• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Melvin C Mickelson

Melvin Mickelson was living in Cadillac, Michigan when the war began. He married and joined the army in 1942 and was assigned to the Medical Detached Service Command Unit 1493 and sent to the Aleutians. He wouldn’t return to his home state and his wife for more than 3 years. Before his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s and his eventual passing, Mel told his family stories of the Aleutians: about the evacuation of local people from the island, about counting planes as they went out each day and then again when they returned to the island to see if any had been lost. He received the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal for his service. Mel’s collection of photos generously donated by his daughter provide insight into Mel’s service history and life during the WWII era.
 
Composite image of 1940s era of Mel Mickelson and Mel, his wife, and uniformed grandson in 2007
Mel in the 1940s (left) and Mel and his wife, Ruth, with their grandson in 2007.
Courtesy of Sandra Stickney, from the collection of Melvin Chris Mickelson.
 

Did You Know?

Photo of a building, parking lot

The Ounalashka Corporation was established in 1973 as the Alaska Village Corporation for Unalaska. This corporation was one of many Native Alaskan corporations that were formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.