Battles - the Aleutian Islands, Alaska
(June 1942-August 1943)
In June 1942, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces invaded and established garrisons on Attu and Kiska Islands. Located to the far west of mainland Alaska, the Japanese garrisons were able to launch attacks on two American military bases in Dutch Harbor. By March 1943, the United States Navy established a blockade around Attu and Kiska Islands, severely limiting resupply to the entrenched Japanese garrisons to infrequent deliveries by submarine. American efforts to regain the islands began with Operation Landgrab in March 1943. The ensuing Battle of Attu was the only land battle fought on American soil during World War II. By June 1, 1943, Attu Island was reclaimed. Operation Cottage was launched on August 15, where 35,000 soldiers landed unopposed on Kiska Island, only to discover that the Japanese garrison had evacuated weeks earlier. The Battle of the Aleutian Islands officially ended August 24, 1943.