Attu – Forgotten Alaskan Island

Does Anyone Go to Attu?

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


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


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


The war memorial remains.


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 taken off the island by the Japanese forces.


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 that but they did do just that and in the process discovered why no one was spending their summer vacation there.

see The Battle of Attu



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.

see His Aleutian Adventure


What Did They Do on Attu?

Native basket weaving.



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


These handmade items were a must to buy.


Can I get there?

If you are a determined birder, you may be able to get there on a multi-island tour. But 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 of Attu 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.




7 thoughts on “Attu – Forgotten Alaskan Island

  1. Why is no one allowed there? It’s American soil, yes? Is it illegal to charter an aircraft and use the existing landing field?
    Who’s stopping anyone from visiting if they so desire?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose you might be able to get there but the weather is pretty rough. Have you watched The Big Year with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson?
      Check out my piece on the Andaman islands where a guy is determined to go to an island forbidden by the government of India. He does go there but with a sad ending.


  2. The Grand Aleutian Hotel is in Dutch Harbor not Attu, and is only closed for Covid. Last I saw they were only allowing “essential businesses” to book a room.


    1. When the Japanese invaded Attu, two white Americans were among the 45 native Aleuts, Charles Foster Jones, 63, a radio technician, originally from Ohio and his wife Etta, 63, a schoolteacher, originally from New Jersey. Mr. Jones was murdered by the Japanese forces almost immediately after the invasion. Mrs. Jones was subsequently taken to the Bund Hotel in Yokohama, Japan, which also housed Australian prisoners of war. Later, Mrs. Jones and the Australian prisoners were held at the Yokohama Yacht Club from 1942 to 1944, and then at the Totsuka prisoner of war camp until their release in August 1945. Mrs. Jones died in December 1965 at age 86 in Florida.


  3. Came across Attu as was investigatng the kink in the northern part of the International Date LIne. Seems the Japanese managed to seize it briefly, but many of their soldiers committed suicide and the injured were killed by those caring for them, when the Americans took it back.


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