12 August 2013

Unalaska: Aleutian Beauty, Aleutian History

It's often referred to as the birth place of the winds, with an ancient history that dates back more than 9,000 years, culturally rich and steeped in tradition.

Dutch Harbor, Alaska
 The Aleutian region is made up of about 100 islands that stretch nearly 1,200 miles west from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, marks the line between the Bering Sea.
Dutch Harbor on a rare, sunny winter's day

But for all its beauty, this was once the scene of suffering and brutality.

Roughly 6 months after America entered the World War II, the Japanese attacked Dutch harbor and invaded both the islands of Kiska and Attu, the first and only time that a foreign army has occupied U.S. soil since the war of 1812.

Video and the rest of the story here.

Personal note: I was stationed on Adak for two years in the mid-70s. That island is some 1,325 miles west/southwest of Anchorage, and I can personally confirm the video comments about rugged terrain and rugged, brutal weather.

I absolutely loved it.


ProudHillbilly said...

Somewhere in all those things in my Netflix queue is a documentary on that... I bet most people don't know U.S. territory was invaded by Japan.

PioneerPreppy said...

Looks pretty in that pic. Wonder what Winter looks like though :)

I am reminded of when I lived in New Mexico. You would see all these pics of trees and streams and then once you were there you realized that was maybe 1% of the total landmass of the state.

That's why I love Missouri so much, no false advertising of terrain here.

Rev. Paul said...

PH, some of us now-older folk learned about it in school ... back when school actually taught things like American history.

Preppy, winter picture added for your viewing pleasure. And I know what you mean.

PioneerPreppy said...


But even that one says a RARE day :)

Rev. Paul said...

Preppy, that's my caption. On Adak, we had 270 days of measurable precip in a year, and the sun didn't shine much at all. As far as I can tell, the weather's no better on Unalaska.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

We think of Dutch Harbor as being "way, way, up North. It is at about the same Latitude as Ketchikan.

Rev. Paul said...

Anchorage is 61 degrees north & Dutch Harbor is only 53 degrees, so it's well south of us. But I understand.

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

Totally beautiful but rugged!

Stephen said...

NSGA had an outpost on Adak...we may have shaken hands.

Rev. Paul said...

Sandy, it was the most photogenic & beautiful place I've ever been.

Stephen, it's entirely possible.

Chickenmom said...

Absolutely beautiful! Why haven't they cleaned that area of ordinance yet?

Rev. Paul said...

Chickenmom, it's more dangerous to disturb the old shells/bombs than to just leave them alone.