Certificate of Commendable Service

Special Projects, Charlie King’s photographs of the 18th Engineers building the Alaska Canada Highway in WWII and subsequent station to the Aleutian Islands to fight the Japanese

Comments and historical corrections are welcomed.

If you view the set individually at Flickr (not as a slideshow) then you will see the annotations, etc.

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Comments on Al-Can and Aleutians photos

Photo index for adding comments 2006-08-27 Not a recommended way to go.

This is a follow-up (and eventual introduction to) to the initial posting, Charlie King builds the Alaska Canada Highway

For some dumb reason, only those signed up for Flickr can comment on photos. Therefore, this is an awkward substitute to identify photos to which one may wish to add historical and educational clarity as comments here.

Rows start at 1 (upper left)
Columns are (left to right) | A | B | C | D | E | F |

For example, Row 9, Col A-F overlap in the two indices below. Photo 9A is of 60 degrees F below zero.

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20 Responses to “Al-Can Highway and the Aleutians War, Alaska in WWII”

  1. 1 vuee 2006 August 10 at 1:02 am

    Photo 9A– Forty-below, the famous expression, is too cold to matter whether degrees Fahrenheit (-40) or degrees Celsius (-40). Minus 60 degrees is just plain cold (-60 F, -51 C)

  2. 2 vuee 2006 November 9 at 8:26 pm

    WWII veterans return to Attu with film crew

    World War II veterans accompany film crew to scene of fierce Aleutians battle

    By DEBRA McKINNEY • Anchorage Daily News
    Published: November 9, 2006

    Story and photos here

  3. 3 vuee 2006 November 10 at 9:34 pm

    New film highlights the battle of Attu
    By Lori Townsend, APRN



    ANCHORAGE, AK (2006-11-10) A new film documents a little-known World War II operation in Alaska that led to one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific theater. In May 1943, U.S. Soldiers landed on Attu Island to recapture it and Kiska, to the east, from the Japanese. The documentary explores the battle from the perspective of two veterans who tell their stories on a return trip to the island. Filmmaker Tom Putnam came across the story of Attu while researching World War II on the Internet. He says he was amazed he had never heard of it before.

    © Copyright 2006, APRN

  4. 4 vuee 2006 November 27 at 8:44 am

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The war in Iraq has now lasted longer than the U.S.
    involvement in the war that President Bush’s father fought in, World War II. As of Sunday, the conflict in Iraq has raged for three years and just over eight months.


  5. 5 vuee 2007 July 16 at 7:39 pm

    Japanese still seeking more than 2,000 WWII dead on Attu

    Accompanied by American military and government personnel, a Japanese delegation visited the Aleutian island of Attu late last week. The group was examining graves dug by American troops following one of the most horrific battles of World War II, searching for evidence of the more than 2,000 Japanese soldiers whose bodies remain missing on the island.

    Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska (mp3 podcast)

  6. 6 vuee 2007 October 11 at 7:06 am

    Canadians want monument for drowned soldiers

    FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A historical society is asking for city support in building a monument honoring U.S. soldiers who drowned in Charlie Lake while building the Alaska Highway more than 60 years ago.

    The monument would pay tribute to 12 American soldiers who died when their pontoon boat sank in the lake during construction of the highway in the early 1940s, Roger and Christina Gregoire of the Northern Trails Historical Society told the Fort St. John City Council. […] http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/9370720p-9284374c.html

    • 7 Ronald & Aletta Hargis 2014 January 24 at 1:53 pm

      We visited this memorial in July 2012 and were surprised to find among the men who drowned was a Giles Hargis.I haven’t determined yet if he is in our family but am searching.Just thought it strange that here we were from Kentucky visiting Alaska for the first time and find someone with the same last name.

  7. 8 vuee 2007 November 23 at 8:08 pm

    Two additional resources, very worthwhile

    Oct. 29, 1942: Alaska Highway Opens as a Hedge Against Invasion
    By Tony Long 10.29.07

    Alaska Highway
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  8. 9 Stan Keith 2008 April 21 at 6:26 pm

    My father, Harvey Keith served in the 18th Engineers, First Platoon of A Company and helped build the Alcan Highway. He showed me many pictures he kept of his service – telling of the winter of ’42 when his company was frozen in place in the Yukon Territory. He participated in several reunions of his company during the 1970’s and 80’s. His company commander was a LT Stockton. One of my proudest possessions is a painting that LT Stockton did of a bridge that his company constructed at milepost 996.3 across the Aishihik River in the Yukon Territory in June 1942.

