Battle for the Aleutians

During World War II the remote Aleutian Islands, home to the Unangax̂ (Aleut) people for over 8,000 years, became a fiercely contested battleground in the Pacific. This thousand-mile-long archipelago saw invasion by Japanese forces, the occupation of two islands; a mass relocation of Unangax̂ civilians; a 15-month air war; and one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific Theater.

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Unangax̂ Interviews

When WWII broke out the Unangax̂ and Aleut people were caught in the crosshairs. Many were relocated. Learn more through these interviews.

Large boat at dock

Aleutian Servicemen

The pilots, sailors, and soldiers of the Aleutian Campaign went out into the treacherous Aleutian waters and skies. Discover their stories.

Black and white photo of B25 airplane and jeep with man in it.

Battle of Attu: 60 Years Later

Lasting 18 days, the Battle of Attu was one of the deadliest battles of World War II, but it remains one of the least well-known.

Colorful Map

Self-Guided Driving Tours

Take a driving tour to explore historic World War II buildings and structures on Amaknak Island and Unalaska Island.

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The Invasion of Kiska

On June 7, 1942, the Japanese invaded the Aleutian island of Kiska. At its height of occupation 6,800 Japanese personnel were on the island.

People in a grassy field with a Russian cross

The Lost Villages

Biorka, Kashega, and Makushin, three villages surviving centuries of change only to disappear during World War II.

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Unangax̂ (Aleut) Evacuation & Internment

In a tragic and shameful episode, the U.S. government forcibly removed nearly 900 Unangax̂ (Aleut) people from their homes in 1942.

Black and white photo of village as seen from water. Text: Forced to Leave

Aleutian Voices: Forced to Leave

The [Unangax] were...the first and only people in Alaska to be assaulted by our own government and an enemy foreign power in WWII. (pdf)

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Attu, A Lost Village of the Aleutians

The residents of Attu, the most remote Aleutian village, had a different and especially tragic wartime experience.

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Story of the Month: Elmer Gibson

Discover the life of Chaplain Elmer Gibson, who served in the Aleutian Islands, Korean War, and as an advisor to President Truman.

Black and white map of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska

The Iron Ring

Explore the strategic forts and outposts of the Aleutian Islands during World War II.

Color photo of a building with a visitor center sign on the right, and info icons.

Visitor Center Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of the Aleutian Islands World War II National Historic Area Visitor Center. Works best with a touch pad style mouse.

Color photo of point of land jutting out over ocean, with roads, a small car, and concrete ruins.

Virtual Tour of Ft. Schwatka

Take a virtual tour of Fort Schwatka and Battery 402. Link goes to YouTube video produced by NPS and Ounalashka Corporation.

Last updated: September 14, 2022

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