• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Katie and Robert Dougal

When WWII broke out in Europe, Robert Dougal volunteered to join the British forces but at age 27 he was too old. He joined the Army and wanted to become a pilot but again he was too old. However, he was not too old for radio school.

He remembers installing the first radar on Kiska, just how unprepared they were for living on Kiska and what the Japanese forgot in their hurried exit. He also remembers soldier who got lost on his way to the latrine and froze to death.

Katie Dougal was a war bride who worked and volunteered while her husband was serving in the military. Volunteering twice a week with the double amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center she saw the pain and devastation of war.
 
Robert Dougal
Lt. Robert Dougal (left) and clerk Gilbertson, Kiska 1944
 
  • Complete transcript, no audio or images

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Transcript Summary

  1. Beginning of military service to shortly before coming to Alaska
    audio / transcript
  2. Coming to Alaska and job in Kiska audio / transcript
  3. Purpose of radar on Kiska audio / transcript
  4. Living conditions on Kiska and lack of preparedness for conditions encountered audio / transcript
  5. Location of radar station on Kiska and reason for planes crash landing audio / transcript
  6. Daily life on Kiska audio / transcript
  7. Morale of men on Kiska audio / transcript
  8. Weather on Kiska; communication with the outside world audio / transcript
  9. Soldier freezing to death audio / transcript
  10. Food on Kiska, befriending a fox, Kiska volcano audio / transcript
  11. What the Japanese left behind, the use of radar by Americans audio / transcript
  12. Keeping in touch after the war, life after the war audio / transcript
  13. Left the Aleutians before war's end, wife's life during war audio / transcript
  14. Alaska's Valor in the Pacific sites, served an important role during war audio / transcript
  15. Unofficial name for location of radar station, sites on Kiska, remnants of the American camp audio / transcript
  16. Life on Kiska audio / transcript
  17. Censorship during the war audio / transcript
  18. Life after the war audio / transcript
 

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.