Attu – Forgotten Alaskan Island

Attu of the Aleutian Islands

Does Anyone Go There?

This Alaskan island has no one living on it now. Where the heck is Attu, anyway?


aleutian-map

It’s the farthest out of all the Aleutians. Or is it furthest?


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The bears are probably still there. I mean it’s barely possible.


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The war memorial remains.


Big-Mike-Hodikoff-Chief-of-Native-Aleut-Tribe-on-Attu

Chief Big Mike and Family

Was it famous? Well, during WWII, the Japanese took over Attu. It was the only US land the Japanese captured during the war.

I’m afraid the chief knew way too much about the war since all the people were kicked off the island.


attu-village-1934

Not that there were that many people but it was home.

This means War

Anyway, the point was that even if no one knew where Attu was, they knew it was a part of America! National pride said we had to kick them off that forsaken island. It was a cold rotten job to do it but they did just that and in the process discovered why no one was spending their summer vacation there.


The Battle of Attu


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Volcanic

Though the islands are beautiful, this is a harsh place. An early traveler found this out when he shipwrecked here in the early 1800s and literally froze his feet off.


His Aleutian Adventure


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Grand Aleutian Hotel

Empty now.


grand-aleutian-hotel

What Did They Do on Attu?

Native basket weaving.


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Culture

Basket weaving was a part of life for centuries on Attu.


1904-making-an-attu-basket

These handmade items were a must to buy.


1904-attu-baskets

Can I get there?

Not likely. A boat that runs through the Aleutian Islands used to stop there. But not since the US Coast Guard station closed in 2010. In the 2011 film, The Big Year, Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as avid birdwatchers go to the island for exclusive birdwatching.

Tom Putnam’s PBS documentary about the battle of Attu, “Red White Black & Blue,” brings two American veterans who survived the battle back to the island.


southcoastal-aleutian


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