Regional

Stories from the KUCB Newsroom from the Aleutian Region, the Pribilof Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, and beyond.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

This week, we’re sharing stories from the Battle of Attu and the greater Aleutian campaign of World War II.

The conflict ended in the 1940s, but its legacy is still very much alive — both for the veterans who served and the Unangan people who were forced to leave during the fighting.

Even now, many vets have never spoken to an evacuee, and vice versa.

To commemorate what happened 75 years ago, KUCB invited people on both sides to sit down and reflect together.

Alaska State Library, Aleutian/Pribilof Project Collection, ASL-P233-V111

Seventy-five years ago, Japan and the United States were locked in one of the bloodiest battles fought on American soil: the Battle of Attu.

Army veteran Allan Serroll served on Attu Island, which sits at the westernmost end of the Aleutian Islands — closer to Japan than Seattle.

Serroll is now 102. But he’s still haunted by the experience of staring down young men like himself.

“Some of the guys noticed that it was bothering me,” Serroll said. “They said, ‘Look, it’s kill or be killed. It’s your life you’re protecting.’ And they were right.”

Courtesy of Hans Rosenkranz/MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man who reportedly fell overboard from an oil tanker traveling past the Aleutian Islands.

Air crews spent 14 hours searching for the 22-year-old mariner, who went missing from the M/V Challenge Prelude on Sunday afternoon.

"Due to the length of time, and with the extreme environment, the District 17 Command Center made the call to suspend the search," said Petty Officer Lauren Dean.

Courtesy of Hans Rosenkranz/MarineTraffic.com

About 24 hours after he went missing from an oil tanker, the U.S. Coast Guard is deciding whether to continue its search for a man who reportedly fell overboard in Aleutian waters.

The master of the M/V Challenge Prelude noticed the 22-year-old mariner was missing Sunday afternoon when the vessel was 110 miles south of Sand Point.

The tanker turned around to search for the man, while Air Station Kodiak sent two aircrews to assist.

Courtesy Paradigm Marine

 

Western Alaska will have better oil spill response capabilities with a new vessel. The OSRV Ocean Liberty was expected to arrive in Unalaska by the end of March, but the ship is awaiting modifications and clean up of an oil spill in Shuyak Straight near Kodiak has delayed the process.

Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty is excited for the added layer of safety the vessel will bring to the region. In a given year at America’s top fishing port, he says local fuel docks can pump up to 60 million gallons of fuel. Plus, large vessels pass through the region on major shipping routes.

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