• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Jim Schroeder

Enlisting in the Air Corps on his birthday, Jim Schroeder first went to radio school followed by radar school. By the time the war was over he had flown in 14 missions including several to Paramushiro.

He remembers being escorted by Russian fighter planes near the Kurile Islands, nearly having to make an emergency landing in Russia, the difficulty in using the radar system, and what it was like to live in the Aleutians.
 


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Transcript summary

  1. Getting to Alaska audio / transcript
  2. Flying in the Aleutians, flying to Paramushiru and leaking gasoline at 20,000', difficulty seeing through the fog audio / transcript
  3. Life after the military, importance of National Memorials audio / transcript
  4. Service as a radar operator in the 404th Bomb Squadron, flying in B-24s, difficulty using radar system audio / transcript
  5. Keeping in contact with fellow soldiers audio / transcript
  6. Planes intended for Africa in the Aleutians, type of equipment issued, knowledge of which base he would be headed to audio / transcript
  7. Boat ride to Alaska audio / transcript
  8. Near mishap while flying, almost had to make emergency landing in Russia due to fog audio / transcript
  9. Length of service in the Aleutians, age of fellow servicemen audio / transcript
  10. Life in the Aleutians, living in Quonset Huts with fellow servicemen audio / transcript
  11. Weather in the Aleutians, B-29s eventually equipped with photography equipment, escort by Russian fighters near Kurile Islands audio / transcript
  12. Mail censorship, secrecy surrounding his location of service audio / transcript
  13. Good memories of time in the Aleutians, post military career, working for Sargent & Lundy, 35 years as a draftsman at several firms audio / transcript
  14. Cabin on a lake in Michigan audio / transcript
  15. Providing assistance to people who live around him, maintaining a social life, working on his cabin and models audio / transcript
  16. 40 years of life on the lake, time spent in Houghton/ Hancock Michigan, desire to return to Shemya, Coast Guard Station on Attu audio / transcript
  17. Lack of preparedness of troops for Aleutians, hardships suffered from extreme weather conditions, magazine with his picture and article in it 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.