Skip to content

Dutch Harbor Remembrance Day

Jun 3, 2023

WHEREAS, on June 3, 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II arrived in Alaska as Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island was bombed by Japanese aircraft – the first aerial attack by an enemy on the continental United States; and

WHEREAS, the Japanese pilots expected little resistance, but because of an intercepted message three weeks before, the installation had been on high alert, and Navy and Marine personnel were prepared with anti-aircraft weapons; and

WHEREAS, due to the resistance on the Dutch Harbor installation, the Japanese instead focused their attack on the Margaret Bay Naval barracks, where the lives of 25 servicemen were lost; and

WHEREAS, following the initial attack on Dutch Harbor, the Japanese carried out a series of assaults – on Dutch Harbor, Adak, Kiska, and Attu – which resulted in the Unangan (Aleut) people being evacuated and held in internment camps in Southeast Alaska for three years, through which many did not survive; and

WHEREAS, the brave men of the United States Armed Forces and allied Canadian Forces fought the invading Japanese for over a year in order to retake the remaining Aleutian Islands, and the battle for Attu ranks as one of the United States’ most costly assaults in the Pacific during the war, as hundreds of American servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate Alaska; and

WHEREAS, as this year marks the 81st anniversary of the bombing of Dutch Harbor, we remember and honor all those who were affected by the attack, and we commemorate both the military personnel who served and died to defend our nation and the Aleuts who died while imprisoned.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim June 3, 2023 as:

Dutch Harbor Remembrance Day

in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to join with the people of Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, and the Aleutian Islands to honor those who were lost in Alaska during World War II, and I order the Alaska State Flag to be flown at half-staff in remembrance of their sacrifice.

Dated: June 3, 2023