    Very tough times for these GI’s. After the Alcan Highway was completed my father shipped out to the Aleutian Islands and built some roads and buildings after the Japanese were driven off the islands by the Infantry.

  9. 10 vuee 2008 April 21 at 7:24 pm

    I still have trouble thinking about what it must have been like for those soldiers in the Yukon, and I used to walk to work at 48 below. I feel for those running traplines, too, but having to depend on 1940s era mechanized diesel vehicles is something else.

    Do any of your father’s photos overlap or complement those of Charlie’s?

  10. 11 vuee 2008 July 14 at 8:52 pm

    This looks like a really interesting set of resources.
    Attu: North American Battleground of World War II (from Teaching with Historical Places Lesson Plans, National Register, National Park Service)

    The setting: World War II campaign to regain Alaska islands seized by the Japanese. Includes inquiry question, historical context, maps, readings, visual evidence – and activities to put it all together. Links and notes on further reading.”

  11. 12 vuee 2008 October 8 at 11:11 am

    “Stealth fighters ghosted through Aleutian campaign

    “Castner’s Cutthroats’ spied on the Japanese in WWII


    Published: September 28th, 2008 11:45 PM”Stealth fighters ghosted through Aleutian campaign

  12. 13 Glenn 2010 August 22 at 11:52 am

    I wonder if you can help. I have a typed document Names ” A record of the work and activities during the construction of the Alaska Military Highway April 2nd 1942- January 11th 1043″ I assume typed and recorded by Private Arthur M. Molans. Co E 18th Engineers.

    My Dad was in the 18th, and helped build the ALCAN, and the bases at Adak and on Shemya. As it turns out, I was stationed on Shemya in 1975, some 34 or so years after my Dad.

    What I am trying to find out, is if you or anybody else you know, has any interest in these documents and maybe in the pictures I have of the ALCAN and the Aleutians. They typed record is not in the best of shape. It has yellowed with time and the edges are very weak. But not frayed. But they do separate easily with any undue pressure.

    I would thank you for any help or advice what I might do to share with others that might be interested. Thanks


    • 14 vuee 2010 August 22 at 7:12 pm

      Is there any way to scan in the pages and the photos, as a first step? I can certainly post them on the Flickr set and link from here. How many pages is the document? You could check with a local school or college to see if they have the right scanning technology (although digital camera pictures of the documents also work.) and could help you select the proper resolution and file size for web posting.

      However, for archival purposes, I would contact the Rasmusson Library at University of Alaska Fairbanks. They have the forms needed for donation or other options available to you.
      Contact Anne L. Foster, CA
      Alaska and Polar Regions Collections
      University of Alaska Fairbanks
      P O Box 756808/310 Tanana Dr.
      Fairbanks, AK 99775-6808
      ffalf @ uaf.edu
      FAX: (907)474-6365

  13. 16 Robert Fowler 2011 June 25 at 11:12 am

    Can anyone help me get information on the 340th engineers?
    If so please email me at
    rcfbob AT yahoo DOT com

    • 17 vuee 2011 June 25 at 12:10 pm

      What types of information? Published or additional archives?

      I just ran across a book, free to read, on 340th Engineers in the Pacific http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015031365755

      340th Engineers in the Pacific.
      Corporate Author: United States.
      Language(s): English
      Published: [Milwaukee, Hammersmith-Kortmeyer Co., printers, 1946?]
      Subjects: World War, 1939-1945 > Pacific Ocean.
      World War, 1939-1945 > Pictorial works
      Note: “A history … continued from the terminated account given in the previous album [Lower post or freeze; 340th engineer regiment on the Alaska military highway, 1942-1943. 1944]”
      Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) (chiefly illus., ports., maps (1 on lining papers)) 31 cm.
      Original Format: Book
      Photographs & Pictorial Works
      Original Classification Number: D 769.335 .340th A5 1946

  1. 1 O’Folks Trackback on 2008 April 10 at 4:52 pm
  2. 2 Picturing Alaska history : USA territory to statehood « O’Folks Trackback on 2008 April 10 at 5:05 pm
  3. 3 Charlie King builds the Alaska Canada Highway « O’Folks Trackback on 2010 January 6 at 8:17 pm

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