• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

William Butler Hutchison

Bill Hutchison joined the Navy and elected to fly multi-engine land based bombers, certain he’d end up in the Pacific Theatre. The day he arrived on Attu, Tokyo Rose sent him a radio message identifying him by name and home town. Not to be deterred Bill flew 21 missions in his 2 ½ years in the Aleutians. He flew the PV-1 Ventura and late in the war the PV-2 Harpoon on missions over the Japanese Kurile Islands. In Bill's World War II Recollections and his interview, he recalls eventful flights, colorful characters in his squadron and unusual incidents that occurred while in the Aleutians as well as stories of his flying experiences following the war.

In his photo gallery below, don'’t miss his photo of a particularly memorable flight over the Kurile Islands, where you can see a Japanese "Oscar" fighter practically touching his Ventura, as well as crew photos, training manuals and more.

Download a full transcript of Bill's 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.