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GWB Includes Aleutian Islands In WW II Valor In Pacific Ntnl Monument


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Author Topic: GWB Includes Aleutian Islands In WW II Valor In Pacific Ntnl Monument  (Read 487 times)
Bianca
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« on: January 10, 2009, 07:39:30 pm »









                                                  Winning the war against time






VICTORIA BARBER
thedutchharborfisherman.com
January 08, 2009

Mention national monuments and it tends to bring to mind concrete pillars and mega-size statues of presidents. But as of Dec. 5, President George Bush declared a different kind of monument for the Aleutian Islands — extremely remote, mostly untouched and rarely visited.

Three islands — Attu, Kiska and Atka — played a part in World War II, and will be included in the new World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument along with locations in Hawaii and California.

Bush said the monument will remind generations of Americans of the sacrifices that Americans made to protect their country and of the transformative effect of freedom. But most Americans will never see the crash site of a B-24D Liberator bomber on Atka, the Japanese camp on Kiska or the battleground of Attu — the site of the only World War II land battle fought in North America.

And that might not be a bad thing, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service archeologist Debbie Corbett.

“Unlike World War II sites anywhere else in the world, no one else lives on these islands. Everything is still in place, nothing as been cleaned or altered,” Corbett said.

All three sites are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and under the management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Corbett said now that the sites have been declared a national monument, the Fish and Wildlife Service will have to develop a management plan. But on islands so remote and difficult to reach, “we’re still trying to figure out what that means,” she said.

Part of that will be to precisely document what, exactly, is out there. Since so much was left just as it was when the battles ended, the islands contain an amount of artifacts unparalleled by any other World War II site.

Artifacts from the Japanese occupation — coastal and anti-aircraft defenses, camps, roads, a submarine base, many bomb craters from the allied aerial campaign, as well as the remains of allied defenses after the island was retaken — are still where they were left on Kiska.

Corbett said that all the telephone polls from the Japanese occupation are still standing, the gun batteries still look out to the direction they were set, the camp sites are discernable and there is even a Shinto shrine left behind.

“If you looked out and took the buildings away but left the foundations and roads, that is what you have there,” said Corbett.

Attu was the site of the 19-day battle to retake the island, one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific. The four monument sites on Attu are the Japanese base at Holtz Bay and the battlegrounds of Sarana Nose, Fish Hook Ridge and Engineer Hill, where engineers from the Seabees and medics held off banzai charges by the Japanese in their final, desperate attempt to drive back the American advance. With defeat, many of the Japanese took their own lives, leaving fewer than 30 alive from their original force of 2,300.

The Japanese invasion of Attu and Kiska marked the peak of Japan’s military expansion in the Pacific.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 07:42:10 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 07:44:10 pm »











Air in the tires


The artifacts have apparently been preserved by the same harsh climate that keeps them remote. Corbett said that when an artillery expert was brought to Kiska Island, he was amazed to find that there was still air in the tires at the base of mounted guns. The island doesn’t get much of the sunshine that would damage rubber, wood and canvas, and the almost incessant rain and wind probably helped by washing away corrosive saltwater from sea spray.

While refuge personnel may remove some artifacts from the island to place in historical museums, Corbett said that the way most people will encounter the monument is online via a new, comprehensive website. The refuge doesn’t expect a big increase in traffic to the islands, though Corbett mentioned that the last time she was there she was surprised to see an eco-tour ferry pull up and unload 80 passengers.

“We need to be aware of the people that are making it out there and get information to them so they know what they’re looking at,” Corbett said. Once the refuge staff has better documentation of the sites, it will also be better equipped to protect them from visitors who want to take home pieces of it (removing or damaging World War II artifacts on the sites is illegal).

While the refuge staff is still working out the details of its plan, Corbett said that creating the monument will be more about changing the way people think about the war than about plagues and artifacts.

“It’s a fascinating story, but most people don’t know at all about the role the Aleutians played in the Pacific,” Corbett said. “More than setting aside pieces of land in the Pacific, it’s a way to tell the story of what happened.”



