25 July 2001


Aleutian's Message Board

Last Updated: 23 July 2001

Posted By/e-Mail Address


Lange, Dan Message Number: 0001

I spoke to a Shemya friend from the 404th B.S. He is the one who has organized our reunions in the past but can no longer to it. He said several WWII guys are going to have an INFORMAL get-together in Midwest City, Oklahoma (outside of Oklahoma City), May 17, 18, 19, and 20th. It will be at the Super 8 Motel, 6821 S/E 29th Street, Midwest City, OK. 73110. Phone number of motel is: (405)-737-8880. There's no formal agenda, but merely a get-together.

Posted: 1 May 2000

Watson, Bob Message Number: 0003

My father, PFC Robert William Watson, USAGF6864945 was killed 29 May, 1943 on Attu. He was an Army cook assigned to Co. K 17th Infantry. I recently acquired a copy of "The Capture of Attu, As Told By The Men Who Fought There." It is a hard cover prepared by the War Department, 1st Edition, Oct 1944 by the Infantry Journal Inc. It is interesting reading. I also have the menus from Christmas 1940 Co. I; Thanksgiving 1941 Co. I; and Thanksgiving 1942 Co. K. They each list the Company Roster. Many of the names on these rosters are in the book. I am interested in communicating with anyone with more info concerning my dad. Thanks. Robert W. Watson, Jr., 500 Dakota, Akron, IA  51001

(Webmaster's Note: Bob has made copies of this material, and I am currently scanning and converting to web pages for your perusal. They will be uploaded soon. gls)

Posted: 19 Mar 2000

Leavitt, Robert Message Number: 0004

Hi, my name is Bob Leavitt and I was stationed on Shemya in 1946 through 1947. I was with the 344th Fighter Group. With all the photo's shown (on this web site) I did not see the "Shemya Kid." Perhaps it wound up in the ocean. I find your web site interesting. I do have a few photos of P-38s and P-51s. (Webmaster's Note: Bob has shared numerous of these photos. They are posted on the Shemya web site under WWII.)

Posted: 5 July 1999

Grebel, Philip Message Number: 0005

I served with Task Force Williwaw on Adak just after the war. I've been trying for years to get any info I can on the units. One remark I've found in my research was that the Task Force was a disaster. I was only a kid when assigned to the T/F. About all I remember is that we were quiet a bastardized outfit. An Infantry Co (reinforced), an Artillery unit, and some support groups. I've got an old roster from a Christmas party. I spent most of my time with the HQ unit. Any info you have would be appreciated. Phil Grebel (better known as "Betty" then because I went to Hollywood to meet her!).

Posted: 22 May 2000

Gerrie, Gail Message Number: 0006

HMC Jack C. Gerrie is 60 years old on June 3, 2000. You can contact him at:

Jack C. and Judy A. Gerrie
01107 M-75 N
Boyne City, MI 49712

Note: Phone calls are especially appreciated! Call

We were on Adak from 1973 to 1978. Dad loved the fishing and hunting and we were very active outdoors not regarding the 'average' day-to-day weather. The horses were on island and I practically lived there with my best buddy, Sandy Castle. We are looking for dad's buddy, Mike Smith, Chuck, Liz, and Sandy Castle and Tom Acre...

Dad's health isn't good, so if you know someone who know's someone...please pass this on!  :)  g.g.

Posted: 3 Jun 2000

Keith, Donald Message Number: 0007

I am the sole surviving son of Lt. Donald Keith who was killed on Attu on May 29, 1943. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions with the 17th Infantry, 2nd Battalion. Also one letter mentions the 32nd Infantry. His grandson and I are writing about his actions that saved several of his men by dueling against Jap machine guns while manning a BAR alone for two hours. We have copies of action reports, and citations. Also, will share his letters with any veterans or their families. We are interested in any information that might fill in details on the battle around the saddle of a ridge separating Sarana Valley from Chichagof Harbor. My phone number is 828-862-8420. My address is P. O. Box 2053, Brevard, NC 28712. Because I retired on disability with MS, I am available most days or nights. Don Keith

Posted: 8 Jun 2000

Smith, Ardon Message Number: 0008

Former members of CG Unit 62, USCG Loran Station, Attu (1943-1947 era) are having our 3rd reunion in September 2000. .  We have located 17 men but several others cannot be located.   Wish we could find Lt JG James H. B. Morton (formerly of Andover MA), RDM 3/c Robert McMasters (formerly from Medford, MA) CWO Mead, S1/c Walter Baum (Ohio), CRM Higgins, RM 2/c Herb Stearn.  If you know any of our missing members, please email their address and phone number to!

