WWII

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Former mayor Frank Kelty has retired after almost 40 years as a local official.

Before he moved to southern California last month, Kelty sat down with KUCB's Laura Kraegel to reflect on his long career. It began in the late 1960s when he moved from Washington to Alaska to find seasonal work as a seafood processor.

At first, Kelty said he just needed enough money to settle a $7,000 debt from a car accident. But he said he quickly fell in love with Unalaska and made it his home.

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Laura Kraegel/KUCB

A U.S. Navy warship called on Unalaska last week, marking the branch's first visit since the closure of Adak's base in the 1990s.

While city and tribal officials took the opportunity to push for a larger military presence on the island, other community members were wary of the crowds and chaos that came with 1,000 extra people in a community of about 4,500.

As Arctic Ice Melts, Will The Navy Return To Adak?

Sep 27, 2019
Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media

Amid the wind, waves, and rain, a strange ship roared through Kuluk Bay toward the shores of Adak.

It looked out of place, speeding past misty green mountains of the western Aleutian Island, a cross between a speedboat and an industrial fishing barge. With alarming speed, it lurched from the shore onto the beach, kicking up dark swirls of sand and sea spray. Its cargo trickled down of a ramp: Humvees, U.S. Marines, a compact green bulldozer. Everything you would need in an invasion.

KUCB Staff

Over the last 10 years, the Lost Villages Project has helped Unangax̂ people to reconnect with the communities of Makushin, Kashega, Biorka, and Attu — none of which were resettled after the evacuation and Aleutian campaign of World War II.

Now, the project is being commemorated with a film premiere, a museum exhibit, and a reunion trip.

MUSEUM OF THE ALEUTIANS

The Museum of the Aleutians is opening a new exhibit June 14.

"Chiilulix: The Long Journey Home" will explore the history of four Aleutian communities that were never resettled after the evacuation of World War II — as well as the Lost Villages Project that eventually helped Unangax̂ survivors and descendants to reconnect with those places. 

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