force of two non-fleet aircraft carriers, five cruisers, twelve destroyers, six submarines, and four troop transports, along with supporting auxiliary ships. With that force, Hosogaya was first to launch an air attack against Dutch Harbor, then follow with an amphibious attack upon the island of Adak, 480 miles (770 km) to the west. Hosogaya was instructed to destroy whatever American forces and facilities were found on Adak, but the Japanese did not know the island was undefended. Hosogaya's troops were to return to their ships and become a reserve for two additional landings: the first on Kiska, 240 miles (390 km) west of Adak, the other on the Aleutians' westernmost island, Attu, 180 miles (290 km) west from Kiska.

Because the US Naval Intelligence had broken the Japanese naval codes, Admiral Chester Nimitz had learned by May 21 of Yamamoto's plans, including the Aleutian invasion, the strength of both Yamamoto's and Hosogaya's fleets, and Hosogaya's plan to start the fight on June 1 or shortly thereafter.

As of June 1, 1942, the US military strength in Alaska stood at 45,000 men, with about 13,000 at Cold Bay (Fort Randall) on the tip of the Alaskan Peninsula and at two Aleutian bases: the naval facility at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, 200 miles (320 km) west of Cold Bay, and the recently built Fort Glenn Army Airfield 70 miles (110 km) west of the naval station on Umnak Island. Army strength, less air force personnel, at those three bases totaled no more than 2,300, composed mainly of infantry, field and antiaircraft artillery troops, and a large construction engineer contingent, which was used in the construction of bases. The Army Air Force's Eleventh Air Force consisted of 10 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and 34 B-18 Bolo medium bombers at Elmendorf Airfield, and 95 P-40 Warhawk fighters divided between Fort Randall AAF at Cold Bay and Fort Glenn AAF on Umnak. The naval commander was Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald, commanding Task Force 8 afloat, who as Commander North Pacific Force (ComNorPac) reported to Admiral Nimitz in Hawaii. Task Force 8 consisted of five cruisers, thirteen destroyers, three tankers, six submarines, as well as naval aviation elements of Fleet Air Wing Four. [8]

When the first signs of a possible Japanese attack on the Aleutians were known, the Eleventh Air Force was ordered to send out reconnaissance aircraft to locate the Japanese fleet reported heading toward Dutch Harbor and attack it with bombers, concentrating on sinking Hosogaya's two aircraft carriers. Once the enemy planes were removed, Naval Task Force 8 would engage the enemy fleet and destroy it. On the afternoon of 2 June, a naval patrol plane spotted the approaching Japanese fleet, reporting its location as 800 miles (1,300 km) southwest of Dutch Harbor. Eleventh Air Force was placed on full alert. Shortly thereafter bad weather set in, and no further sightings of the fleet were made that day.

Before the attack on Dutch Harbor, the Army's 4th Infantry Regiment, under command of Percy E. LeStourgeon, was established at Fort Richardson. Col. LeStourgeon had previously designed a layout of base facilities—such as isolation of weapons and munitions depots—to protect against enemy attack.

Attack on Dutch Harbor Edit

According to Japanese intelligence, the nearest field for land-based American aircraft was at Fort Morrow AAF on Kodiak, more than 600 miles (970 km) away, and Dutch Harbor was a sitting duck for the strong Japanese fleet, carrying out a coordinated operation with a fleet that was to capture Midway Island.

Making use of weather cover, the Japanese made a two-day aerial bombing of the continental United States for the first time in history on Dutch Harbor in the city of Unalaska, Alaska on June 3, 1942. The striking force was composed of Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers from the carriers Junyō and Ryūjō. However, only half of the striking force reached their objective. [9] The rest either became lost in the fog and darkness and crashed into the sea or returned to their carriers. Seventeen Japanese planes found the naval base, the first arriving at 05:45. As the Japanese pilots looked for targets to engage, they came under intense anti-aircraft fire and soon found themselves confronted by Eleventh Air Force fighters sent from Fort Glenn Army Air Field on Umnak. Startled by the American response, the Japanese quickly released their bombs, made a cursory strafing run, and left to return to their carriers. As a result, they did little damage to the base.

