1943 - 1944

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I entered the service on the 14th of August, 1942 at Ft Warren, Cheyenne, Wyo.  After Basic training at Camp Grant, Rockford, IL, I was sent to Seattle, Washington for transport to Alaska.  We were ten weeks waiting for a ship.  We finally left Seattle early in January of 1943, eventually arriving at Seward, AK. From there we travelled by train to Ft. Richardson, Anchorage, AK. There were six of us medics. We were assigned to the 25th Coastal Artillery.  When we arrived at Ft. Richardson we discovered the Army didn't need us so we were then sent to the Army Air Corp.  I was assigned to the 23rd Service Squadron, 32nd Service Group.  We stayed at Elmendorf Field for a few months then eventually moved down the chain to Umnak where we operated the Air Base Dispensary for a few more months.  From Umnak we moved to Adak where we worked in the Air Base Dispensary.  In late 1943 we moved to Shemya and operated the Air Base Dispensary there.  After seven months, in the spring of 1944, I returned to Adak where I worked in the Air Base Dispensary providing Medical supplies to the other islands. I remained there until returning to the states in May of 1945. I was discharged on November 1, 1945 at Santa Anna, CA and never returned to an area where it snowed to this day.  Living in California's San Joaquin Valley I see all the snow I want to see from my living room window which has a great view of the High Sierra Mts.

Don Blumenthal

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[Editor's Notes: Don Blumenthal spent time on various Aleutian Islands in addition to Shemya including Adak, Attu, and Umnak. These photos of Shemya were taken during the 1943-1944 time period.  We thank Don profusely for his contributions! Visit the other Islands to see his other scrapbooks. Click on the thumbnail images to retrieve the full-size image. Click on your browser's "Back" button to return to this page.]


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 #1. Some living quarters with the hospital in the background. Shemya, AK. 1943-1944
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#2. The Bridge. Anyone having been on Shemya will remember this! Shemya, AK. 1943-1944
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#3. Living quarters on Shemya. Shemya, AK. 1943-1944
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#4. More living quarters. Note: no mountains, not even a hill. Shemya, AK. 1943-1944
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#5. I think This is Shemya. Reason: the knoll in the rear center was the highest part of the island and was removed to build a breakwater for a dock, which was distroyed the night before the first ship was to dock (wind, oh yes). 1943-1944
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#6. Shemya-based P-38s. Shemya, AK. 1943-1944.
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#7. Me in front of our living quarters. 


#8. Left to right: Warren Anders, John Newell, don't remember, last name Jones. All medics working in the dispensary.


#9. A P-40, of which there many of these on all three islands, Umnak Shemya and Adak. Many pilots were lost flying these, not due to combat.


#10. Lots of P-38's in the Aleutians. They were really a hot, fast plane. I always wanted to fly in one but all I got was a flight in a C-47.


#11. Adler (first name unknown) in front of our hut. Note the black out entrance.
#12. Yes, we had B-24's on the island. There were three painted blue that only took pictures and there were those that did some bombing. I worked at Consolidated Air in San Diego, Calif in 41 on the B-24.


Last Updated: 13 Aug 2016 10:52