|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|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
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.
Last Major Update: Jun 2013
|Events Taken Place in Alaska|
|Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands||4 Jun 1942 - 7 Jun 1942|
|Aleutian Islands Campaign||26 Mar 1943 - 16 Aug 1943|
Alaska in World War II Interactive Map
Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.
Share this article with your friends:
Stay updated with WW2DB:
Visitor Submitted Comments
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?
All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.
- » Wreck of Montevideo Maru Found (25 Apr 2023)
- » Detonation of a WW2-Era Naval Mine (21 Mar 2023)
- » Wreck of USS Albacore Found (23 Feb 2023)
- » Accidental Detonation of a WW2-Era Bomb in Great Yarmouth (10 Feb 2023)
- » Joseph Eskenazi honored at US National World War II Museum (16 Jan 2023)
- » See all news
- » 1,131 biographies
- » 336 events
- » 41,821 timeline entries
- » 1,210 ships
- » 347 aircraft models
- » 206 vehicle models
- » 370 weapon models
- » 123 historical documents
- » 249 facilities
- » 469 book reviews
- » 28,985 photos
- » 401 maps
George Patton, 31 May 1944
Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!
Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!
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?