Posted 13 Jun 2000

Beaton, Ian Message Number: 0009

Attn: All former EMs (And officers also) residents of the Aleutians during and following WWII. My story of 25 months of wartime Aleutian service (Dutch Harbor, Adak, Attu and Shemya) based on several hundred letters I wrote to my parents and teen-age sister is being published by Xlibris (1-888-795-4274) (info @ As an ex-corporal, Post Engineer Detachment with 21 months on Shemya, (11/43-7/45), my story will bring back memories of huge dynamite blasts, airplane crashes the voice of Shangri-La, no showers, 404th raids, Tokyo Tony, williwaws destroying the newly constructed pier and breakwater, the one time B-29 visit to the 10,000 ft runway, weird friends and associates. Your grandchildren will love it!

Posted 14 Jun 2000

Blumenthal, Don Message Number: 0010

I went to Alaska in January, 1943, arriving at Seward and taking the train to Anchorage. After a few months at Elmendorf Field I moved to Umnak with the 23rd Service Squadron. Following a short stay on Umnak, we moved to Adak, where we lived in tents. From Adak, we moved to Shemya, where I spent the winter of 1943 and 1944. In 1944, I moved back to Adak, where I stayed until returning to the states in March of 1945. I never lived with the Squadron as I was assigned to Base Headquarters as I worked in the Air Base Dispensary at each one of these places. It would be good to hear from someone that was there at that time.

Posted 21 Jun 2000

Domingue, Richard Message Number: 0011

Am hoping to locate airmen I served with on Shemya Island
from May 1959 to April 1960.  Airman Griffin or Airman Gerou or Airman Amburger. Also, a medic  Sgt. Cantrell.  Any of these could e mail me. We served in the 5040th Air Base Squadron and ran the support facilities for the other groups there. Phone 520-887-5993.

Posted 25 Jun 2000                          Remove: 25 Sep 2000

Speed-Kelly, Kathryn Message Number: 0013

My father, Lehman "Speedy" Speed, was a green 20-year-old light machine gunner from Collins, Miss., when he experienced Attu.

His unit made a surprise early morning attack on a camp of drunken Japanese soldiers. The battle was fierce, and one of his friends from home was killed that day. The unit was separated from supply lines, so he and others hid in caves, starved (except for Army chocolate, which he came to hate) and suffered frostbite until rescue. Many had to have their feet amputated, and he suffered permanent disability.

He said one of the officers ordered the men to shoot Japanese soldiers who were waving white surrender flags. That troubled him greatly.

I would like to trade information. I have letters and a newspaper report with excerpts from a diary of a Japanese medical officer, who died during the battle.

Posted: 10 Jul 2000

Joe Drewry Message Number: 0014

I am in charge of the reunion for our group, the 602 FA Bn which landed on Kiska. Dates: 7-10 September, 2000. Place: Biloxi, MS. Contact: Joe Drewry, Ph 404-255-8928, or email me at:

Posted 27 Jul 2000

Jill Holmgren Message Number: 0015

I am hoping that one of our WWII Veterans from Kiska might recall what ultimately happened to the dogs that were found on the island. Perhaps someone remembers reading about them in newspapers at that time. I am told that they were adopted by US personnel or Canadian soldiers and that one may have ended up in Connecticut. Any help with this question would be very much appreciated!

My e-mail address is:

Posted 23 Aug 2000

Victor Gilardin Message Number: 0017

My father, SGT Ellsworth V. Gilardin, USA 20901949, served on Attu for only one month, from Apr 15 1943 to May 11 1943. He got frozen feet and was shipped to Kennedy General Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. If you have any information about this unit, the 7th Cav, Recon Troop, please let me know. My brother and I would like to know more about this unit and the men that were assigned to it.

