More on the Aleutians war (WWII)

In the comments to the Special Projects page about the Aleutians War and the building the Al-Can highway, I’ve been tracking the newest documentary about the little known battles of Attu Island and others of the Aleutians, including Dutch Harbor / Unalaska.

However, because comments and pages have separate notifications on the Internet, I thought I would also post a separate notice, especially for those who read this web log with an RSS feed reader.

The latest published film was televised last week on the US Public Broadcasting System, Independent Lens. The film focuses on intimate interviews with Bill and Andy, the film explores what it means to be a soldier then and now. And for Bill, that means continuing the battle—even at the cost of his own peace of mind. and not on the battle details, per se. However, there is fascinating blended footage from the present day terrain morphing into the WWII terrain (actual footage or photos of the battle).

It is also a good presentation of the mixed emotions (and some rather unmixed) of veterans of the Pacific war. I had an uncle in Attu (Claude I. Green) who never spoke much of the Aleutian horror– part of the horror was the transfer from the tropical Marshall Islands to Attu without a change in uniforms (he was in the Navy). The monument is dedicated to all in the campaign (the necessity of which is also controversial still, as is the forced removal and internment of Alaskans by the USA.)

Aleutian Island documentary RED WHITE BLACK and BLUE is going to have a special one-hour broadcast on PBS November 6, and it’s going to be released on home video on November 7. We’re also finishing up some community screenings around the country, mostly in Florida, Michigan, and Indiana.

You can click the link below to read more about the film, get a list of upcoming local screenings, and broadcast information for your area, as well as information about how to purchase the film.

Thanks so much, and if you do get a chance to see the film we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Take care,
Tom Putnam

Here’s their website,

The Independent Lens website has a summary, several references to additional information, and a viewer feedback. Read more about the making of RED WHITE BLACK & BLUE »

See also previous
John Huston movie from the Aleutians
Al-Can Highway and the Aleutians War, Alaska in WWII

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2 Responses to “More on the Aleutians war (WWII)”

  1. 1 R. Keppel 2008 June 4 at 2:49 pm

    Interesting site. My great uncle, Stanley, also served in the ALEUTIAN AND MARSHALL ISLANDS during his service in WWII, if you have any more information or photos of this I’d greatly appreciate an e-mail. Other than the documentary on the history channel about this section of WWII it has been really hard to find out about. Also I’m wondering if you could help me find sites that could provide me with finding out about my grandfather’s service during WWII. I know that he served in the African, Middle East, European, and Pacific theaters during the war, but he never talked about it when he got back to the states. He was in the Army signal corp, other than that I don’t know any specifics really. In any case, I just wanted to say thanks for keeping history alive.

  2. 2 vuee 2008 June 4 at 5:35 pm

    My first response to you vanished in the ether!

    I do find the Marshalls-Aleutians linking very interesting. It would have been quite an adaptation for the soldiers and sailors and affected many for long after the war. My uncle almost never spoke of his war experiences there.

    I’ll check my bookmarks for resources for you. has a quick access to service records but it is only by paid subscription. The most important search tool is to get as much info as possible on the veterans service record–
    places, dates, and especially service branch and unit.

    I hope more people would find it useful to add their information here or to their own webpages so the rest of us can learn, too.

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