Victoria Barber can be reached at
907-348-2424 or
800-770-9830, ext. 424.
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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 07:45:29 pm »




                 
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 07:48:53 pm »
















                                                        United States Navy


                                                         Combat Narrative



                                                     The Aleutians Campaign

                                                     June 1942--August 1943
 





NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
WASHINGTON
1993


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All pages are tagged for HTML referencing (<a name=page#>)
Usage:
<a href=http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-CN-Aleutians/USN-CN-Aleutians-chapter.html#pagen>
Example (to reference Chapter 9, page 74):
<a href=http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-CN-Aleutians/USN-CN-Aleutians-9.html#page74>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contents
Forward to the NHC Edition
Preface

Forward

Introduction (pages: 1-4)
The Geographical Factor
Terrain
Weather
The Attack on Dutch Harbor, June 1942 (pages: 4-17)
Preparations
Dutch Harbor Bombed, 3 and 4 June
Enemy Occupation of Attu and Kiska (pages: 17-20)
"Strong Attrition"--Kiska Bombarded (pages: 20-26)
The Approach
The Bombardment
Occupation of Adak, 30 August 1942 (pages: 26-28)
From Adak to Amchitka, September 1942--January 1943 (pages: 28-30)
Occupation of Amchitka, 12 January 1943 (page: 31)
First Bombardment of Attu, 18 February 1943 (pages: 32-33)
Destruction of Enemy Ammunition Ship, 19 February 1943 (pages: 33-35)
The Battle of the Komandorskis, 26 March 1943 (pages: 35-75)
Introduction
Events Preceding the Action
Preliminary Movements of the Battle
Action is Joined
"Stand By to Lay Smoke"
"Execute Torpedo Attack"
The Retirement
Observations
Conclusions
Summary of Ammunition Expended
Second Bombardment of Attu, 26 April 1943 (pages: 76-77)
The Invasion of Attu, May 1943 (pages: 78-116)
Planning and Training
Tactical Plan
The Approach
Northern Landings
Southern Landings
Events of 12 May
Events of 13 May
Events of 14 May
Events of 15 May
Events of 16 May
Events of 17-18 May
Attack on Phelps and Charleston, 22 May
Airfields on Attu and Shemya Established
Note of the Effect of Naval Gunfire; Air Operations
Note of Rations Supplied by Transports
Softening up Kiska (pages: 117-122)
Bombardment of 6 July
Bombardment of 22 July
Radar Contacts of 25-26 July
Bombardment of 2 August
Bombardment of 12 August
The Invasion of Kiska, 15 August 1943 (pages: 123-128)
Plans for the Assault
Execution of the Plan
Evacuation of Kiska by the Japanese
Conclusion
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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 07:50:18 pm »









Appendix A: Task Organization for the Assault on Kiska (pages: 129-130)
Appendix B: Symbols of U.S. Navy Ships (pages: 131-132)
Appendix C: List of Published Combat Narratives (pages: 133)

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Charts and Illustrations
Chart: The Aleutian Theater
Illustrations: (between pages 9-16)
Japanese bombing of Dutch Harbor
Burning buildings at Ft. Mears
Damage to buildings at Ft. Mears
Japanese transport burning at Kiska
The St. Louis fires a salvo at Kiska
Army landing on Adak
The Casco beached on Atka
Sweepers Cove, Adak
Chart: Battle of the Komandorskis (general area)
Chart: Track chart of the Battle of the Komandorskis
Diagram: Scouting dispositions of Task Group Mike
Diagram: Approximate situation at 0840
Diagram: Situation at 1155
Diagram: Situation at 1158
Illustrations (between pages 86-93)
Landing at Constantine Harbor, Amchitka
The Salt Lake City
Battle of the Komandorskis
The Pruitt guides landing boats to the beaches of Attu
Unloading supplies on Attu
Invasion fleet gathers in Adak Harbor
Landing on Kiska
LST's unloading on Kiska
Chart: The Landings on Attu
Chart: The Landings on Kiska
Illustration: The Pennsylvania bombards Attu
Illustration: Pre-invasion bombardment of Kiska

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Aleutians Campaign, June 1942-August 1943.

 p. cm. -- (Combat Narratives, no. 1)
Originally published: Washington: Publications Branch,
 Office of Naval Intelligence, United States Navy, 1945.
ISBN 0-945274-16-5
1. World War, 1939-1045--Campaigns--Alaska--Aleutian Islands.
I. Naval Historical Center (U.S.)
D769.87.A4A44 1993
940.54'28          93-25203


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328
ISBN 0-16-041801-1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Return to HyperWar: U.S. Navy in World War II

Return to HyperWar: World War II on the WorldWideWeb


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Last updated: April 16, 1998

Feedback: corrections, additions, and comments are welcome!
Compiled and formatted by Patrick Clancey



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Bianca
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 07:52:08 pm »



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