Thank you, SSG Victor E. Gilardin, CA Army Nat'l Guard

Posted 26 Aug 2000

Navy Casualty Office Message Number: 0018

The Associated Press released a story last week about a Ventura PV-1 that left Attu March 25, 1944 and did not return. The wreckage was recently found on the slope of a volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. So far, the Navy has been contacted by the family members of co-pilot Lt. John W. Hanlon Jr. of Worcester, MA and mechanic Donald Graham Lewallen of Omaha, NB. The Navy Casualty Office is still looking for the families of the following crew, and can be contacted at (800) 443-9298.

Lt. Walter S. Whitman of Philadelphia, PA 
Samuel Leslie Crown, Jr. of Columbus, OH
Clarence Crome Fridley of Manhattan, MT
James Stepehn Palko of Superior, WI
Jack Parlier of Decatur, IL

(Note: My thanks to Jill Holmgren of Fairbanks, AK. for submitting this article. George)

Posted 26 Sep 2000

Karen McCormick Message Number: 019

I now very little about my father's service in the Aleutians other than he "served in the Aleutians." I do know he received two silver stars and a bronze star. What else he received I do not know - all records are gone due to a fire at home (as well as the 1973 fire at NPRC (MPR)). Please provide any details you may remember or know of him. I have only sketchy details of some of his exploits: living under the snow for days when the Japanese; something about capturing a Japanese train; and taking some Japanese strong holds.

Veteran's Name: Joseph Lee Smith
Service Dates: 1941 - 1943
Unit: Army Infantry?
Location: Attu (Note: My Guess. Smitty)

Posted 9 Nov 2000

Shane Bishop Message Number: 020

Hi Everyone,
Just a note to let you know that it now appears the Dateline hour on the Battle of Attu will air on December 29th. As always this is subject to change. If you have questions, please call me. Thanks.

Shane Bishop
Dateline NBC
800-NBC-NEWS, ext. 7512


Posted 5 Dec 2000

Russ Marvin Message Number: 021

This is hot off the news wires:

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Reeve Aleutian Airways Inc. suspended all of its regularly scheduled flights Tuesday, laid off 250 workers and will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, company President Dick Reeve said. The company will continue to fly its charter and contract flights while it reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The service cuts and layoffs are a last ditch effort to keep the carrier flying, Reeve said.

- Russ Marvin  12/06/2000

Posted 6 Dec 2000

Ray Amrein Message Number: 022

I believe there were 3 planes (not 2)  that crashed on the mountain side. Tony Potski and I climbed the mountain and found one of them. A deceased pilot was still sitting in the plane. I believe his name was Henderson. I hope they found and removed his body. I still wonder about that all these years. We could, from the captured higher altitude Japanese foxholes, see our troops through the fog down below in the valley. It was really weird. I'm also looking for a Ken Lynch from Delano, CA. I'm not online, but anyone can mail me at:

Ray Amrein
3650 S. Federal Blvd.
Englewood, CO 80110

Posted 6 Dec 2000

George Smith Message Number: 023

Attention all Denver Metro Area Aleutian Vets...

On the 29th of December, Denver's KEZW 1430 AM Radio host Rick Crandall will be broadcasting a segment of his show highlighting the Aleutian Veterans, beginning at 0900 hrs. His "breakfast show" starts around 0800 hrs, and is broadcast from the Wellshire Inn, located on the north-west corner of Colorado Blvd. and Hampden. We'll be there around 0800 hrs chowing down some breakfast, and will be looking for all of you who can make it to attend, regardless of when you served in the Aleutians! Be there, or be square!

Also, don't forget the 29th of December's broadcast of the NBC Dateline special highlighting the "Battle for Attu!" Look for the time of the showing in your local TV guide. And, our thanks to Shane Bishop of NBC for his persistence, talent, and skills in putting this one together!

Posted 25 Dec 2000

George Smith Message Number: 024

Last night's showing of NBC Dateline's "The Winds of War," produced by Shane Bishop, was an excellent story dealing with the human side of war, and gave us a better insight into the personalities on both sides of the conflict. You can visit their web site, and the content of their show, by going to: "The Winds of War."

They've also posted their video on this site! Give it a look by clicking on "To Video Gallery" near the top of their page!

Posted 30 Dec 2000

Jill Holmgren Message Number: 025

I need to find a Dutch Harbor veteran to ask a question.  I'm looking for someone who was in Dutch Harbor and remembers the night in 1941 or early 1942 when the dynamite shack blew up ." Please e-mail me at:

Happy New Year!

