• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Joseph Hutchison

Joseph Hutchison enlisted as an aerial gunner in the Army Air Corps at age 19 and had his physical at the American Lady Corset Factory in Detroit.

In an interview, he talks about being a member of the 21st Bomb Squadron, being shuffled between crews and training experiences before being shipped to Alaska. While in the Aleutians they participated in a bombing raid in the Kurile Islands, a mission to Paramushiro, and the beginning of the Kiska Campaign.


Joe's son Kevin is a lifelong student of military history and has written several articles on various topics associated with World War II. Kevin also devoted a great deal of time in developing a valuable chronology and fact book on the Aleutian Theatre titled, "World War II in the North Pacific" (1994. Greenwood Press, 328 pgs ISBN-13: 978-0313291302).

 
Images of Joseph Hutchison and servicemates
Left: Joseph Don Hutchison: S/SGT Joseph Donald Hutchison- 21st Bomb Squadron

Right: Wadlington crew 1943: Capt. Irving L. Wadlington's Second Crew- April to Oct. 1943
21st Bomb Squadron shown on Amchitka Island led the third element at Paramushiru Aug 11, 1943
photos courtesy joseph hutchison
 
  • Complete transcript

  • Complete audio interview (17 MB) -- Left-click the link once to begin streaming the interview. This may take just a few moments for fast connections, or several minutes for dial-up connections.

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The interview is also available in smaller portions, with the relevant transcript available for each clip. Each audio clip is less than 1 MB, facilitating access for slower internet connections.

Transcript summary

1. Joining the military, service before Alaska audio / transcript

2. From Fort Custer to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri by train audio / transcript

3. [From Arlington Texas to Salt Lake City audio / transcript

4. Life in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake to Alamogordo audio / transcript

5. Alamogordo to Clovis New Mexico, with a few mishaps along the way, trouble at Alamogordo audio / transcript

6. Clovis to Topeka, Kansas audio / transcript

7. to Alaska, appeared on the cover of Life audio / transcript

8. Topeka to St. John's Canada, trouble at St. John's audio / transcript

9. Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada to Anchorage, Alaska audio / transcript

10. Anchorage to Umnak, pilot gets into trouble audio / transcript

11. Bombing raid in the Kurile Islands audio / transcript

12. The Aleutians to radio school in Scott Field, Illinois audio / transcript

13. Scott Field to Wichita Falls, Texas audio / transcript

14. Wichita Falls back to Scott Field audio / transcript

15. Went to Reno, Nevada until discharge, life after being discharged audio / transcript

16. Life in the Aleutians audio / transcript

17. Knowledge of what was happening in both theaters of the war while in the Aleutians audio / transcript

18. Loss of a friend, didn't lose any crew members audio / transcript

19. Keeping in contact after the war audio / transcript

Did You Know?

Image of floor tiles with acronym ALSEC

At Dutch Harbor, some Marines enjoyed the Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOQ) of the Naval Operating Base. The BOQ was the officers' club, holding a long bar, nice lounge area and fire place. In the center of the floor laid a terrazzo symbol of the Alaskan Sector Command (ALSEC). This terrazzo symbol was designed by Armand Rizan, and was laid in 1943. Today, it is located at the Museum of the Aleutians.