Alaska has a long and proud military history. From the beginning military support shaped our state physically and socially. In October 18, 1867 Alaska become American soil and soldiers were tasked with maintaining law and order. They also enforced regulations regarding the killing of fur seals, whose population had been severely depleted.
In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed First Lieutenant Wild P. Richardson head of the War Department’s Alaska Road Commission. His major project was the completion of a 380-mile (610 km) road from Valdez to Fairbanks, later named the Richardson Highway in his honor.
And of course, Alaska is the only Us State where ground fighting occurred during World War II, this following the Japanese bombing of Dutch Harbor and seizure of Attu and Kiska islands in the Aleutian Chain in June, 1942. The successful battle by the U.S. to retake Attu Island in May, 1943, was proportionately one of the most costly amphibious assaults of World War II in the Pacific in terms of American casualties suffered. Navy reports indicate that small groups of Japanese continued to fight until early July 1943. In 19 days of battle, 549 soldiers of the 7th Division were killed and more than 1,200 injured.
With such a rich history it is important to preserve and share it with future generations. This is why The Alaska Community Foundation is proud to be stewards of the new Alaska Veterans Museum Building Fund. Opened in July the purpose of this fund is for the operations and maintenance of the Alaska Veterans Museum Building, with a particular focus on acquiring and/or renovating a new facility for the Museum. Show your appreciation for all that veterans have done to build and defend our state by adding to this important fund. To lend your support clicking on the link below. Your donation big or small matters and we hope you will join us in building this fund and preserving our history for future generations.
1. “USARAK History.” Www.army.mil, The United States Army, www.army.mil/article/163011/usarak_history.
2. Davis, Henry Blaine. Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, 1998.
3. “The Battle of Attu: 60 Years Later (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/articles/battle-of-attu.htm.