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War Week: Kodiak Military History

Today we visit the second of two web sites with information about the Aleutians Campaign:

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The main Aleutian-specific resource here is a detailed timeline of the campaign. Here’s a few examples of the details offered in the timeline:

A B-17 flies the first armed reconnaissance from the secretly constructed airfield at Unmak Island, Aleutian Islands over the Aleutian Chain, but finds no sign of the enemy. XI Fighter Command elements are not deployed at Unmak (P-40’s and P-38’s), Cold Bay (P-40’s), Kodiak (P-39’s), and Elmendorf Field [P-38’s and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Kittyhawks].
A carrier-borne force strikes again as 11 bombers, 10 fighters and 8 torpedo bombers attack Dutch Harbor in several waves. 2 P-40s intercept 4 bombers just before noon over Umnak Pass and shoot down 3. During the afternoon P-40s intercept 9 fighters; a dogfight claims 1 enemy aircraft and 1 P-40, the Eleventh Air Force’s first combat casualty. AA fire claims another Japanese bomber. During the afternoon 2 B-17s and 5 B-26s attack the carrier force, and 3 more B-26s strike the cruiser TAKAO; no hits are scored; 1 B-24 and 1 B-25 fail to return.
36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28th Composite Group, based at Ft Greeley, Kodiak Island with B-17Es and LB-30s, sends detachments to operate from various bases in the Aleutian Islands.
18 B-26s, 10 B-17s and 2 LB-30s search and attack sorties are flown against the carrier force, the B-26s splitting into 3 missions, the B-17s into 2. No contact is made. The B-17s using radar bomb targets which look like ships, but later turn out to be the Pribilof Islands.

The full timeline amounts to 56 printed pages and is reason enough to visit kadiak.org. But there is much more military history here.

The bulk of the site is devoted to the history of the numerous military installations built in Kodiak, including:

  • US Naval Base Kodiak Alaska
  • US Coast Guard Kodiak Alaska
  • Fort Greely Kodiak Alaska
  • Ft. Tidball garrison Quonsets & gun bunker
  • Fort Abercrombie World War II National Historic Place

Information on these sites includes photos, published reports and some first hand accounts of life in these distant outposts.

Finally, you need to spend some time looking through the photo albums offered on this site. Most of them appear to be from veterans who served in Kodiak at various periods from World War II forward. Some are government photo albums. Some of the available albums are:

If you’re a military or Kodiak history buff, there is hours worth of material here to keep you busy and/or entertained. Check it out.

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