|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
Kiska is an island on the western end of the Aleutian chain of islands. It is 22 miles long and varies in width from 1.5 to 6 miles.
On June 6, 1942, Japanese forces invaded Kiska and captured the sole inhabitants of the island, a US Navy Weather Detachment of 10 men. The next day, the Japanese captured nearby Attu Island.
While the islands were not important militarily, the loss of US territory to the Japanese was psychologically damaging to the American forces. In October of 1942, US forces led seven bombing missions over Kiska, and completed several more bombing missions during the winter months of 1942-1943.
In the summer of 1943, Allied troops landed on Kiska to find the island completely abandoned. Aware of the upcoming arrival of the Allied force, the Japanese had removed all of the troops from the island under the cover of extreme fog.
The site of the Japanese occupation of Kiska is now a National Historic Landmark and is protected under US Federal Law.
Much of the site remains unchanged since the 1940s, with bomb craters still visible in the tundra. Concrete lined tunnels, Japanese gun emplacements, shipwrecks, and other war relics have all been left untouched since 1943.
I had no idea that the Japanese troops had successfully occupied Alaskan territory during World War II. I thought this story was really interesting and would be curious to know more about it.
It's Friday, so that means it time for Vikki's Celebrate the Small Things bloghop.
Today I'm celebrating the fact that we're just about half-way through the alphabet! I hope everyone is enjoying the challenge so far and ready to jump into the second half.
I'm also celebrating that I finally feel like I've come up with some cohesive ideas for my sequel to Polar Night. I've written several beginnings so far and have scrapped all of them because I hated them and felt like I was going nowhere. But this week, thanks to my Haunted Places post, I had my own little "Eureka!" moment. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this time I really am on the right track.
What are you celebrating this week?
My A-Z theme of Alaska is inspired by my debut novel, Polar Night, which is set in the Alaskan Arctic. Click here for all the info on the book.