I didn't think it did, but Edna Augustine's husband, Augie, (Dorothy's sister Edna, in Minden, Nevada) kept talking to me about Shemya, one of the Aleutian Islands, where Augie spent time during his career in maintenance of U.S. government buildings on that island. Augie showed me a series of books about World War II in Alaska, the only state ever to be occupied by a foreign power.
Japan invaded, captured and held some of those Aleutian Islands and (I think) were preparing to attack the coast of Canada or the US.
|The twelve men manning the weather station on Kiska|
On the 6th of June, 1942, the Japanese landed 500 Marines on Kiska, another of the Aleutian Islands. There were 12 men who were manning an American weather station. Ten were captured by the Japanese.
On the 7th of June, 1942, the Japanese invaded Attu, another of the Aleutian Islands. Living there were 45 native Aleut Indians, some Blue Fox, and two Americans, Charles Jones and his wife Etta. Etta and the Aleut's were captured, taken to Japan, and Mr. Jones lost his life.
|"Me, with jeep, Adak, World War II. Jimmy Stephens"|
On these Aleutian islands the Japanese had at least 5000 soldiers by November, 1942, displacing around 70 local people, but the invasion so worried the U.S. Government leaders, that they blacked out the news of the invasion to the "lower 48."
|"Me on Adak, 1944"|
It was not easy to dislodge the Japanese. At least 100 missions were flown against the islands. While some of the Japanese were evacuated by ship, those on the island of Attu were left to defend themselves. They finally ended up in a terribly bloody battle where there were 3829 American casualties, and more than 2351 Japanese dead. The U.S. command had earlier realized that they just couldn't take that island first, so they first captured Adak. It was during a raging storm, but after the capture on August 30, 1942, Adak became a U.S. Naval Station.
|"Bill Hagan and I. Adak 44-46|
That was the word! James Stephens was stationed on Adak, an island in the Aleutian chain, but I couldn't figure out the word until I had some history.