Photos extracted from “The Capture of Attu,” contributions from George & Nadine Smith, Nick Moreska, Walter H. Knight, and from numerous eBay purchases. Click on each photo thumbnail to see a larger rendition. If anyone can identify the photographer for any individual photos, or can identify any of the unidentified folks in these pictures, please eMail the info to me! Thanks! Click on the Grid Map to view it as a larger image. As photos are added to this page, I'll attempt to add location coordinates that reference this map.
1. From "The Capture of Attu," Page 110 and 111 bottom photo text: "Clevesy Pass, on the northeast side of upper Massacre Valley; led across to Sarana Valley and the distant heights of Prendergast and Fish Hook ridges. Strong Jap trenches, machine-gun and mortar emplacements held the slopes of Cold Mountain and the ridge leading up to Point A (Point Able). Deadly fire swept the exposed slopes leading up to the pass. On May 19 the 2d Battalion of the 17th Infantry, and the 2d Battalion of the 32d Infantry, successfully assaulted these positions and opened the gate for a drive against Sarana Valley and the Chichagof heights."
2. Colonel Wayne C. Zimmerman (now Brigadier General), commander of the Southern Force, and Lieutenant Winfield H. Mapes, 17th Infantry, in an OP on the north slope of the Hogback. Colonel Zimmerman is directing the Southern Force's attack against Clevesy Pass on May 19th, 1943. (From "The Capture of Attu")
3. The first heavy-duty highway from Blue Beach, Massacre Bay. Tractors which often bogged down in the tundra used this gravelly stream bed entirely during the first week and partially thereafter. This "cat" with trailer is coming downstream empty for another load. To the men on the front lines flowed a real stream of supplies. (From "The Capture of Attu")
4. Manpower moved most of the front-line supplies and ammunition. Tractors were few on Attu and vulnerable to Jap fire. Here men of the 4th Infantry haul mortar ammunition and combat equipment up the Hogback. (From "The Capture of Attu")
5. 5/29/1943: First Jap Defenses on Attu Fall: Good humor was apparent as American fighting men gathered around a field stove in the gray mist of morning at a point in the Holtz Bay area of Attu to get a hot breakfast. Note shell pocks in the plain to the rear. This is one of the first pictures of American occupation of the outer ring of Jap defenses on Attu. Credit: (Official Navy Photo - ACME) (WS) Click HERE for photo’s reverse side. [Provided by Nadine Smith, Posted by George L. Smith]
7. One of the newly constructed docks located at Attu's Massacre Bay.
8. Navy Town, Massacre Bay, Attu Island. In the foreground you can see supplies protected under tarpaulins. The temporary mess hall and living quarters are located in the center. 27 July 1943. Click HERE for enlarged view.
9. This airfield was built on Alexei Point (Coord J5) after the capture of Attu, and shows some of the P-38s sitting on Perforated Steel Plating (Marsden Matting). Contributed by George Smith from b&w slide found on Shemya in 1975.
10. This photo was taken in July, 1943. It commemorates the location where the Commander of the Japanese Force on Attu, Col. Yasugo Yamasaki, met his death while executing his final Banzai attack against the American defenders. The location is at H-3 on the Attu grid map, after you pass Engineer Hill (the Colonel's last stand) and over Buffalo Ridge to Holtz Bay. Click HERE for the sign’s text. [Nick Moreska]
11. This picture of a P-38 with crew was taken on Attu. Notice the Perforated Steel Plating (PSP), aka Marsden Matting, runway. This landing strip was located on Alexi Point (Coord J5). The mountain in the background is Mt. Terrible (or "Gobler's Knob" as it was known to the GI's of the day). Contributed by George Smith who extracted the image from b&w glass slide found on Shemya while working the photo hobby shop in 1975.
12. This picture could have been taken on either Attu or Shemya. It is, as the inscription indicates, a P-38 buzzing the area. Contributed by George Smith who extracted the image from b&w glass slide found on Shemya while working the photo hobby shop in 1975
13. Nick Moreska spent 17 months on "The loneliest spot this side of hell," ATTU, from Jul 1943 to Dec 1944. He was with the 7th Div 159th Inf. Reg. This photo was taken in the Fall of 1944. The building behind Nick is Colonel Yamasaki's quarters (and possibly offices). Nick's group bunked there before they moved into the Pacific huts. [Nick Moreska]
14. Walter H. Knight, shoveling out after a snow storm. Attu Island, 1944-1945.
This is a link to a PDF document that shows the Attu Morning Sun, dated August 10, 1945. This document shows the surrender of Japan as discovered by the troops on Attu. This document has been converted to an Adobe Acrobat Reader format, and is about 28kB. [Joe Broadbent, provided by his son, Allen]
6a. Japanese anti-aircraft gun captured at Attu--American soldiers examine a partially dismantled Japanese anti-aircraft gun on a hill at the head of the west arm of Holtz Bay on Attu Island. Barrel of gun is at left foreground. This picture, made May 19 by a Navy photographer, was flown to Washington by Naval Air Transport. (AP Wirephoto from U. S. Navy). 29 May 1943. Front and Back. Nadine Smith/George Smith, posted 26 Dec 2014. [George & Nadine Smith]