Attu75

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

A national radio program is hosting a live call-in show Tuesday about Attu Island.

The episode of "Native America Calling" will explore the Aleutian campaign of World War II, the Attuans' captivity in Japan, and recent efforts by Attu descendants to reconnect with their ancestral homeland.

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

 

Descendants of Alaska's westernmost island want permanent access to their ancestral home.

Since World War II, the Native people of Attu have been separated from their homeland.

Lisa Hupp/USFWS

 

It’s been 75 years since thousands of young soldiers lost their lives fighting over the westernmost point of the United States. Seventy-five years since the Alaska Native people of Attu were taken from their homes never to return again.

 

This weekend, former Attu residents, as well as veterans of the Aleutian campaign and descendants of the Japanese soldiers joined together to commemorate the tragedy and honor the legacy of those lost.

 

 

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

Seventy-five years after Japan invaded the furthest tip of the Aleutian chain, Attuans are returning home.

In 1942, there were 44 people living on Attu Island, nearly all Alaska Natives. They were taken as captives to Japan, where half of them died. And after the war, the federal government forbade them from returning.

But in August, a group of 11 descendants finally visited their ancestral home for the first time.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The Aleutian Islands served as the battleground for some of the bloodiest conflicts on American soil since the Civil War. But most people have never heard of the Battle of Attu, the invasion of Kiska, or even the Aleutian campaign.

Tadashi Ogawa wants to change that.

The Japanese filmmaker has produced a new documentary on World War II.

Growing up in Yokohama, Tadashi Ogawa learned a bit about the Battle of Attu in school because more than 2,300 Japanese soldiers lost their lives.

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