On June 7, 1942 the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Island of Kiska. The island’s sole inhabitants were the crew of the U.S. Aerological Detail who fled to the hills - but most were captured after a few days. Senior Petty Officer William C. House managed to remain at large for 50 days eating only plants and earthworms until, weighing a mere 80 pounds, he was forced to choose between capture and starvation and surrendered to the Japanese. Learn more about his incredible experiences in the interview to follow and in his written account of his experiences on Kiska and as a prisoner of war.
Download a full transcript of Charles House's interview.
Did You Know?
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.