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Full Name 69 Territory of Alaska
Alliance Allies - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power United States
Entry into WW2 7 Dec 1941
Population in 1939 70,000


ww2dbaseWesterners arrived in Alaska in the 17th and 18th Centuries in the form of Russian explorers. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska for US$7,200,000. Between 1867 and 1884, it was governed by the US Army under its Department of Alaska. In 1884, it came under civilian rule with the new name District of Alaska. On 24 Aug 1912, it was renamed to the Territory of Alaska after a small population boom due to the prospect of gold. During the war, Dutch Harbor, located on the islands of Unalaska and Amaknak in the Aleutian Islands, was a major military base servicing aircraft and naval vessels. In Mar 1942, the construction of the Alaska-Canadian Highway began, shortly after allowing military vehicles to travel from United States proper to Alaska; many portions of this highway was not open to the general public until after the war. In Jun 1942, Dutch Harbor was attacked by Japanese aircraft during the two-prong Aleutians-Midway offensive; simultaneously, Japanese troops landed and occupied the islands of Attu (and nearby Agattu) and Kiska. The US forces recaptured Attu in May 1943, and the Japanese evacuated Kiska by the end of Jul 1943. Given the territory's relative proximity to Russia, some of the US aircraft built for the Soviet Union under the terms of Lend-Lease were flown to Nome, Alaska, where Soviet pilots would make the final leg of the trip into eastern Russia. Several villages in the Aleutian Islands were forcibly relocated by both the US government and the Japanese occupation; some of those from Attu would die in Japanese imprisonment at Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan. After the war, Alaska remained a territory for 14 more years before it was given statehood and was made the 49th full member of the United States.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Jun 2013

Events Taken Place in Alaska
Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands4 Jun 1942 - 7 Jun 1942
Aleutian Islands Campaign26 Mar 1943 - 16 Aug 1943


US carrier Ranger at anchor in Kachemak Bay near Homer, Territory of Alaska, 1936PBY-5A Catalina patrol plane flying past Segula Island (just east of Kiska), Aleutians, Summer 1942.
See all 56 photographs of Alaska in World War II


Map of installations in the Aleutian Island Area as of 1 Aug 1942, prepared for the United States Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Combat Narrative report. Note that Attu and Kiska were listed as Japanese held.Track chart from the shelling of Kiska Island by the cruiser USS St. Louis, 7 Aug 1942.

Alaska in World War II Interactive Map

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Camme says:
16 Oct 2018 10:20:45 PM

Why are Veterans from WWII not recognized as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) if they served in Terrority of Alaska? not a state for some 14 yrs later?
2. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
17 Oct 2018 11:29:16 AM

Camme, I'm surprised to hear that. While Alaska was not foreign (although not a state, it was nevertheless American territory since 1867 and a Territory, with a capital "T", since 1912), those who served in Alaska during WW2 should have received the American Campaign Medal. According to the eligibility that the VFW publishes on its website, the American Campaign Medal would allow its recipient to join. Perhaps there are some complications to the story you are referring to?

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Alaska in World War II Photo Gallery
US carrier Ranger at anchor in Kachemak Bay near Homer, Territory of Alaska, 1936PBY-5A Catalina patrol plane flying past Segula Island (just east of Kiska), Aleutians, Summer 1942.
See all 56 photographs of Alaska in World War II

Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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