Posted 31 Dec 2000

Keith Hatch Message Number: 026

Found your most interesting web site while searching for info about the relocation of Sea Otters from Amchitka around 1970. If anyone has any knowledge of accounts of this effort, I would be interested in learning more. I am a biologist with the BIA located in Portland, Oregon. We are interested in assessing the effort, for another attempt at a reintroduction. My father is also a vet, and an Aleut native, born on Unalaska. Thank you for your help!

Keith Hatch

Posted 8 Jan 2001

Eugene Birman Message Number: 027

[Editor's Note: I've just seen "The History Channel" schedule, and it looks like the final decision on the air date and time has been made. The first "History Undercover"  airing of "The Bloody Aleutians" will be on Sunday, May 6th, 2001 10pm to 11pm (I don't know what time zone that is referenced to, so you will have to check your local listings). The second showing will be on Monday, May 7th, 2001 from 2am to 3am. Again, check your listings for your time zone.

Also, Eugene has asked for the following consideration if you should have need to e-mail him. Please place in the "subject" line of your e-mail the following: "Re: Aleutians" This will help him to organize his e-mail, and better enable him to respond to your questions. Thanks....George. Posted 19 April 2001]

Folks...this just in today (1-12-2001)from Eugene Birman:

We have been interviewing veterans all over the US in November. We have been greatly supported by veterans of the Aleutian campaign, their enthusiasm and great attitude towards our production is inspiring. We are now in the final stage of post-production, hoping to finish the show in the mid-February. Tentative air date on The History Channel is April 29, 2001. My apologies to anybody whose e-mail or telephone call has not been answered so far, but I believe that our final program would be an answer to those people.

Eugene Birman
Mediabridge Entertainment

"The Bloody Aleutians"
Co- Production
Jones Entertainment Group
Mediabridge Entertainment

Jim Joyce Message Number: 028

Hello, I'm working on a possible book project about the 36th Bomb Squadron while it served up in Alaska. If anyone has any information or photos of the 36th BS that I might find useful, please get in touch!

Thanks, Jim Joyce

Posted: 28 Jan 2001

Al King Message Number: 029

I coordinate reunions: Aleutian Island Vets, all service branches, all islands, including a nationwide reunion being held on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th of May, 2001 at Sandusky, Ohio. Reunion information by request sent through snail mail to you. Contact me through e-mail.

Posted 8 Feb 2001

George Smith Message Number: 030

It looks like the U.S. Government is going to have to honor their commitments made to GIs regarding life-long health care.  Click HERE for more information.

Posted 2 Mar 2001

George Smith Message Number: 031

Rene Thibault sent us a good link to the U.S. Government's Social Security Web Page. Click HERE to go there! It's loaded with good information, and you can subscribe to an e-mail newsletter to keep you up to date with events relating to Social Security!

Posted 2 Mar 2001

Billy Holland Message Number: 032

I am contacting you regarding PATSU844-1945.  I served in this unit with PB4Y2-privateer aircraft.  I am interested in trying to locate former shipmates, and information on the converted troop carrier luxury liner, TOLOA,  made in Belfast, Ireland. This is the troop carrier that transported 250 of us from Pier 91 Seattle to Attu.  My bunk was in the grand ballroom, directly under the large chandelier and it did swing.

William A. Holland, AMMFirst Class and Chief June, 1944

Posted 17 Mar 2001 (Updated: 21 Mar 2001)

Jeff Hancock Message Number: 033

I am a local resident of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska and a member of our local convention and visitor's bureau. We are in the early stages of planning a commemoration of World War II in the Aleutians and the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Dutch Harbor in May/June/July of 2002. Our initial plan is to develop a series of events which span from Memorial Day until the Fourth of July. I arrived in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in October of 1992 and unfortunately missed the events of that year commemorating the 50th Anniversary. We are seeking guidance and ideas from any interested individuals. Here in Dutch Harbor, we have a new Museum of the Aleutians, our World War II Interpretive Center (opening Summer 2001) and a newly designated National Historic Area at Ft Schwatka on Ulakta Head/Ballyhoo Mtn., as well as many other points of interest relating to WWII. Please feel free to contact me by email: Or by telephone: 907-581-4489

Warm regards from the Aleutians, Jeff Hancock Aleutian Adventure Sports Phone: 907-581-4489 Fax: 907-581-6458

