• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Battle for the Aleutians

During World War II the remote Aleutian Islands, home to the Unangan (Aleut) people for over 8,000 years, became a fiercely contested battleground in the Pacific. This thousand-mile-long archipelago saw invasion by Japanese forces, the only American soil occupied in the war; a mass internment of American civilians; a 15-month air war; and one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific Theater.

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Did You Know?

Photograph of Japanese pilots before the raid on Dutch Harbor, 6 June 1942

When the Japanese invaded the islands of Attu and Kiska in June, 1942, it was the first time that an enemy occupied American soil since the War of 1812.