North America’s Unknown WW II Campaign
STORY BY PAIGE JASMINE GILMAR
Alaska’s Aleutian Islands have a violent beauty to them, crowned with steep cliffs, 2,000-metre-plus-high mountains and active volcanoes, all protected by the white horses of ocean waves. Cold and brooding, the islands stand in hushed resistance between life and death.
Many don’t know, however, that this archipelago to the southeast of the Bering Sea had a place in the memories of some Second World War veterans.
The Aleutian Islands Campaign took place from June 1942 to August 1943. It was a challenging campaign, not only because of the enemy force, but because of the geography. It was also the only action fought on North American soil during the war. Canada’s contribution was its army’s second largest in the Pacific theatre. One of its battles, the Battle of Attu, marked its 80th anniversary on May 11, but still, the campaign is considered a “Forgotten Battle.”