75th Anniversary of the Battle of Attu May 16, 2018 WHEREAS, On June 7, 1942, exactly six months after the United States was thrust into World War II by the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and one day after landing on the island of Kiska, the Japanese invaded and occupied the island of Attu; and WHEREAS, the Attu Village was home to 45 native Aleuts and two other Americans. The 42 survivors of the initial invasion were relocated to a Japanese prison camp where sixteen would perish and the survivors would never return to their village; and WHEREAS, U.S. military forces came to the defense of the territory of Alaska. However, the soldiers were ill-prepared for the rugged Alaska terrain and climate, suffering from frostbite, exposure, and lack of food and supplies. Several aircraft were lost to the harsh and rapidly changing weather; and WHEREAS, on May 11, 1943, the operation to recapture the island of Attu began. What was meant to be a three-day operation, turned into a fierce battle lasting several weeks, ending with hand-to-hand combat in Chichagof Harbor; and WHEREAS, the Battle of Attu was the only land battle fought on American soil in World War II. The battle was the second costliest in terms of percentage of American casualties, including hundreds who were wounded or died from exposure and disease; and WHEREAS, due to the vast size and remote location, Alaska has been a notable asset to the nation in several wars, and continues to play a strategic role in ensuring our nations freedoms; and WHEREAS, we recognize the rich military history of our great state, the many sacrifices made, and the lives lost in the Battle of Attu, one of the most important battles of World War II. NOW THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 17-19, 2018 as: 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Attu in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to solemnly remember the sacrifices of the soldiers and their families, the residents of the Attu Village, and celebrate the strength of our armed forces.