On June 4, the Japanese returned to Dutch Harbor. This time, the Japanese pilots were better organized and prepared. When the attack ended that afternoon Dutch Harbor oil storage tanks were burning, the hospital partly demolished, and a beached barracks ship damaged. Although American pilots eventually located the Japanese carriers, attempts to sink the ships failed because of bad weather setting in that caused the US pilots to lose all contact with the Japanese fleet. However, the weather caused the Japanese to cancel plans to invade Adak with 1,200 men. [10]

Invasion of Kiska and Attu Edit

The Japanese invasions and occupations of Kiska on June 6 and Attu on June 7 shocked the American public, [ citation needed ] as the continental United States was invaded for the first time in 130 years(1815) during the War of 1812. The invading forces initially met little resistance from the local Unangax, also known as Aleuts. Though the U.S. Navy had offered to evacuate Attu in May 1942, [11] the Attuan Unangax chief declined. Little changed for the Unangax under Japanese occupation until September 1942 when Japan's Aleutian strategy shifted. It was at this point that the Unangax were taken to Hokkaido, Japan, and placed in an internment camp.

The invasion of Attu and imprisonment of the local Unangax became the justification for the United States' policy of forcible evacuation of the Unangax in the Aleutian Islands. Unangan civilians were placed in internment camps in the Alaska Panhandle. [ citation needed ]

Many Americans feared that the Japanese would use the islands as bases to strike within range along the rest of the US West Coast. Although the West Coast was subject to attack several times in the past six months (including unrestricted submarine warfare in coastal waters and the bombardment of Ellwood in Santa Barbara, California), the Aleutians Islands Campaign of June 1942 was the first major operation by a foreign enemy in the American Theater. Lieutenant Paul Bishop of the 28th Bombardment Group once recalled that:

General Simon B. Buckner Jr. [of the Alaska Defense Command] said to us that the Japanese would have the opportunity to set up airbases in the Aleutians, making coastal cities like Anchorage, Seattle, and San Francisco vulnerable within range to attack by their bombers. The fear of that scenario was real at the time because the Japanese were nearly invincible and ruthless in Asia and the Pacific. We knew that they bombed China relentlessly and by surprise on Pearl Harbor, so we had to make sure it wouldn't happen here in the continental U.S. similar to what the Germans did over London and Coventry. [12]

Lieutenant Bob Brocklehurst of the 18th Fighter Squadron also said that:

[T]he impression we were given — and this was voiced oral stuff — was that we had nothing to stop the Japanese. [Our commanding officers] figured that the Japanese, if they wanted to, could have come up the Aleutians, taken Anchorage, and come down past down Vancouver to Seattle, Washington. [13]

In August 1942, the Air Force established an airbase on Adak Island and began bombing Japanese positions on Kiska. Navy submarines and surface ships also began patrolling the area. Kiska Harbor was the main base for Japanese ships in the campaign and several were sunk there, some by warships but mostly in air raids. On 5 July, the submarine Growler, under command of Lieutenant Commander Howard Gilmore, attacked three Japanese destroyers off Kiska. He sank one and heavily damaged the others, killing or wounding 200 Japanese sailors. Ten days later, Grunion was attacked by three Japanese submarine chasers in Kiska Harbor, with two of the patrol craft sunk and one other damaged. On 12 May 1943, the Japanese submarine I-31 was sunk in a surface action with the destroyer Edwards 5 mi (4.3 nmi 8.0 km) northeast of Chichagof Harbor.

Komandorski Islands Edit

A cruiser and destroyer force under Rear Admiral Charles "Soc" McMorris was assigned to eliminate the Japanese supply convoys. They met the Japanese fleet in the naval Battle of the Komandorski Islands in March 1943. One American cruiser and two destroyers were damaged, and seven US sailors were killed. Two Japanese cruisers were damaged, with 14 men killed and 26 wounded. Japan thereafter abandoned all attempts to resupply the Aleutian garrisons by surface vessels, and only submarines would be used.

Attu Island Edit

On 11 May 1943, American forces commenced an operation to recapture Attu ("Operation Landcrab"). The invasion force included the 17th and 32nd Infantry regiments of the 7th Infantry Division and a platoon of scouts recruited from Alaska, nicknamed Castner's Cutthroats. A shortage of landing craft, unsuitable beaches, and equipment that failed to operate in the appalling weather made it difficult for the Americans to exert force against the Japanese.

Adding to problems for the US forces, soldiers suffered from frostbite because essential cold-weather supplies could not be landed, and soldiers could not be relocated to where they were needed because vehicles could not operate on the tundra. The Japanese defensive strategy against the American attacks included Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki having his forces engage the Americans not where they landed, as might have been expected, but the Japanese digging into the high ground far from the shore. That resulted in fierce combat, with a total of 3,829 U.S. casualties. Total casualties: 549 men were killed, 1,148 were wounded, with another 1,200 men suffering severe injuries from the cold weather. Also, 614 Americans died from disease, and 318 from miscellaneous causes, mainly Japanese booby traps or friendly fire.

