• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Moses Gordieff

As part of the "Beginning of Memory Project," Ray Hudson conducted interviews with Aleuts who were forced to evacuate from their homes during World War II. Many of the evacuees from the Aleutians faced years away from their childhood homes, sometimes in deplorable camps. Many communities - the "Lost Villages" - were never resettled.

Moses Gordieff was born in Unalaska in 1939. He was just 6 years old when he returned to Unalaska following evacuation to Southeastern Alaska during the war. His mother and father, Molly and Peter Lukanin, consented to his adoption by Myria and John Gordieff while at Wrangle after they fell ill with TB and could no longer care for him.

Download a full transcript of Moses' interview.

Did You Know?

A PBY plane surrounded by crew

A PBY plane piloted by Lt. Jean Cusick was sent from Dutch Harbor, on June 3, 1942, to locate Japanese forces in the Pacific. He was shot down by enemy fighters en route. Five men out of the seven-man crew survived the crash and got into life rafts. Cusick and his enlisted pilot died on the rafts from their wounds. The other three were captured by the Japanese, and became the first prisoners of war in the Aleutian Campaign.