Notes for
Military Funeral, Alaska WWII

At first glance one might think the uniforms being worn in this photo are of WWI vintage. Inquiries of our WWII and post-WWII Aleutian vets brought these responses:

Jim Alspaugh: Just guessing on my part, but the only thing WWI about the uniforms is the helmets. The leggings are definitely post WWI (they used wrappings) and early WWII. The Japs were in the Aleutians and early army battles were fought there. The leggings and the WWI helmet were part of the army uniform then; the updated and more familiar helmet came about later and was sent to the ETO and the PTO where the fighting was still going on. Fighting was over in the Aleutians and no need to send the more modern equipment there.

Bruce Bowden: my father was at Schofield Barracks in 1940. He was there when Pearl was bombed. The helmet in question was the helmet they were issued then. They wore these into the Guadalcanal operation. After much scrutiny of the cemetery photo, comparing earlier photos of the mountain- scape I believe it was Little Falls Cemetery on Attu before it became heavily populated with graves. The uniforms were that of WWII Alaska Theater type issue. The helmet is WWII issue prior to 1942. Notice the boot's toes are that of WWII issue. The dog tag was WWII type. WWI and early WWII were round not rectangular.

Frankie Cosmano.: The helmets - I found them as post WWI or pre-WWII at pearl. The photo is Identified as taken in 1944. It seems that is still a long way from 1941 and events at Pearl Harbor. Maybe the date is wrong.

Mac Collings: No...the ankle wraps and the helmets are just two of the things that are wrong. And, in 1944, no way! This stuff was changed in 1941. I Joined the Army in 1940..(Sept). We had the helmets, the leggings. The Japs landed in 42. We had NE helmets in early 41. Check this photo.

CA Hanshew: They look to me like they are wearing the old O.D.'s with the light weight field jacket and WW-l helmets. They are also wearing the gasmask bag with the belt around the waist. Two of the Pallbearers on the left appears to be wearing black T-Neck sweaters. The chaplain appears to be wearing the standard O.D. pants with the officers "Green" shirt with the Cross on left collar. The brass on his shoulder is either a Major or Lt. Col. They are all wearing regular G.I. shoes with lace-up leggings. It sure isn't Shemya with the Mtn. on background. Could be any of the others, Maybe Attu or Adak

Jack Jonas: They definitely were not wearing these kinds of helmets in 1944.

Dan Lange: The uniforms look WWII; the helmets are similar to WWI but some were used by the GI's early in the war. maybe left over or still regulation at the time?

Ed Sidorski: Those are definitely ww11 uniforms and the helmets are ww1 but if you will look at the left hand lower corner you will see a Signal Corp emblem. What I'd like to know is how will the casket be lowered, it looks like if the soldiers stepped off of those boards the casket would fall into the hole. Too bad the clouds were so low as to cover the mountain in the back ground so we could tell what island they were on, I presume that it was on Attu. The pall bearers have no arms but they do wear gas masks slung over their shoulder, it's like the one that I had and hid my contraband pictures of the radar under the canister that held the charcoal desiccant.

Rene Thibault: To me - it looks like the GIs were part of an old garrison that still had WWI uniforms including the helmet. Probably a garrison that has been there -wherever- since before WWII and they never had a need to upgrade their equipment.

Bob Watson: The uniforms seem to be battle worn. The soldier on the left has a tattered elbow. Uniforms are probable wool. The helmets may be pith helmets. soldiers behind chaplain at parade rest and 1 rifle stock is visible. I tried to enlarge and read the dog tag, but was unsuccessful.