Posted 21 Mar 2001

Steve Henrikson Message Number: 034

The Alaska State Museum in Juneau has a wonderful collection of artifacts from the WWII campaign...but most of the material was captured from Japanese forces. We have an unfortunate lack of Allied material--patches, equipment, uniforms, etc--and are hoping to remedy this situation. While we have found a few miscellaneous items for sale, they rarely have any associated documentation or stories. We are seeking items for which we have names and histories of the people who wore and used them. The museum is remodeling its history displays and we are looking for items to acquire (through purchase or donation) for permanent exhibition. We would be grateful to receive any help or suggestions...please write or email. Thank you!

Steve Henrikson
Alaska State Museum
395 Whittier Street
Juneau AK 99801-1718

Posted 5 Apr 2001

George Smith Message Number: 035


History Undercover
The Bloody Aleutians

In 1942, a lonely, desperate battle was waged in one of the most desolate places on earth. Few Americans realize that in WWII, Japan occupied U.S. territory, laying siege to the Aleutian Islands in the Alaskan north. We'll uncover the story of the unsung heroes who waged a bloody war in a merciless landscape as deadly as the enemy's bullet, and feature a wealth of archival material, interviews with campaign veterans, and historical perspective provided by leading experts.

The History Channel's Showing of "The Bloody Aleutians" air date/times:

Time Zone Date Time
Eastern/Pacific Sunday, 6 May 10pm - 11pm
Eastern/Pacific Monday, 7 May 2am - 3am
Mountain Sunday, 6 May 8pm - 9pm
Mountain Monday, 7 May 12am - 1am
Central Sunday, 6 May 9pm - 10pm
Central Monday, 7 May 1am - 2am

While I have attempted to correctly read and post The History Channel's schedule,  please click HERE to go to The History Channel's TV Listings so you can check out these times for yourself as well!

Posted 2 May 2001

George Smith MESSAGE NUMBER: 036

This from Rene Thibault:

"A Marine buddy sent this to me and I checked it out. It looks real good. Good enough for you to alert everyone about this program by putting on your Aleutian site."

Check out

Posted 17 May 2000

George Smith MESSAGE NUMBER: 037

This just in today from Shane Bishop, NBC Dateline producer of "The Winds of War," the strange story of Attu, AK during WWII:

"I just heard from the powers-that-be that the Attu hour is going to air again next Friday, May 25, on Dateline. It'll be the same changes. Thanks. Shane"

So, all you folks that missed it the last time, or want to record it, get your VCRs ready!

Posted 17 May 2000

Jean Beach MESSAGE NUMBER: 038

My father, ALLAN R. MOORE, was in the Aleutians in May of 1943 with the 7th Infantry. He was stationed at Ft. Ord Calif before he left the states. His rank at that time was SGT. He came from Boston, and was known as the "COSMOLENE KID." He was a Heavy Anti-aircraft/Artillery Mechanic. Also he worked at the Watertown Arsenal in Massachusetts. I know I am looking for a needle in a hey stack I pray someone out there can help find someone who knew my father or could tell me more about ATTU 7th Infantry. Looking for a miracle, please help !!!!! (At Ft. Ord the unit was 302 ORDNANCE REGT CO. C 1st BN.)    email Jean Beach

Posted 7 July 2001

Thayne Andersen MESSAGE NUMBER 039

Please check out a web page I just made using pictures my dad sent home from Alaska in 1943. If you recognize anything or can tell me anything about them, please e-mail me.

Thanks! Thayne Andersen

Posted 17 July 2001

William Blackburn MESSAGE NUMBER 040

Would like to hear from friends I served with in the 70's. Please contact me at RR1, Box 9065, Augusta, WV 26704. Thanks!

Posted 18 July 2001


My father, Michael J. Divin, served on Attu during WW-II. He recently passed away. If anyone knew him or has any information about him, please get in touch. It would be greatly appreciated.

Posted 19 July 2001


Looking for anyone who might have known Pvt. Ray G. Roberts, Armored Intelligence Specialist. He was at Dutch Harbor and Kiska. Arrived April 1942 and left 19 Dec. 1943.

Ray, my wife's father, passed away and we're trying to find more information about him and his tour in the Aleutians.

Thank you.

Posted 23 July 2001

25 July 2001