• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Joseph Sasser

A Mississippi native, Joseph Sasser was drafted into the Army in 1942. Inducted into the Coast Artillery he would quickly be recruited for the 7th Provisional Scout Company, an infantry division with a very strict and arduous training regime and a mission not entirely clear. Whether good news or bad, Joseph was transferred to the 50th Combat Engineers and sent to Alaska where the Engineers would help expel Japanese forces entrenched on the island and intersect with the 7th Provisional Scout Company. Lack of proper clothing and equipment for the harsh Alaskan environment, sleepless nights in fox holes, an arduous battle on what become known as Engineer Hill on Attu and the invasion of Kiska would make Joseph’s tour in the Aleutians a memorable one. Learn more about Joseph’s experiences on Attu and Kiska in an interview conducted in 2011 and his hand-written memoir.
 
past and present photos of Joseph Sasser
Joseph Sasser-  at left, age 22, 1945; at right, age 86, 2008.
Courtesy Joseph Sasser
 
 

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.