A group photo of men looking towards camera. A dog is in the photo.
Kiska Aerological Unit, Dec. 1941 – May, 1942 Charles House is located on back row, third from left

Photo courtesy National Archives

Quick Facts

Significance:
Charles House was Navy weatherman on Kiska when the Japanese invaded. He eluded capture for 50 days but was finally taken prisoner to Japan.

On June 7, 1942 the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Island of Kiska. The island’s sole inhabitants were the crew of the U.S. Aerological Detail who fled to the hills - but most were captured after a few days. Senior Petty Officer William C. House managed to remain at large for 50 days eating only plants and earthworms until, weighing a mere 80 pounds, he was forced to choose between capture and starvation and surrendered to the Japanese. Learn more about his incredible experiences in the interview to follow and in his written account of his experiences on Kiska and as a prisoner of war.

Charles House was Navy weatherman on Kiska when the Japanese invaded. He eluded capture for 50 days but was finally taken prisoner to Japan. Listen to his interview.

Download a full transcript of Charles House's interview.

Last updated: September 21, 2017