Donated Stories

cover of Battle of the Aleutians; no significant images

"The Battle of the Aleutians"

Veteran Clifford McGinnis saved this history of the conflict in the Aleutians, written in the 1940s by the Intelligence Section of general headquarters on Adak. It details the opening stages of the conflict in the Pacific between Japan and America, and then recounts the initial Japanese offensive in the Aleutians and the American counterattack. It provides insights into how the military framed the war effort to its own servicemen and captures many of the environmental challenges they faced while fighting in this remote corner of the world.



The Harbor News

Published weekly by the Welfare Department, the Harbor News served to connect servicemen stationed in the remote Aleutian Islands with the wider war effort. Thanks to Al Gentle, several of the last editions of the paper are available here. Get a glimpse of the cautious excitement and optimism felt as an end came in sight.

Unalaska News

Unalaska, a small city on Unalaska Island, is neighbor to Amaknak Island, which itself is home to Dutch Harbor. In this Unalaska News article from May 14, 1945, read a touching first-hand account of the return of the forcibly-removed Aleuts to their island home.


Diaries and Memoirs

book cover of artistic WWII-era plane and people in a rain or snow storm

Memoirs of Paul Carrigan

Paul E "The Black Irishman" Carrigan spent 33 months in the Aleutians during World War II. His memoirs, in three volumes, cover his early days of joining the military, then run from the Japanese bombing of Dutch Harbor, through the campaign until the removal of all Japanese forces from the islands.

Throughout, Paul details not only the dangers faced by confronting a hostile enemy, but that of the incredibly powerful weather that characterizes the Aleutians. For more information about receiving copies of Paul's memoirs, please contact us.

The Flying, Fighting Weathermen, Volume 1
Volume one covers Paul's entry to, and training with, the U.S. Navy; his journey to Alaska; and the opening of hostilities in this part of the Pacific Theater - the Japanese bombing of Dutch Harbor

Chapters in Volume 1

  1. A Crooked Path Led to the U.S. Navy

  2. Boot Camp

  3. Primary Aerographer's School

  4. U.S. Naval Destroyer Base, San Diego, California

  5. Temporary Duty Aboard The USS Lexington (CV-2)

  6. U.S. Naval Air Station, Sand Point, Seattle, Washington

  7. The PBY "Catalina"

  8. North to Alaska

  9. USS Casco Bay - Kodiak to Dutch Harbor, Alaska

  10. U.S. Naval Operating Base (NOB), Dutch Harbor, Alaska

  11. Japanese Strategy Sets the Stage

  12. A Few Dutch Harbor Activities Prior to the Japanese Attack

  13. A Chink in Japan's Armor

  14. In Harm's Way

  15. The Japanese Attacks on Dutch Harbor

The Flying, Fighting Weathermen, Volume 2
Volume two covers the background behind why the Japanese invaded the Aleutians; the aftermath of the raid on Dutch Habor; and battles on Kiska, Adak and Attu.
Chapters in Volume 2

  1. The Midway/Aleutian Connection

  2. Aftermath of the Japanese Attacks on Dutch Harbor

  3. The Initial U.S. Task Force Shelling of Kiska

  4. Our Seaplane Tenders Inch Ever Westward

  5. Adak Island

  6. Adak - January to May 1944

The Flying, Fighting Weathermen, Volume 3
Volume three covers in great detail the assault on Attu and the final operations in the campaign.
Chapters in Volume 3

  1. The Battle of Attu

  2. Take 'Er Down - Special Mission of USS S-35 (SS140)

  3. Assault On A Deserted Island Fortress

  4. Activities on Attu - August To November 1943

  5. Sent to Island X (Shemya)

  6. All This and Attu

  7. Events During Our Third Year in the Aleutians

  8. Some Final Pieces Are Put in Place

  9. Maps


Read additional memoirs from servicemen.


Training Materials

Pamphlets From the Training Division, Bureau of Aeronautics, U.S. Navy

At times insightful, at times campy or silly, and filled with characterizations of Germans, Japanese and Italians that teeter between comical and racist, these training pamphlets from the U.S. Navy illustrate the thinking of the times - and make for interesting reading in their own right.


Open Transcript 


Music, no other audio. Video displays a series of artifacts from the Aleutian Campaign: a Springfield M1903 rifle, a Bayonet Model 1905; a model 1917A1 metal helmet; anti-personnel stakes; and standard issue boots

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2 minutes, 28 seconds

Featured here are a handful of key objects found in the Aleutian World War II Museum. They are emblematic of the equipment issued to servicemen in the Aleutians Campaign.

Last updated: April 30, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Aleutian Islands WWII Visitor Center
2716 Airport Beach Road

Unalaska, AK 99692



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