On May 29, 1943, without warning the remainder of Japanese forces attacked near Massacre Bay. That was recorded as one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific campaign. Led again by Colonel Yamasaki, the attack penetrated so deep into US lines that Japanese soldiers encountered rear-echelon units of the Americans. After furious, brutal, often hand-to-hand combat, the Japanese force was virtually exterminated. Only 28 Japanese soldiers were taken prisoner, none of them were officers. American burial teams counted 2,351 Japanese dead, but it was thought that hundreds of more Japanese bodies had been buried by bombardment during the battle. [14]

Kiska Island Edit

On 15 August 1943, an invasion force of 34,426 Canadian and American troops landed on Kiska. Castner's Cutthroats were part of the force, but the invasion consisted mainly of units from the U.S. 7th Infantry Division. The force also included about 5,300 Canadians, mostly from the 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 6th Canadian Infantry Division, and the 1st Special Service Force, a 2,000-strong Canadian-American commando unit formed in 1942 in Montana and trained in winter warfare techniques. The Force included three 600-man regiments: the 1st was to go ashore in the first wave at Kiska Harbor, the 2nd was to be held in reserve to parachute where needed, and the 3rd was to land on the north side of Kiska on the second day of the assault. [15] [16] The 87th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division, the only major U.S. force specifically trained for mountain warfare, was also part of the operation.

Royal Canadian Air Force No. 111 and No. 14 Squadrons saw active service in the Aleutian skies and scored at least one aerial kill on a Japanese aircraft. Additionally, three Canadian armed merchant cruisers and two corvettes served in the Aleutian campaign but did not encounter enemy forces.

The invaders landed to find the island abandoned the Japanese forces had left two weeks earlier. Under the cover of fog, the Japanese had successfully removed their troops on 28 July. Despite US military command having access to Japanese ciphers and having decoded all the Japanese naval messages, the Army Air Forces chose to bomb abandoned positions for almost three weeks. The day before the withdrawal, the US Navy fought an inconclusive and possibly meaningless Battle of the Pips 80 mi (70 nmi 130 km) to the west.

Although the Japanese troops had gone, Allied casualties on Kiska numbered 313. They were the result of friendly fire, booby traps, disease, mines, timed bombs set by the Japanese, vehicle accidents, or frostbite. Like Attu, Kiska offered an extremely-hostile environment. [ citation needed ]

The loyal courage, vigorous energy and determined fortitude of our armed forces in Alaska—on land, in the air and on the water—have turned back the tide of Japanese invasion, ejected the enemy from our shores and made a fortress of our last frontier. But this is only the beginning. We have opened the road to Tokyo the shortest, most direct and most devastating to our enemies. May we soon travel that road to victory.

Although plans were drawn up for attacking northern Japan, they were not executed. Over 1,500 sorties were flown against the Kuriles before the end of the war, including the Japanese base of Paramushir, which diverted 500 Japanese planes and 41,000 ground troops.

The battle also marked the first time that Canadian conscripts were sent to a combat zone in World War II. The government had pledged not to send draftees "overseas", which it defined as being outside North America. The Aleutians were considered to be North American soil, which enabled the Canadian government to deploy conscripts without breaking its pledge. There were cases of desertion before the brigade sailed for the Aleutians. In late 1944, the government changed its policy on draftees and sent 16,000 conscripts to Europe to take part in the fighting. [18]

The battle also marked the first combat deployment of the 1st Special Service Force, but it also did not see any action.

In the summer of 1942, the Americans recovered the Akutan Zero, an almost-intact Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter, which enabled the Americans to test-fly the Zero and contributed to improved fighter tactics later in the war.

Killed in action Edit

During the campaign, two cemeteries were established on Attu to bury those killed in action: Little Falls Cemetery, located at the foot of Gilbert Ridge, and Holtz Bay Cemetery, which held the graves of Northern Landing Forces. After the war, the tundra began to take back the cemeteries and so in 1946, all American remains were relocated as directed by the soldier's family or to Fort Richardson near Anchorage, Alaska. On May 30, 1946, a Memorial Day address was given by Captain Adair with a 21-gun salute and the sounding of Taps. The Decoration of Graves was performed by Chaplains Meaney and Insko. [19]

Veterans Edit

The 2006 documentary film Red White Black & Blue features two veterans of the Attu Island campaign, Bill Jones and Andy Petrus. It is directed by Tom Putnam and debuted at the 2006 Locarno International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, on August 4, 2006.

Dashiell Hammett spent most of World War II as an Army sergeant in the Aleutian Islands, where he edited an Army newspaper. He came out of the war suffering from emphysema. As a corporal in 1943, he co-authored The Battle of the Aleutians with Cpl. Robert Colodny under the direction of Infantry Intelligence Officer Major Henry W. Hall.

Many of the United States locations involved in the campaign, either directly or indirectly, have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and several have been designated National Historic Landmarks. The battlefield on Attu and the Japanese occupation site on Kiska are both National Historic Landmarks and are included in the Aleutian Islands World War II National Monument. Surviving elements of the military bases at Adak, Umnak, and Dutch Harbor are National Historic Landmarks. The shipwrecked SS Northwestern, badly damaged during the attack on Dutch Harbor, is listed on the National Register, as is a crash-landed B-24D Liberator on Atka Island.


Sergeant George F. Noland and the Battle of Attu Island, 1943

Sergeant George F. Noland. U.S. Army Photo.

Six months after their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese military expanded its control into the north Pacific. In June 1942, they launched an air raid against the U.S. naval base at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and then landed troops on the islands of Kiska and Attu at the far end of the Aleutians. Concerned that Japan might use these islands to launch air raids against the Pacific Northwest, especially targeting the Boeing bomber plant and Bremerton Navy Yard in Seattle, the United States Army was sent to fight both enemy forces and the harsh Arctic environment in an effort to retake the Aleutian Islands.

This difficult assignment was given to the newly reformed 7th Infantry Division. Completing its desert training at Fort Ord, Calif., in preparation for deployment to North Africa, the division quickly changed to amphibious assault training for the Aleutian Islands Campaign instead. In early May 1943, more than 15,000 Soldiers arrived in Alaska aboard ships in preparation for Operation Landcrab, the landing on Attu Island at the far end of the Aleutian chain. This would be the only battle of World War II fought on American soil.

Among the Soldiers who landed that day was 25-year-old Technician 4th Class George F. Noland of the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps. Having graduated high school in 1936, Noland apprenticed as a photographer in Minneapolis before being drafted into the Army in 1941. He initially went through infantry training but once his special talents were recognized, he was diverted to the Signal Corps school to become a combat photographer. In early 1942, Noland was assigned to the headquarters staff of the Alaskan Defense Command, commanded by the indomitable Major General Simon B. Buckner, and completed his first photographic assignment documenting the construction of the Alaska-Canada Highway by the Corps of Engineers. Then in early 1943 he was ordered to join the 7th Division for their assault on Attu Island.

Landing barge at Red Beach. Photo by Sergeant George F. Noland.

On the morning of May 11, 1943, Noland later recalled, they waited in the cold fog as the LCVPs (Landing Crafts, Vehicle, Personnel) were loaded. “We had our victory dinner and cake 48 hours previously, so we were on K rations before the landing,” he explained. “We had our boat assignment and were just waiting for the order. Then came the order: ‘Assault wave, man your boats! Lower boats! Away all boats, away!’ With tongue in cheek, I scrambled aboard.” Armed with a camera, Noland went ashore with some of the first waves on the northeastern end of the wind-swept island and spent the next two weeks documenting the 7th Infantry Division’s advance.

In all, Sergeant Noland produced more than 200 photographs of their advance across Attu Island, from Holtz Bay until the final surprise Japanese suicidal attack (or “Banzai charge”) on May 29 near Chichagof Bay. Writing many years later, Noland recalled the hard fighting on Attu Island. “So, tonight, all these years later, I’m enjoying a few brandies and soda and looking to the northwest towards a place called ‘Little Falls Cemetery’ where we buried a lot of swell fellows. Skol! To our departed comrades, may they rest in peace.”


Contents

The Japanese under Captain Takeji Ono had landed on Kiska at approximately 01:00 on June 6, 1942, with a force of about 500 Japanese marines. Soon after arrival, they stormed an American weather station, where they killed two and captured eight United States Navy officers. The captured officers were sent to Japan as prisoners of war. Another 2,000 Japanese troops arrived, landing in Kiska Harbor. At this time, Rear-Admiral Monzo Akiyama headed the force on Kiska. In December 1942, additional anti-aircraft units, engineers, and a negligible number of reinforcement infantry arrived on the island. In the spring of 1943, control was transferred to Kiichiro Higuchi. [ citation needed ]

After the heavy casualties suffered at Attu Island, planners were expecting another costly operation. The Japanese tactical planners had, however, realized the isolated island was no longer defensible and planned for an evacuation. [ citation needed ]

Starting in late July, there were increasing signs of Japanese withdrawal. Aerial photograph analysts noticed that routine activities appeared to greatly diminish and almost no movement could be detected in the harbor. Bomb damage appeared unrepaired and aircrews reported greatly diminished anti-aircraft fire. On July 28, radio signals from Kiska ceased entirely. [ citation needed ]


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